Need to Know: Edinburgh v Glasgow Match Preview

KO 4.05 at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Monday 26th December
Buy tickets here
Live on BBC2 Scotland

  • Edinburgh are on a 3 game winning streak in this fixture – after no wins in the previous 5 matches.
  • All 3 victories have come at Murrayfield and the Black and Red will be glad of their home comforts again. They have struggled on the road, only picking up a single win outside Edinburgh in the Pro 12 in their last 14 away matches.
  • A combination of departures, injuries and rest protocols mean only 11 out of 30 players started last season’s game as well, due to a combination of departures, injuries and rest protocols.

15 Blair Kinghorn
14 Damien Hoyland
13 Chris Dean
12 Phil Burleigh
11 Tom Brown
10 Duncan Weir
9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
15 Stuart Hogg
14 Junior Bulumakau
13 Mark Bennett
12 Alex Dunbar
11 Lee Jones
10 Finn Russell
9 Henry Pyrgos (c)

1 Alasdair Dickinson
2 Ross Ford
3 Simon Berghan
4 Ben Toolis
5 Grant Gilchrist
6 Magnus Bradbury
7 Hamish Watson
8 Cornell du Preez
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow

1 Alex Allan
2 Fraser Brown
3 Zander Fagerson
4 Brian Alainu’uese
5 Jonny Gray (c)
6 Robert Harley
7 Simone Favaro
8 Josh Strauss

16 Stuart McInally
17 Allan Dell
18 Murray McCallum
19 Fraser McKenzie
20 Viliame Mata
21 Sean Kennedy
22 Jason Tovey
23 Glenn Bryce
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow
ADV Glasgow

16 Pat MacArthur
17 Ryan Grant
18 Sila Puafisi
19 Adam Ashe
20 Chris Fusaro
21 Ali Price
22 Nick Grigg
23 Sean Lamont

Player Facts and Stats:

  • This will be Simon Berghan’s 1st Pro 12 start and only his 2nd ever for Edinburgh.
  • Junior Bulumakau starts for the first time since Munster away back in October 2015.
  • Ross Ford makes his 17th appearance in an 1872 Cup match – more than any other player. He has only missed 2 of the 19 games played since the trophy was reintroduced.
  • On the other side Ryan Grant has featured the most in the 1872 among the current Glasgow squad, suiting up 11 times.
  • Grant Gilchrist plays against Glasgow for the first time since 2013/14.
  • Pat MacArthur and Rob Harley both missed all 3 recent losses for the Warriors and have only tasted defeat to Edinburgh once between them in a combined 14 appearances.
  • Mark Bennett has scored a try on each of the 3 occasions he has played in the inter-city challenge.
  • Duncan Weir is the current top points scorer in this fixture with 55. He has some way to go though to overhaul the 99 points Dan Parks claimed in the 1872 Cup.

Tale of the Tape:

44   Pro 12 tries   65
327   Pro 12 appearances   392
28   1872 Cup appearances   38
24.5   Average age   25.9
5   Capped players   6

918kg   Pack weights   947kg
501   Pro 12 appearances   420
43   1872 Cup appearances   35
27.0   Average age   25.5
6   Capped players   7

365   Pro 12 appearances   500
17   1872 Cup appearances   42
25.6   Average age   28.0
2   Capped players   7

Glasgow Greetings / Edinburgh Introductions:
First 1872 Cup appearances for no less than 8 players (Kinghorn, Dean, Berghan, Bradbury, McCallum, Mata, Tovey and Bryce) on the black and red team and another 3 players (Bulumakau, Alainu’uese and Grigg) on the black and blue side.

Once A Warrior / Erstwhile Edinbuggers:
7 of the players on show have featured for both clubs – Weir, McKenzie, Kennedy and Bryce look back fondly on their time in the West. Jones, Allan and Grant have long since cleansed the memories of their distant past in the capital! Fraser Brown and Ross Ford were also briefly contracted to the respective other sides of the divide but never pulled on a jersey in anger.

Matchday Milestones:
It’ll be Tom Brown’s 100th appearance for Edinburgh (and also his 75th start), while former Warrior, Sean Kennedy, should play his 50th game in the black and red. A special mention as well for Ross Ford who last week played his 250th top level club match (166 for Edinburgh, 84 for the Borders). Duncan Weir will become the 3rd player (after Grayson Hart and Lee Jones) to play for both sides in an 1872 Cup clash.

Warriors One to Watch / Edinburgh Ego to Eyeball
There are intriguing battles to savour all over the pitch – SHC v Pyrgos, Dickinson v Fagerson, Du Preez v Strauss. (Interestingly though for a match which sometimes appears like it could be a trial for the national side, it could be argued that Ford v Brown is the only direct contest with a chance of pitting the 2 realistic main contenders for a Scotland jersey in direct opposition).

The head-to-head though that is most likely to set pulses racing and win over some of the thousands in attendance is Blair Kinghorn v Stuart Hogg. At just 24 Hoggy finds himself virtually a veteran in terms of experience as he closes in on a century of Warriors appearances and 50 Test caps. Opposite him is The King, a young man who won’t turn 20 until the New Year and who is creating similar levels of excitement about his attacking play to those generated by Stuart when he first broke through. If these 2 get plenty of ball in hand then the crowd are in for an entertaining evening.

Toony’s Track Record…
…against Edinburgh:

  • 5 wins, 3 losses. 1 Try BP. 1 Losing BP. 22 points out of a possible 40 (55%)
  • Only Leinster, Munster and Scarlets have provided fewer points for Gregor Townsend’s men.

Last season’s match-up:

Mauls for Edinburgh – all successfully completed. By contrast Glasgow didn’t attempt a single one. Glasgow have shown themselves more willing to keep the ball up in contact this season but can still be a bit hit or miss. For every maul that makes good yardage another will fail at the setting up stage. Their defence in this area has come a long way though and they effectively neutered Racing across 2 games with Jonny Gray to the fore. They will need to be at their best to control an aggressive Edinburgh pack.

Times Glasgow turned the ball over to their opponents – almost twice as many as Edinburgh. This despite actually having marginally less possession (49%) than the men from the capital. Glasgow’s is a higher risk system to play and Gregor Townsend is unlikely to be too critical of his players for losing the ball if they are trying to create something for the team. Too often in this game though the errors seemed more an issue with concentration or care and attention in simple situations. If Glasgow can execute their attacking game plan with minimal mistakes then they will be very difficult to defend.

Percentage of kicks made by Glasgow, leaving 8 points out on the field. Finn Russell had an off day with the boot, which prevented the Warriors from keeping the scoreboard ticking over when they managed to put Edinburgh under pressure. With his kicking success rate running at 82% this season Finn does seem to be back on form. Glasgow will need to be efficient with their scoring opportunities in what is nearly always a tight game.

Home and Away:
Edinburgh last 5 in the Pro 12 (H) – W L W L W
Glasgow last 5 in the Pro 12 (A) – W L W W L
Based on the 2 sides up and down form this looks like it’s scheduled for a Glasgow victory – but frankly anything is possible with these teams!

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU, 55th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Mike Adamson, Sam Grove-White (both SRU)
TMO: Jim Yuille (SRU)

Warriors game number 3 of the season for Mr. Davies and his 7th since the start of the 2015/16 season. The Welsh whistler has a ‘perfect’ 100% record of carding a Glasgow player in each of these previous 6 fixtures. He’s also awarded 3 penalty tries against the men in blue and black. This may well be the ultimate test of the side’s new found discipline as they strive for a 4th consecutive match without incurring a card…

Edinburgh have been refereed by Mr. Davies in 3 matches across the same period, conceding no cards. There was though an early penalty try against Ulster which ultimately proved very costly (OTOTM does wonder [with tongue firmly in cheek] if Mike Coman had been in a Glasgow shirt if there would have been more or less chance of Mr. Davies remembering that the laws require a yellow card for a player who concedes a PT…)

Image courtesy of Adrian Henry at Rugby People. Check out more of Adrian’s excellent pictures here and give him a follow on Twitter – @rugbypeoplenet


  1. Are you sure the number of capped players on the Edinburgh bench is correct? I count only McInally and Dell as the two capped players. Rest may have played youth internationals but not full.

    Liked by 1 person

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