THIS was a deserved win for Edinburgh, who were dominant up front for the bulk of the game and should have had the points wrapped up with some time to spare. In the circumstances, however, it was also a moral victory for Glasgow. 

After three weeks without a match - or two months in the case of Richie Gray - and with the bulk of their squad having been in self-isolation as a Covid precaution, the Warriors inevitably looked under-prepared. Yet they managed to fight back late in the game to claim a losing bonus point, and did enough to convince themselves that, provided they cut down on the error count, they can turn the tables when the teams meet again in the PRO14 at Scotstoun on Friday.

Brandon Thomson, whose failure to convert the last kick of the game cost Glasgow the match against the Dragons last month, was again one of the guilty parties. He missed a simple penalty in the first half, and it was his high pass to Sam Johnson in the second that was picked off for Magnus Bradbury’s try. Yet the stand-off was far from alone in making basic errors, and given his confidence was low going into the game, you have to wonder whether the kicking duties would have been better going to another back instead.

Scoreless and toothless, that first half was a poor affair with the air of a pre-season friendly about it. Thankfully, the second half was more of a mid-season unfriendly, and, while far from perfect, was all the better for the extra venom which both sides injected.  

Over the piece, though, neither side did much to suggest they are about to shrug off their indifferent form so far this season. This third league win still leaves Edinburgh fifth out of six teams in Conference B, albeit with two games in hand on fourth-placed Cardiff. Glasgow remain fifth in Conference A, only Zebre below them.

Both teams took time to settle, with a promising break by home winger Darcy Graham being the only move of note in the opening five minutes. Even that early, it seemed only a matter of time before Edinburgh would translate their dominance up front into points, but Glasgow’s defence performed well to keep their opponents at bay - especially Scott Cummings, whose timely tackle on Henry Pyrgos snuffed out one particularly threatening move. 

Growing in confidence as a result of that solidity, the Warriors staged a swift break-out through Huw Jones, and won a penalty only for Thomson to be off target.

That first kick at goal of the game came after 33 minutes, and there was nothing close to another scoring chance in the remaining seven before the break. 

The tempo increased considerably right from the restart, with Glasgow in particular looking a lot sharper. After 45 minutes they turned down a kickable penalty for a five-metre scrum, but the Edinburgh pack comfortably held them at bay.

Another area where the home team seemed to have the edge was the bench, and Richard Cockerill was first to turn to his substitutes, bringing on Rory Sutherland and Simon Berghan at the same time. The aim was for the two Scotland props to further grind down a tiring Glasgow side, and true enough the pair were soon playing their part in winning another scrum penalty.

But that was inside their own 22, and for all their domination, Edinburgh continued to lack a cutting edge in attack. Eventually, however, with just quarter of an hour left, they broke their duck.   

Jaco van der Walt is as nerveless as his opposite number Thomson is jittery, and, presented with a penalty close to the Warriors 10-metre line, he made no mistake. Glasgow needed to take chances if they were to get back into the game, but they fell further behind after 68 minutes after Johnson’s failure to gather from the hapless Thomson. Van der Walt hacked on from halfway, and Bradbury, on the field for barely a minute, won the race and touched down between the posts. The stand-off converted to make it 10-0 and the game was all but in the bag.

But to their credit, Glasgow kept fighting, and after a siege on the Edinburgh line, substitute lock Lewis Bean touched down. Stand-off Ross Thompson converted, having only come on for his Warriors debut in place of his near-namesake minutes earlier.

Barely 60 seconds were left by that point, and from the restart Glasgow were unable to launch a counter-attack from deep. In the circumstances, though, they can take some comfort from the losing bonus. Edinburgh will simply be relieved that they held on to win.