Edinburgh have a score to settle in the second leg of the 1872 Cup as they seek to level the series against rivals Glasgow Warriors.
George Turner’s late try secured a derby win for the Warriors last weekend in a captivating game that saw more yellow cards than tries.
Scotstoun is a difficult place to play at the best of times but now Edinburgh get Glasgow on their patch and BT Murrayfield is sure be a cauldron of noise.
Not only are bragging rights up for grabs, but this contest is crucial to both side’s prospects this season.
Victory for Glasgow last Saturday moved them to within two points of Toyota Cheetahs and only seven off Ulster, who were beaten by Leinster in that 14-try thriller. They sit fourth in Conference A with four wins from eight games.
Edinburgh have fared slightly better, with five wins from eight, and they are third in Conference B and are just one point off Connacht in second.
Kick-off: BT Murrayfield | KO 15:00 (UK), Saturday 28 December
How to watch: | Live on Premier Sports, DAZN, pro14.tv
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU, 40th competition game)
AR1: Keith Allen, AR2: David Sutherland (both SRU)
TMO: Neil Patterson (SRU)
Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn, Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, George Taylor, 11. Duhan van der Merwe, Simon Hickey, Nic Groom, Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally, W.P Nel, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, Jamie Ritchie , Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata
Replacements: Mike Willemse, Jamie Bhatti, Simon Berghan, Lewis Carmichael, Magnus Bradbury, Henry Pyrgos, Jaco van der Walt, Matt Scott
Glasgow Warriors: Ruaridh Jackson, Ratu Tagive, Huw Jones, Sam Johnson, DTH van der Merwe, Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Oli Kebble, Oli Kebble, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Callum Gibbins, Ryan Wilson
Replacements: George Turner, Aki Seiuli, Adam Nicol, Adam Ashe, Tom Gordon, George Horne, Nick Grigg, Niko Matawalu
The 1872 Cup numbers for this season now read one apiece after one of the best matches in its history was edged by a superb Edinburgh performance on home turf.
In a match where the lead swung back-and-forth right up until the last of the seven tries, the Scottish crowd was treated to a pulsating festive feast eventually settled by a penalty try.
This fiercely-contested encounter was fought out with a record crowd for an 1872 Cup match watching on from the BT Murrayfield stands.
Not many supporters from either side will easily forget the brilliance of Edinburgh’s opener, with Duhan van der Merwe bullocking out of his 22, No.8 Bill Mata flinging out the offload of the season and Darcy Graham darting in down the right.
The big hits kept on flowing and Glasgow got level on 25 minutes as Ruaridh Jackson delayed his pass to Huw Jones for the centre to jink his way through the 22 to the line.
All square at 7-7 at the interval Edinburgh edged ahead with a Simon Hickey penalty, but then went 14-10 down after a no-arms tackle infringement was capitalised on with Scott Cummings smashing over the line.
Back swung the pendulum as the hosts rallied to almost register their second try, Matt Scott cutting an unbelievable angle off a lineout and sprinting to the posts only to be denied by an incredibly smart Jackson arm.
Jackson’s heroics went in vain as from the resulting scrum Mata drew the defence and Henry Pyrgos dove over, but anything Pyrgos can do seemingly George Horne can also, the scrum-half burrowing over at the other end on 67.
Time – 66 minutes, score 19-17 to Glasgow, but still much more to come.
Richard Cockerill’s men powered back down the other end to see their pack rewarded with a penalty try, with Graham the man left to round it all off with a wondrous, turnover, length-of-the field effort with a minute to play.
There was no shortage of brilliant performances in this derby, but Schoeman collected the award for his part in winning the battle up front.
The loosehead helped win the scrum battle, made 16 tackles, and several key interventions to keep Glasgow at bay.
There were so many to choose from, Ruaridh Jackson’s defence of his post was worthy of more, but there will not be many better tries scored this season than Graham’s.
The first-half score had everything, van der Merwe charging, Mata genius offloading, and all finished off by a superb no-look dummy from the wing himself.