Glasgow leave it late against Edinburgh
December 26, 2011
Ruaridh Jackson celebrates his late try in the Scottish capital with team-mate Tom Ryder
© PA Photos
Flying Dutchman Tim Visser's try double was not enough for Edinburgh to claim a RaboDirect PRO12 derby victory as Ruaridh Jackson's late touchdown earned Glasgow Warriors a dramatic 23-23 draw at Murrayfield.
It was a contest which had all the intensity expected from a local derby, with places in Scotland's RBS 6 Nations Championship squad also up for grabs.
Visser turned the game in Edinburgh's favour with two tries in three minutes early in the second half, while Ross Rennie also crossed the whitewash and Greig Laidlaw kicked eight points for the hosts.
But Warriors replacement Jackson claimed Glasgow's third try three minutes from time to level the scores. Jackson was denied further heroics as he missed the subsequent conversion and a last-minute penalty in blustery winds, but the Warriors' unbeaten league run was extended to seven matches. Alastair Kellock and Colin Shaw also scored tries for Glasgow, with Duncan Weir kicking eight points.
Scotland head coach Andy Robinson will have been heartened by what he saw, the only real negative when Rory Lamont was taken off on a stretcher and on to hospital for precautionary tests following an awkward landing in the first half.
Among the 13,240 spectators inside Murrayfield were the Scotland coaching team, led by Robinson, who is thinking ahead to the Calcutta Cup showdown with England on February 4.
The selections themselves would have made for interesting reading for Robinson, with Laidlaw named at fly-half opposite Weir, rather than Jackson, who began the most recent international but was named as substitute for the Warriors.
There were numerous other intriguing match-ups across the field - Mike Blair versus Chris Cusiter at scrum-half and Rennie and John Barclay and openside flanker to name two.
Edinburgh's Rennie made the strongest first impression in his personal duel with Barclay, collecting Netani Talei's short pass to crash over for a third-minute try which Laidlaw converted.
Glasgow's fortunes suffered again when hooker Pat McArthur was shown a yellow card for obstructing James King as he attempted to collect his own chip and Laidlaw's penalty extended the hosts' lead.
Weir replied with a penalty after Geoff Cross transgressed at a ruck before Laidlaw missed a kick at goal.
McArthur returned without Glasgow unduly suffering in his absence. His first act on his return was to throw in at a five-metre lineout, which Kellock collected before, a few phases later, barging over on the blindside after 28 minutes. Weir converted to level.
Robinson will have been disappointed to see Glasgow No.8 Johnnie Beattie replaced after 32 minutes as he continues to struggle with injury and to recover the form which made him one of the most revered back-row forwards in the northern hemisphere in 2010. Lamont soon followed after colliding with Rennie in mid-air while challenging for Blair's high kick.
Laidlaw and Weir exchanged penalties early in the second half before Visser's first score. The wing scampered over in the left corner after the ball spilled out of a scrum and Talei picked up.
Visser had more to do for his second score, but evaded David Lemi's last-ditch tackle to touch down. lasgow then turned to Jackson, who grubber-kicked through for Shaw to score after 62 minutes.
Jackson missed the conversion to leave the Warriors five points adrift but the visitors' persistence paid off. Glasgow rumbled forward through their pack and Lee Jones failed to catch Cusiter's high kick into the swirling wind inside the goal area, with Jackson pouncing to score.
The conversion was missed, but Jackson was granted another chance to kick the winning points when Edinburgh were caught offside. However, his penalty into the wind fell short and the match was drawn.
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