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Jackson can’t finish the job in Warriors draw

Scottish bragging rights will have to be put on hold for another week as Ruaridh Jackson profited from Lee Jones’ mistake to earn Glasgow Warriors a thrilling 23-23 draw with Edinburgh.

 

However the Scotland fly-half, on as a second-half replacement, missed two opportunities to seal a second Warriors win in three years on Murrayfield as he hit the post with his conversion before missing a last-minute penalty.

Two tries in the space of two second-half minutes from deadly wing Tim Visser had given Edinburgh control at 23-13 up but Colin Shaw crossed for the visitors before Jones failed to deal with Chris Cusiter’s Garryowen allowing Jackson to ground the ball on 77 minutes.

It means the 1872 Cup will rest on the outcome of New Year’s Day return fixture at Firhill but the occasion was dampened by a serious-looking injury to new Warriors signing Rory Lamont who had to be stretched off before halftime.  

However Michael Bradley couldn’t have dreamed for a better start for his side when some good work from the back row spearheaded by Netani Talei allowed Ross Rennie to cross for a try after just three minutes.

Greig Laidlaw converted although Glasgow thought they hit back when Samoan Rocket Man David Lemi beat Chris Paterson in a footrace but the TMO chalked his effort off.

Nothing seemed to be going the Warriors’ way when Johnnie Beattie gave away a penalty in a promising position before Pat MacArthur was sent to the sin-bin for a needless obstruction of Edinburgh James King

Laidlaw took full advantage by adding a penalty to give Sean Lineen’s men a mountain to climb at 10-0 down after just 16 minutes.

Yet even when a man down, fly-half Duncan Weir reduced Edinburgh’s lead with a well-struck penalty and with their full complement restored they got back on level terms when lock Al Kellock barged his way over following good work from Troy Nathan.

But just as Glasgow were building momentum before the break, they suffered a blow when Lamont came off worse in a collision with Rennie.

Edinburgh edged back in front when Laidlaw slotted a penalty having missed an earlier attempt but a scrummaging offence allowed Weir to make it 13-13.

But in a flash Glasgow were ten points down and it was because of that man Visser.

Last season’s leading tryscorer had been a peripheral figure until 40 minutes but when the ball came flying out of a scrum he was on hand to apply the finishing touch with the blessing of the TMO.

His try-scoring instincts were again on show moments later when he received a beautiful inside ball from De Luca before shrugging off Lemi’s attempted tackle to put Edinburgh fans in dreamland.

Yet Laidlaw missed both conversions and that wastefulness would immediately prove costly when Jackson put through a perfectly measured grubbed kick for Shaw to touch down. Jackson converted.

The momentum was now all with the visitors and Edinburgh’s defence was breached with two minutes remaining as Jackson profited from Cusiter’s quick thinking and Jones’ misjudgement.

But Jackson missed the chance to make himself a hero as the majority of the 13,240 crowd went home unsatisfied. 

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