Edinburgh turn attention to Glasgow ‘cup final’ after Challenge Cup exit

Both Scottish clubs took their leave of Europe over the weekend, undone in the final minutes of matches they could and perhaps should have won.

Edinburgh's Adam McBurney is tackled by Wasps' Dan Robson during the Challenge Cup quarter-final at DAM Health Stadium. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

For Edinburgh, it was even more agonising. A 74th-minute penalty from Emiliano Boffelli had them 30-27 in front until Alfie Barbeary’s late converted try turned the tie in Wasps’ favour 34-30.

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Having impressed in seeing off Newcastle and Bath respectively in the Challenge Cup last 16, the quarter-finals proved a step too far for our pro teams, with hopes of an all-Scottish semi-final consigned to the dustbin.

Adam McBurney, the Edinburgh hooker, dismissed suggestions that his side had been outpowered but Wasps punished their hosts in the scrum in the first half and held the upper hand at the breakdown, forcing Edinburgh into conceding a slew of penalties.

“I wouldn’t say we were outpowered at all,” said McBurney. “We gave everything we had as a group and we pride ourselves on our physicality.

“There were a couple of moments which we let by us - that’s rugby. But as a group we need to learn from those and be a bit more clinical. In terms of being outpowered I didn’t see that at all.”

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Edinburgh's Adam McBurney (hidden) goes over for a first half try against Wasps. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Edinburgh and Glasgow now have a free weekend before they face each other in the mother of all derbies at BT Murrayfield on May 21.

It’s the final match of the regular United Rugby Championship season and, with both teams having already guaranteed their play-off places, this will determine final standings and who they will meet in the last eight. The losers will go to Dublin to play Leinster while the winners will face an away tie in Ireland or South Africa, opponents to be confirmed.

More importantly, the victors will claim the Scottish-Italian Shield which secures a place in next season’s Heineken Champions Cup.

The inter-city clash also doubles up as the second leg of the 1872 Cup, with holders Glasgow going into the decider with a 30-17 lead from the first leg.

McBurney said Edinburgh will treat it like a cup final as they look to reinvigorate a campaign which has been in the most part thrilling but is in danger of fizzling out.

“We said with knockout rugby it doesn't matter what you put out on the pitch it is all about getting the win on the pitch and we came up short on Saturday,” said the hooker.

“Unfortunately, the Challenge Cup is now out of our reach so we move onto the URC and with that Glasgow game try and push up the table. We see that as a final in itself and we want to go out on a high at the end of the season.”

An exciting match played in front of a noisy crowd at the DAM Health stadium swung back and forth with Wasps edging the try count four to three thanks to scores from Jimmy Gopperth, Bi Alo, Tom West and Barbeary. The ageless Gopperth kicked all four conversions and added a couple of penalties.

Edinburgh countered with a superb opening try from Ben Vellacott, and McBurney and Magnus Bradbury also weighed in with scores. Boffelli added 15 points with the boot.

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