Monday, January 25, 2010
Edinburgh beat Stade Francais 9-7 in a low scoring affair at a soaked Murrayfield Stadium on the weekend, but despite the loss, the French side progressed to the Heineken Cup quarter finals thanks to the losing bonus point they picked up.
It was a tight match that was perhaps played in honour of Bill McClaren, who passed away last week. A minutes applause paid tribute to the great man before kick off, while Edinburgh did the same with the way they played.
The only try of the game was scored by Stade Francais lock Pascal Pape, but Chris Paterson of Edinburgh gave his side the morale boosting win with three successful penalty kicks.
With his first kick, Paterson became Edinburghs highest points scorer in Heineken Cup history, eclipsing the previous record held by Duncan Hodge.
Scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw was named Man of the Match afterwards for his efforts in playing an expansive brand of rugby as he darted around the pitch. Wing Jim Thompson, grandson of the late Bill McClaren, was another impressive back as he made a number of telling runs.
Flyhalf Phil Godman missed a last minute penalty attempt that would have stretched the lead to a slightly more respectable margin, but it was not to be and made no difference to the outcome as Edinburgh held on to end their European campaign on a high note.
There was a bit of a worry for Stade Francais and England flanker James Haskell as he limped off with an apparent leg injury. He seems to be confident that hes alright though.
"I twisted my knee going for a ball. It's a bit sore but the Stade doctor has had a look and doesn't seem worried. I'll be OK to join up with England. I can put weight on it but I'll have to be assessed by the medics when I join up with England and hopefully it's not too serious," he said.