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Recap from Highlanders' historic win

Monday, April 09, 2012

Edinburgh Rugby upset Toulouse in Heinenken Cup Quarter Final

Edinburgh knocked four times champions Toulouse out of the Heineken Cup in their Quarter Final meeting at a vocal Murrayfield on Saturday. The 19-14 win sets them up to play Ulster next, a first ever semi final for a Scottish side in European Rugby.

The home side couldn't have started better as they scored through scrumhalf Mike Blair within ninety seconds of kickoff. Flyhalf Greig Laidlaw kept things ticking over with the boot but they were later reduced to thirteen men when both Alan Jacobson and Ross Rennie were yellow carded.

Fijian flyer Timoci Matanavou scored an incredible try during that period, but Toulouse Hooker William Servat later received a card of his own, and Edinburgh hung on for a historic win over the giants fo French rugby. "We are absolutely over the moon,"  said Man of the Match, Laidlaw.

"The players put in a great shift out there. We struggled in the first half with 13 men but we managed to stay in the game and I think that won us the game."

Despite being sin-binned for a synical offence, prop Jacobson was ecstatic come the final whistle, citing the great atmosphere and strong attendance as a huge motivating factor for his team. 

"It doesn’t get any better than this! It is impossible to accurately measure the effect the fans had on the contest – but it sure was massive. I told the guys in the dressing room beforehand that it was our big opportunity to make history and the supporters helped us do just that.

"The crowd were unreal, both in terms of numbers and the noise they made. We had some great crowds and great games in the past but this was another level altogether. It was like an international. In fact the noise was even louder – amazing," he added.

Toulouse attempted a late fightback, but with time almost up the home side were awarded another penalty, which sealed the victory. "I asked the ref if I could stand for a minute and kick it into touch, but he said ‘no’ so I decided to go for the post," explained Laidlaw.

"I still thought about blasting it left and dead, but they are huge dead-ball areas at Murrayfield, and I might not have made it, so I said ‘I’m going for it’ and fortunately for me it sailed through."

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:16 am | View Comments (28)

Viewing 28 comments

FatProp April 09, 2012 2:51 pm

What a great performance ! 13 men and to only concede a try which most sides with 15 men can't defend against is admirable. Also Denton Blair and Laidlaw all made cases for a lions tour. And with Visser scotland will have one of the best NH wingers at the moment. Possible Lions tour ?

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rugby08 April 09, 2012 6:20 pm

Laidlaw will not be selected for the Lions, he simply isn't good enough

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Tavish April 10, 2012 12:54 am

I agree that he'll most likely never be selected for a Lions tour but on the grounds that he's not big enough and his kicking from hand isn't powerful enough.

To say he simply isn't good enough is just total rubbish. Other than his size and range of kicking, he certainly is good enough. He's one of the most intelligent players I've seen in a long time. A great rugby brain and has bags of skill.

Not to mention he was playing out of position - he's made only 16-17 starts at 10, which is nothing for a professional standoff!

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rugby08 April 10, 2012 7:21 am

His passing game is also mediocre and he doesn't threaten the gain line with ball in hand at all. He may be a smart/intelligent player but he doesn't have the skills required i'm afraid

Now if he was playing SH then he could be in contention

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brecor April 11, 2012 3:31 am

Laidlaw is probably up there with the best when it comes to technique and skill, but the reason he will not be selected for the Lions is not because he is not big enough(?), or whether his kicking from hand isn't powerful enough(?), or his passing. It is because he's one of the poorest tacklers.

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Lanky2ndrow April 09, 2012 3:22 pm

Absolutely superb result. Let's see how they get on against Munster before we start picking out lions caps.

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Colombes April 09, 2012 3:43 pm

Boring game but a Great perf from Edinburgh.
You always need a massive effort to beat Toulouse and they achieved, maybe not the perfect match, but a very intelligent display

I didn't know very much about this team, but some guys like Rennie, Denton, Laidlaw just show that they can be match-winners. i don't really care about the possible lions casting, more concerned about the return of scotland at top-level. the 6N would be reinforced with a new solid scottish team. furthermore, the team was very mature at crucial moments of the match, particularly during rennie and jacobsen sinbins.
Their constest vs Ulster can be astonishing

On Toulouse, there's a lot to say. It wasn't their best day for sure. Reasons are multiple: For me, there was a lack of creativity and attack logic. Beauxis is not the good 10 for this club, too slow and too previsible; but unfortunately for toulouse mc allister is injured, such like clerc, medard, millo-chluski and others.
Fact is Toulouse players play too much and are far more tired than edinburgh is certain, but should not be an excuse.
clermont had the chance to have less injuries, but were very coherent vs sarries

i don't worry for toulouse, they'll be even more motivated for 2013, but a new 10 and a reinvented top14 calendar should be welcome

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moddeur April 09, 2012 5:44 pm

Toulouse lost because:
- its lineouts were crap
- its normally outstanding scrum was often penalized by Nigel
- its flyhalf was dull and unimaginative
- its fullback was a makeshift 15 (ie. Jauzion, who has played 99% of his life at first center)
- at 15 vs 13, the team didn't hammer its opponents (btw, the Rennie card was ok by my standars, but the Jacobsen one was ridiculous and undeserved)

Edinburgh won because:
- they held on to the ball
- their flankers are astonishing
- Laidlaw is a cunning marvel of a guy
- a few lucky bounces (which in my book always go, on the day, to the most deserving team)

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mise April 09, 2012 6:16 pm

nice to see the small guys come through in this one.

And very nice to see an actual crown at Murrayfield. usually, when there's a club match on there its like a neutron bomb has gone off.

What odds was there on Edinburgh vs Ulster for the semis?!?

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LND April 09, 2012 9:19 pm

Probably long enough odds but not completely unexpected, would have been a good punt! In fairness, most people expected Ulster to sneak through (most apart from Munster fans).

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brecor April 11, 2012 3:37 am

Most expected Ulster to win? Not including bookies, punters, and mainly the general rugby population given that Munster were the only team with 100% record and were at home, where they only lost once before in the HC. But well done Ulster and well deserved. Now go on and win it!

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LND April 11, 2012 10:44 pm

nah, just you! Munster sneaking through poorly in the easiest group. Ulster beating Clermont and coming through above Leicester.

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brecor April 11, 2012 11:13 pm

By 'sneaking through poorly', do you mean winning every game and finishing 10 points ahead of second place?...or did you not know that?

By 'easiest group' do you mean the group that was labeled by that God-awful term 'the group of death', with Northampton(in contention for the English Premiership), Castres(in contention for the Top 14), and Scarlets(the team who finished 2nd)?...or did you not know that either!?

It's not really a good idea to show a lack of humility, as the only reason Ulster got out of their group was because of Leicester's awful start to their domestic season...

...or did you not know that!

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LND April 13, 2012 12:03 am

wow yeah you've got something there. Northampton in contention for the ferocious English premiership with it's zero tolerance for skill levels. Castres limping into the very bottom end of play off places - if they even get one, almost 19 points behind second place is quite formidable, or did you not know that? Not a frightening group in reality.
Munster are rebuilding their squad and not as useful as they were a few years ago, it would have been a surprise to see them in the semis ... OR DID YOU NOT KNOW THAT!

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stroudos April 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Nice one. Well played Edinburgh.

In my humble and amateur opinion, I felt all three yellow cards were a bit harsh. Not saying they're incorrect, just seemed a bit excessive in all three cases.

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Tavish April 10, 2012 1:02 am

I agree with excessive yellows.

Chunk's (Allan Jacobson) infringement for his yellow was more obvious but can someone tell me the reason for Ross Rennie's yellow? It seems very harsh and had no warning. Dangerous tackle? Or was he offside in the ruck? Seemed very excessive.

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cafnc1 April 10, 2012 4:27 pm

If you stop the video you'll see burgess has his hands on the ball and then rennie takes it away. I guess he kind of kicks the ball or slaps it. And you can hear Owens say "let him go" before jacobson tackles matanavou so, it's a yellow aswell. I think it's good that refs yellow this kind of actions. One think is preventing runing fast rugby with your defense and the other is just doing this kind of things to slow it down. it's no good

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paimoe April 10, 2012 2:13 am

I thought Servat was only offside if the ruck was formed, which is half was half wasn't but Owens didn't really say anything about it. Otherwise it'd just be open play.

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littlelondonboy April 11, 2012 10:55 am

I reckon it's a clear ruck, especially to a professional. It was fast ball that Servat wanted to slow down and I'd wager that's also what Nigel Owens though, thus the yellow.

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Jwall April 10, 2012 6:22 am

Did Edinburgh's try not come off a knock on from one of their players? Seemed like it to me.

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Jwall April 10, 2012 6:23 am

The no 6 knocks it on.

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cafnc1 April 10, 2012 4:18 pm

I believe you can't tell if it came from denton's hand or Nyanga's.

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SpencaH April 11, 2012 9:52 am

I was at this game, and it was one of the best atmospheres I've ever experienced at Murrayfield!

Didn't think it was one of Nigels best games by any stretch of the imagination, I mean it didnt look like he was even going to bin Servat until Jacobsen started bating him and the crowd (who were immense) stated booing! Also did anyone spot the shove on Servat by Thierry @3.30 after he had just been penalised? Reminiscent of the one by Lote Tuquiri?

Cracking wknd for the rugby underdogs, I mean who would have predicted Ulster vs Edinburgh as the other semi......

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littlelondonboy April 11, 2012 10:57 am

Yeah I spotted that. Understandable frustration though! Can't imagine either side were feeling particularly level-headed with the number of cards and penalties.

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terminan April 11, 2012 10:02 am

spencaH. I saw dusatoir shove him aswell. great to be in a team where everyones friendly and supportive LOL.

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littlelondonboy April 11, 2012 11:00 am

Matanavou try should have been disallowed, some serious blocking going on @2:05.

Yes probably accidental, but not sure how Owens missed it as he was stood mere metres away.

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Maximus April 12, 2012 9:52 am

Fair play to Edinburgh. It was often boring rugby (kicking high and chasing is not my favourite rugby) but it proved to be the winning option. If I were Novès now, I would spend my week having Matanavou deal with kicks. A brilliant solo try but he was a constant weakness for the team. On his try, I agree there's a blocking but what can the blocking player do? I mean, he moves aside to let his team mate go, he doesn't target an opponent on purpose to make room but he has to get away from Matanavou's race.

As for Edinburgh 1st try, I believe (but I'm biased) there's a knock-on because I can't see how Donguy only touches the ball while he's being impacted in the air and squeezed between Denton and Don'tknowWho. Come on, 2 Edbg players jumping higher than a ST player and not one of them touches the ball? Can't believe it. Especially after all the skills the ST backs showed at dealing with high balls (cynicism).

I didn't find Owens's refereeing outstanding to say the least. Servat's binning summed it up. Servat sort of deserves it (déjà-vu situation that led to a yellow earlier in the match so you can see it coming), Nigel stops the game, ponders the options, gets yelled at (I mean YELLED AT!) by Jacobsen and booed by the crowd, and decides to give what Jacobsen demands warning he's the boss. I mean, give a yellow to Servat and reverse the penalty for rugby's sake! What are you? A soccer ref? I found Nigel far below par.
All these little things (among others) itched me but I'm above all disappointed because Toulouse never deserved to win. Fritz, David and Dusautoir only showed they wanted the match.

Congrats to Edinburgh, they played their game, controlled the match and wanted it (but still could have lost it with a different refereeing).
Can't wait Clermont vs Leinster.

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