Edinburgh take second win in Europe to top their group


In spite of their best efforts in the second half, Edinburgh managed to hold on to, and extend a little bit, their first half lead to beat their second French opponents in two weeks. Coming off the back of an unexpected away win in Bordeaux, the hosts were looking to put some points into, not quite so fancied, Lyon, but the French side dominated the second half and came close to winning the match.

An early penalty from Tom Heathcote gave the Edinburgh side a 3-0 lead inside the first couple of minutes. Quickly regaining possession from the restart, lineout ball from Grant Gilchrist went through a couple of recycles and came out in the hands of Tim Visser, the winger foraging up the centre of the field for a change. He passed the ball on to Phil Burleigh and he exploited the slow reaction of the French defence to find a hole and attack the line. His run drew in the defence, but left both Greig Tonks and EdinReport-EdinvLOU-2Jack Cuthbert in the clear. Choosing Cuthbert on the outside of the pair, he hit his man and gave the winger a clear, Tonks encouraged, run in to touch down for the try. Heathcote scored the conversion – on his way to a personal tally of 20 points on the night – to give Edinburgh a 10-0 lead with six minutes on the clock. That was stretched to 13-0 following a scrum penalty in the eleventh minute.

However, Lyon were gradually working their way into the game and piled the pressure on the Edinburgh defence. The pressure was, unfortunately, converted into injury as the hosts lost five players to injury before the 20 minute mark. Phil Burleigh and Grant Gilchrist to, relatively, minor injuries, and Sam Beard to a head knock. But more worrying, Hamish Watson left the field with a broken jaw and Roddy Grant suffered a broken cheek bone. Playing-wise, a raft of penalties gave the visitors the upper hand and they worked up to the Edinburgh line. A seventeenth minute line out on the five metre line was developed into a rolling maul and rolled the Edinburgh defence back and over for the try. No. 8 Masi Matadigo came up with the ball and Lyon were on the scoreboard. Jerome Porical scored with the kick to bring about a 13-7 score line.

Scoring in the second quarter was ‘restricted’ to a further three penalties from Heathcote following a multiplicity of penalties, taking his personal score to 17 and the half time score to 22-7.

The second half was an all too familiar one to Edinburgh fans with the home side seemingly bent on losing their decent lead when Porical scored an early kick to bring the score to 22-10. EdinReport-EdinvLOU-3

Edinburgh had a bit of possession with David Denton bashing away good style, but not much progress was made, the only (half) chance coming when Heathcote put Visser through with a grubber, but the Dutchman had so long to think that he choose the wrong option and fumbled the pickup.

Lyon, on the other hand, were gradually becoming more dominant and put the Edinburgh line under considerable pressure, but errors and penalties prevented them from scoring further. Until, that is, the 59th minute. Another powerful rolling maul from deep in the host 22 repeated the result of the first half score, this time Joseph Tison touching down, and then Porical followed up with another successful kick to make it a five-point game at 22-17.

The final quarter of the game was a bit of a nail-biter, but on the stroke of the final whistle, Lyon infringed at a lineout in their 22 and gave Heathcote the opportunity to put the game out of reach – both with the points and running the clock down to zero. Over went the kick from the Man-of-the-Match and up went the BT Murrayfield cheers as Edinburgh took their second European win 25-17 in as many weeks, and the lead in Pool 4.

Images from the match will appear here over the next few days.



  1. Unfortunately, Grant Gilchrist’s ‘relatively minor injury’ turned out to be a broken forearm. So that’ll be him out of the Scotland squad then. Pity as he was to be captain.

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