Edinburgh Rugby vs Grenoble, Fri, 13/11/2015 - 19:30

After league defeats to Zebre, Connacht and Munster in recent weeks, Edinburgh kicked off this season’s Challenge Cup campaign with a 28-10 win over visitors FC Grenoble at BT Murrayfield tonight.

Whiplashed by the remnants of storm Abigail, weather conditions for most of the game were dire with torrential downpours, swirling wind and plummeting temperatures.

A brisk welcome to his new home ground for debutant flanker John Hardie, but the conditions didn’t spoil his delight at joining the black and red army and gaining the win.

He said: “I just enjoyed it out there, getting out there for the first time with different people.

“They’re a great bunch of boys and I know this team’s going to go a long way. The scrum’s pretty unreal!

“I think we can progress in both PRO12 and the Challenge Cup, there are some good things happening here.”

The surface clearly slippy underfoot and the ball equally elusive in the wet as the visitors kicked off, Edinburgh were awarded the first scrum. After seven minutes of the home side being on the front foot, a driving maul off the scrum powered over the whitewash. Out of the heap of bodies who had crossed the line, it took some minutes for Cornell Du Preez to be named as scorer, long after scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne had just gone wide of the posts with the conversion.

Grenoble made a dash to the line, after picking and going on the restart but they were pulled back for a scrum and Edinburgh were soon back in their 22. Over-enthusiasm at the maul saw the ball go loose and precipitate a period of skittish play with the capital club on the wrong side of a number of penalties.

Just short of the half hour, with the game more evenly balanced, Grenoble flanker Alexandre was penalised for infringements at the breakdown and left the field for the rest of the first half.

Edinburgh were quick to use the man advantage and won the penalty on the back of a huge driving maul. With seven minutes of the first half remaining, Hidalgo-Clyne saw the ball through the uprights and again, a minute short of the break repeated the feat to make it 11-0 at the break.

It was Hidalgo-Clyne who claimed the first points of the second half, with a penalty four minutes in, then rescued a loose ball, five minutes later, which rolled over the French line.

Penalised during the clearance, the home side had to stand back as Grenoble took their first attempt to put points on the board, a penalty from Hart making it 14-3 after 50 minutes.

Grenoble scrum-half James Hart narrowed the gap at a rain soaked Murrayfield to give his side hope with half-an-hour remaining. But it was that man Hidalgo-Clyne who was on target again to restore his side's 11-point lead with another penalty. The Scottish side finally put the game put of sight after 62 minutes when their dominance up-front came to the fore.

A zippy break from full back Dougie Fife up the west wing looked like setting up winger Helu for the score but the ball just slipped out of grip.

After a concentrated period of pressure, and persistent infringements by the visitors on our 5m, Edinburgh were awarded the penalty try, duly converted by Hidalgo-Clyne.

After receiving a yellow card for persistent infringements, Nemani was shown a yellow card which quickly turned to red as he sought to take issue with the decision. A break by Hoyland looked to set up the next score but the pass saw Scott fumble the ball and Kilioni intercept and run two thirds of the way back down the pitch to score a late try.

The match looked like ending 21-10 until man of the match Cornell Du Preez brought some symmetry to the encounter by finishing the game the way he had started it, bursting over for another score. Stand-off Greig Tonks added the extras a minute before full time and the game ended 28-10.

Team lineups

Edinburgh Rugby



15 Clement Gelin
14 Tino Nemani
13 Chris Farrell
12 Jackson Willison
11 Daniel Kilioni
10 Gilles Bosch
9 James Hart




1 Fabien Barcella
2 Loick Jammes
3 Kevin Goze
4 James Percival
5 Mathias Marie
6 Mahamadou Diaby
7 Fabien Alexandre
8 Dylan Hayes


16 Arnaud Heguy
17 Sona Taumalolo
18 Walter Desmaison
19 Ben Hand
20 Steven Setephano
21 Christophe Loustalot
22 Xavier Mignot
23 Lucas Dupont
Man of the match: 
Cornell Du Preez

European Rugby Challenge Cup 2015/16 table

2London Irish633017
3Edinburgh Rugby642017