Grenoble vs Edinburgh Rugby, Sat, 23/01/2016 - 19:45

It was heartbreak of their own making from Edinburgh this evening as, with five minutes to go the capital club looked comfortably in the Challenge Cup play-offs until a late brace from Grenoble’s Aplon saw them lose not only the match but also leave without the bonus point. Thus London Irish, on the same points but having a better head to head score, went through.

An undue amount of dry ice welcomed the teams on to the field and it had barely cleared before Scott was the architect of a run for the line, starting deep in Edinburgh’s half, which saw Hardie cross, at the back of a rolling maul, after  five minutes, the score converted by Hidalgo-Clyne.

The restart saw Bresler felled in the first phases of play, a dunt seeing him subsequently leave the field after eight minutes to be replaced by Alex Toolis, double-locking with his twin. In a twist of symmetry, Bresler had also had to leave the field under similar circumstances during Edinburgh last French foray, in Agen.

The half continued at pace, both sides penalised for errors at the breakdown in addition to some handling misdemeanours. A knock-on by Edinburgh in front of the posts saw Grenoble put their first points on the board, after 15 minutes through a Wisniewski penalty swiftly followed by another three minutes later.

7-6 illuminated high above the stadium for another 15 minutes before. Sustained pressure around their 10m, pick and goes and a rolling maul forced another error from the home side and Hidalgo-Clyne duly slotted the penalty.

After similar forays at either end of the pitch it was Grenoble who scored next, Heguy claiming the five points and Wisniewski again adding the extras.

Barely two minutes later Will Helu picked the ball out of the air, thanks to a high ball from Wisniewski, and legged it down the middle of the pitch to cross, Hidalgo-Clyne putting the conversion over to make it 17-13 to Edinburgh at half time.    

Errors creeping in and the overall vibe becoming more manic, Edinburgh and Grenoble traded penalties to make it 23-19 to us with ten minutes to go.

A high ball, which looked like it may have started life as a drop goal, was duly collected by Aplon by the posts to push Grenoble ahead 26-23 into the closing minutes.

With two minutes to go Edinburgh gave away another penalty - at 23-29 the losing bonus point was still ours, however.

Then heartbreak in the final minute as a slipped tackle saw Aplon run in another score and Edinburgh run out of the competition.

Although Edinburgh ended the pool stages on 17 points alongside London Irish, their superior point difference in our matches meant they claimed the quarter-final place.

Team lineups

Grenoble
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15 Gio Aplon
14 Xavier Mignot
13 Chris Farrell
12 Nigel Hunt
11 Daniel Kilioni
10 Jonathan Wisniewski
9 Charl McLeod

Forwards

1 Fabien Barcella
2 Arnaud Heguy
3 Dayna Edwards
4 Ben Hand
5 Peter Kimlin
6 Henry Vanderglas
7 Mahamadou Diaby
8 Rory Grice

Substitutes

16 Loick Jammes
17 Sona Taumalolo
18 Rossouw de Klerk
19 James Percival
20 Fabien Alexandre
21 Christophe Loustalot
22 Gilles Bosch
23 Fabien Gengenbacher
Man of the match: 
Rory Grice

European Rugby Challenge Cup 2015/16 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Grenoble651022
2London Irish633017
3Edinburgh Rugby642017
4Agen60602