Lyon vs Edinburgh Rugby, Sat, 17/01/2015 - 19:45

It was a fast-paced see-saw-scoring and at times scrappy affair in Lyon this evening as Edinburgh couldn't keep the momentum of wins going, and went down 21-19 to a home side who pounced on their slip-ups.

Head coach Alan Solomons said: "We were not on our game tonight. We'd had two massive games - against Glasgow and Connacht - and  two back to back away games and it showed tonight."

Edinburgh dictated the pace and forced errors from the whistle, ensuring Sam Hidalgo-Clyne was the first to put points on the board through a medium range penalty. This was swiftly followed by a great run, started by a lengthy kick from Jack Cuthbert, which ended up in the hands of Tim Visser who stepped on the gas to cross in the corner, after nine minutes. The distance and angle thwarted Hidalgo-Clyne's conversion attempt.

Advantage went back and forth with no let-up in pace, each trying to force errors while making ground, but it was the home side who took the next points, an infringement at the breakdown seeing the arrival of the LOU 4x4 radio-controlled car with the kicking tee and Lachie Munro nailing the attempt on 20m.

It was more turnover ball, high kicks, nervy collects, breaks and tackles until another loose ball, near the Edinburgh line, was scooped up and carried over - into the opposite top corner - by Dougie Fife. The lengthy conversion opportunity just pulled wide, making it 13-3 after 26m.

Scott and Burleigh combined to good effect again and again but Edinburgh were warned repeatedly about their infirngements at the breakdown. Eventually referee Neil Hennessy lost patience and Matt Scott copped the yellow card on behalf of the team, ostensibly for hands in the ruck.

His absence told immediately and it wasn't long before the home side made use of the space and Loursac cut a dash for the corner, the score converted by Munro on half time, 13-10.

Edinburgh needed a big second half to seal victory but it turned into a scrappy affair, Edinburgh conceding territory and possession and making too many fumbles, turnovers and missed opportunities, the lead changing hands three times.

The remainder of Scott's yellow card, on the other side of the break, passed without conceding further points and Hidalgo-Clyne edged Edinburgh further ahead with a penalty from distance on 50m.

Then Edinburgh lost their way mid-way through the second half as Cuthbert slipped a high ball and the home side pushed ahead.  Edinburgh failed to clear the danger and Damien Fitzpatrick surged over the line.

As the clock ticked towards 70m, Edinburgh looked to have sealed their place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals, however, when Hidalgo-Clyne nailed his third penalty, to put the visitors 19-18 ahead.

Five minutes later, however, and with the finish line in sight, Lyon hovered around the goal line area and Fabrice Estabenez took aim and fired the ball over the bar for a drop goal. In a frantic final few minutes Edinburgh had ball and threatened to score but full-time fell and the score remained 19-21 in favour of the home side.

Though still leading the table, and salvaging a bonus point, Edinburgh must now beat Bordeaux at home next Friday to nail their place in the quarter finals.

Team lineups

Lyon
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15 Romain Loursac
14 Paul Bonnefond
13 Waisele Sukanaveita
12 Fabrice Estebanez
11 Thibaut Regard
10 Lachie Munro
9 Ricky Januarie

Backs

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Forwards

1 Bogdan Balan
2 Damien Fitzpatrick
3 Horace Pungea
4 Mickael De Marco
5 Simon Njewel
6 Steevy Cerqueira
7 Karim Ghezal
8 Sakiusa Matadigo

Substitutes

16 Vincent Colliat
17 Sami Mavinga
18 Anthony Roux
19 Frans Viljoen
20 Eugene Nzi
21 Mathieu Loree
22 Didier Tison
23 Jerome Porical

Substitutes

Attendance: 
10 935