RC Toulon V Edinburgh
Edinburgh became only the third team to win a European match at the Stade Mayol after a second-half comeback from the capital side secured a historic result against French powerhouse RC Toulon.
Trailing 12-8 at the break, Edinburgh rallied to score 20 second-half points, with Blair Kinghorn and James Johnstone providing the tries which put Toulon to the sword.
Despite conceding a try in the opening minutes, the capital side were more than a match for the Stade Mayol outfit and with some enthralling rugby played throughout the 80 minutes, there was plenty on show to keep the vocal travelling support happy.
Speaking following the match, Head Coach Richard Cockerill was left proud of his side’s performance, but was adamant that he wanted the capital outfit to back it up against Montpellier next week.
“I was really proud of the boys out there tonight. We’ve made a little bit of history and hopefully the travelling support will go in to work on Monday delighted with how we performed,” said Cockerill.
“We haven’t won quite yet – I want to win next week. I want to have a home quarter final, because we have given ourselves the opportunity to do that so hopefully we’ll have a big crowd at BT Murrayfield when we play next Friday.
“We’ll enjoy tonight, enjoy the feeling of satisfaction of winning here, but we’ve still got a lot to do and we’ve just got to keep improving.
“We have our plan, we’ll stick to it, we’ve got a good work ethic and we’ll stick to what we do. We’ll enjoy it for 24 hours but we’ll be back in on Monday morning.”
With Montpelier securing a bonus-point win over Newcastle Falcons only hours before kick-off, Edinburgh went in to this evening’s match in second-place in Pool 5 – one point behind the French side.
However, with an impressive three-try victory, the capital side propelled themselves back to the top of the conference, with a winner takes all clash against Montpellier at BT Murrayfield next Friday night.
“We’ve got Montpellier on Friday – look at the players they have, they’re coming to our home patch and we want to win and we will do everything we can to do that,” added Cockerill.
“Montpellier are very big, they’re very physical, we know that we’ve got to play good rugby and move the ball because their forwards are so big, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. We have a young team, we have a new team and we’re just working as hard as we can and trying our best to be as good as we can be.”
With their tails up folllwing Blair Kinghorn’s try to start the second-half, Edinburgh scored what could well be a contender for try of the season.
Breaking from his own half, Kinghorn fed Mata, who showcased his 7’s ability with a barnstorming run deep into Toulon territory. And with plenty of defenders surround him, the Fijian demonstrated tremendous flair to offload to the support Johnstone, who gathered expertly for the end-to-end score.
“Bill Mata is a very good player,” explained Cockerill. “He is very good with this team because we have a good balance to help him play – he’s a big player for us. But we’re a team that’s about everybody, about the unity of the team.
“Viliame is very important along with everybody else and he’ll be with us for a long time to come.”
“We are a small team, a small club but it just shows if you work hard you can do good things.
“I have a lot of respect for Toulon and Mayol, for me to come here and to win is very special for me. I have a lot of respect for the team and I wish them the very best for the rest of the season.”