Edinburgh 40 - 14 RC Toulon
Edinburgh ran in four tries, scoring 40 points in the process to record a famous Heineken Champions Cup win over three-times European Champions, RC Toulon, at BT Murrayfield this afternoon.
It was a result that will live long in the memories of those in attendance as Edinburgh outplayed the French powerhouse across the park to secure a bonus-point victory - lifting the capital side momentarily to the top of Pool 5.
Leading 26-7 at the break following first-half tries from Henry Pyrgos and Ben Toolis, Edinburgh were in the driving seat from the get-go. And although the capital side only secured the bonus point through Chris Dean with five minutes remaining, there was never any doubt as Richard Cockerill’s side thoroughly deserved the five points achieved.
Speaking following the encounter, Head Coach Richard Cockerill was left feeling proud of his side’s performance, but was adamant that there is still plenty to build on as Edinburgh return to Guinness PRO14 action next weekend.
“I’m delighted with the win and delighted with the extra point,” explained Cockerill. We’ve spoken all week about this team coming of age and hopefully that’s the start of that.
“I’ve obviously got a lot of respect for Toulon and what they’re trying to do and we’ve obviously still go to play them away so we’re not going to get too excited, but as a club, and what we’re trying to achieve, it’s a brilliant result.”
Edinburgh shot out to an early 10-point lead through a penalty from Jaco van der Walt – who on the day was perfect from the tee – and a close-range try from Ben Toolis. However, it could have been more had the capital side been more clinical.
“We created a lot of opportunities, but we didn’t take our chances early on and your hoping that it doesn’t come back to haunt you,” said Cockerill.
“But, across the board we played really well. The internationalists in the team played outstandingly well. I still think it will be hard for us to qualify from this group, but we’ll continue to work hard and see where we get to.”
After a brilliant crafted team try from Henry Pyrgos further extended Edinburgh’s lead heading into the break, Edinburgh picked up where they had left off and soon added their third try of the afternoon through captain Stuart McInally.
The hooker was one of a number of standouts from Edinburgh’s pack, which included Fijian international Bill Mata. The number eight was once again named Heineken Man of the Match – an accolade which Cockerill felt was fully deserved.
“He’s [Bill] a really good payer but what makes his special is the guys around him. There’s a lot of guys clearing rucks and making tackles that Bill doesn’t make. But we try to get him on the ball as much as possible and there’s a really good balance in that back-row.”
Although Toulon dominated much of the latter stages of the second-half, and managed to pull one back through Daniel Ikpefan, Edinburgh continued to fight. And when defensive pressure handed Dean the all-important fourth try on 75 minutes, the capital side could rest easy with the richly deserved bonus-point in the bag.
“We were the better team out there today and we’ve got to be proud of that and build on that. It’s alright having one off results against teams like Toulon, but I think we’ve proved in the last few weeks that we can compete against top European teams.