Edinburgh end Euro drought
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Edinburgh ended a seven-year drought in Europe, when they secured a home quarterfinal.
The Scottish franchise beat French giants Montpellier 19-10 at Murrayfield Stadium on Friday.
It earned them the right to host one of the four matches in the first round of the play-offs at the end of March.
Possibly not the classic that was expecting, but Edinburgh won’t mind one bit.
The win has not just sealed a home quarterfinal for the first time since 2012, it also clinched Glasgow’s spot in the last eight.
And the result means that Racing 92 and Leinster have also qualified for the quarterfinals.
Edinburgh dominated the early proceedings and took a nine-point lead in the opening half-hour – after a trio of successful penalty kicks from flyhalf Jaco van der Walt, who was flawless from the kicking tee throughout the match.
But Montpellier hit back on the stroke of half-time through Jacques Du Plessis who grabbed a try to make it a two-point game at the interval after Ruan Pienaar added the extras.
At the start of the second half, Montpellier launched a driving maul and won a kickable penalty, allowing Pienaar to put the French side ahead for the first time.
But that was as good as it got for Montpellier, who were penned in for most of the second half – with Van der Walt first kicking a penalty to put Edinburgh two points ahead.
Minutes later Edinburgh had their sole try and it proved to be a crucial one.
It was all created from the forwards who had momentum from the maul that was dragged down by Montpellier.
With the advantage, Henry Pyrgos popped off to Darcy Graham who had time to dive over the try line for the score.
The sideline conversion was booted between the sticks in emphatic fashion by Van der Walt who made it a two-score game, and that is how it stayed after some resolute Edinburgh defence, clinching their spot in the last eight as a result.
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 18, 2019
Con: Van der Walt
Pens: Van der Walt 4
Try: Jacques du Plessis
Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 James Johnstone, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Bill Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 WP Nel, 2 Stuart McInally (c), 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 David Cherry, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Luke Crosbie, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Juan Pablo Socino
Montpellier: 15 Frans Steyn, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Arthur Vincent, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Henry Immelman, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Louis Picamoles (c), 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Jacques du Plessis, 4 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Grégory Fichten
Replacements: 16 Vincent Giudicelli, 17 Usha Tcheisvhili, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Kelian Galletier, 20 Yvan Reilhac, 21 Benoit Paillaugue, 22 Vincent Martin, 23 Paul Willemse
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe (England), Peter Allan (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)