Edinburgh beat Exiles to book home quarter-final

Edinburgh went to the top of their pool when they beat London Irish 34-11 with a bonus point to secure a home Heineken Cup Quarter-final against Toulouse at Murrayfield.


Edinburgh became only the second Scottish club to reach the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup and not only make the last eight but also top Pool Two having claimed a bonus point.


Edinburgh’s feat matched that of their predecessors eight years ago and earned them a home tie in April against four-time winners Toulouse.


Edinburgh had gone behind to an early penalty but hit back in style with a try from their classy Dutch-born wing Tim Visser which was converted by Greg Laidlaw who added two penalties.


Edinburgh looked to have wrapped up their place in the last eight when Jim Thompson – who had replaced the injured Chris Paterson in the starting line-up – scored their second try in the 36th minute which Laidlaw converted for a 20-6 half-time lead.


London Irish showed a bit more bite in the second-half and Jonathan Joseph scored a superb individual try to cast some doubt into the minds of the hosts.


However, they set aside any possibility of throwing away their place in the last eight when man of the match Fijian Netani Talei touched down for their third try and then Lee Jones added a fourth to get them a bonus point.


“We’re group winners which is fantastic and is a huge step forward for Edinburgh and a talented group of players,” said Edinburgh’s coach Michael Bradley.


“We talked about our goals at the beginning of the season and they have really gone for them with some fantastic performances here in Edinburgh. Toulouse in the quarters? We will be ready for them,” added the former Irish international scrum-half.


Final Score Edinburgh 34 (20) London Irish 11 (6)


Scorers


Edinburgh
Tries: Visser, Thompson, Talei, Jones
Penalties: Laidlaw 2
Conversions: Laidlaw 4


London Irish
Tries: Joseph
Penalties: Jarvis 2


Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)


Teams


Edinburgh Rugby: C Paterson; L Jones, N De Luca, M Scott, T Visser; G Laidlaw [capt], M Blair; A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Cross, G Gilchrist, S Cox, D Denton, R Grant, N Talei


Replacements: A Walker, K Traynor, J Gilding, E Lozada, S McInally, P Godman, J Houston, T Brown


London Irish: D Armitage; T Ojo, J Spratt, S Hape, A Thompstone; A Jarvis, P Hodgson; A Corbisiero, J Buckland, L Halavatau, J Sandford, B Casey [capt], M Garvey, D Sisi, A Gray


Replacements: B Blaney, M Lahiff, F Rautenbach, N Kennedy, B Evans, J Joseph, S Shingler, R Samson

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