Edinburgh claim historic win in Toulon to close on last-eight spot

Blair Kinghorn scored the second of Edinburgh’s three tries
Champions Cup:
Toulon (12) 17
Tries: Guirado, Lakafia, Savea Con: Belleau
Edinburgh (8) 28
Tries: Graham, Kinghorn, Johnstone Cons: Van der Walt 2 Pens: Van der Walt 3

Edinburgh moved to within touching distance of a place in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals with a historic victory in Toulon.

Richard Cockerill’s side became only the third team to win at the Stade Mayol in European competition.

Tries from Guilhem Guirado and Facundo Isa gave the hosts a 12-8 lead, Darcy Graham replying with a fine finish.

But tries from Blair Kinghorn and James Johnstone put Edinburgh clear and they held out despite Julian Savea’s score.

This was a sixth successive win for the capital side, surpassing their previous best run under Cockerill.

They are now three points ahead of Montpellier, who thrashed Newcastle 45-8 earlier, at the top of Pool Five, with Vern Cotter’s side heading to Murrayfield next Friday to determine who tops the group.

Even defeat for Edinburgh may be enough to see them through as one of three best runners-up.

Cockerill said earlier this week that victory at his old stomping ground, where he coached for half a season before joining Edinburgh, would be their “biggest achievement” to date.

They are not mathematically in the last eight yet, but depending on the outcome of the rest of this weekend’s matches, they may only need a losing bonus point.

Given their form in recent weeks though, and an unbeaten home record this season, they will fancy their chances of beating Montpellier and securing a home quarter-final.

This was far from a complete performance, and their victory illustrated just how far Toulon have fallen from the heights of their three successive triumphs in the competition from 2013-15.

More to follow.

Toulon: Smaili; Pietersen, Bastareaud, Trinh-Duc, Savea; Belleau, Webb; Gros, Guirado, Setiano, Kruger, Taofifenua, Mbarga, Isa, Lakafia.

Replacements: Etrillard, Chiocci, M Van der Merwe (for Setiano, 52), Monribot, Carbonel (for Smaili, 52), Zeghdar (for Pietersen, 41), Cottin, Gorgodze (for Taofifenua, 56).

Edinburgh: Kinghorn; Graham, Johnstone, Dean, Van der Merwe; Van der Walt, Pyrgos; Schoeman, McInally (capt), Nel, Toolis, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Watson, Mata.

Replacements: Cherry, Dell, Berghan, McKenzie (for Toolis, 67), Crosbie (for Ritchie, 67), Fowles, Hickey, Socino.

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