The last time Andy Robinson turned up for a big match at Murrayfield his international coaching career appeared to be on a roll. His England side had blitzed their first two games of the 2006 Six Nations and run the All Blacks close at Twickenham. Robinson could hardly have suspected he was about to witness the beginning of the end.
England's 18-12 Calcutta Cup defeat was the start of a seven-game losing streak that culminated in a Twickenham loss to Argentina and ultimately cost Robinson the England job. Back at Murrayfield on Saturday, the former England flanker saw the beginnings of something more promising.
A month into the seemingly thankless task of transforming an Edinburgh side who lost the bulk of their international talent in the summer, the man who masterminded Bath's Heineken Cup win of 1998 came close to claiming the scalp of the competition's most successful club.
The last time Toulouse were in town they lifted the trophy for a third time, beating Stade Français in the 2005 final. On Saturday Guy Noves' team of all the talents squeaked home – thanks to five successful kicks by Jean-Baptiste Elissalde and three misses by David Blair.
Still, there was much to admire from a young Edinburgh side who restricted the visitors to one try (courtesy of Maxime Médard five minutes into the second-half) and whose own slick attacking, orchestrated by the zippy Mike Blair, yielded scores for the inside-centre Nick De Luca (who brilliantly wrong-footed Yannick Jauzion in the 55th minute) and replacement wing John Houston (who cut a razor sharp line through the Toulouse defence with 12 minutes to go.)
"I knew that performance was in us," Robinson said, "but everyone should know that we're not here to come second. We should have won that game. That is the step that we need to make."
The next step on the Heineken Cup road is to Welford Road, Leicester, on Saturday – a chance for Edinburgh's coach to measure up against Marcelo Loffreda, the man who got the better of him at Twickenham 12 months ago.
Edinburgh: Tries De Luca, Houston; Conversion Godman; Penalty D Blair. Toulouse: Try: Médard; Conversion Elissalde; Penalties Elissalde 4.
Edinburgh: H Southwell; A Turnbull, B Cairns, N De Luca, A Maxwell (J Houston, 51); D Blair (P Godman, 65), M Blair (B Meyer, 78); A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Kerr (A Allori, 65), C Hamilton, B Gissing, A Hogg (capt), R Rennie, S Cross (D Callam, 48).
Toulouse: C Poitrenaud; V Clerc, Y Jauzion (capt), M Mermoz, M Médard (M Kunavore, 58); G du Toit (V Courrent, 78), J-B Elissalde; S Perugini (A Vernet-Basualdo, 70), W Servat, Y Montes (J-B Poux, 40), G Lamboley (R Millo-Chluski, 50), P Albacete, Y Nyanga (J Bouilhou, 50; S Sowerby, 54), T Dusautoir, F Maka.
Referee: G Clancy (Ireland).Reuse content