Laney seals famous Edinburgh victory

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The Independent Online

Edinburgh pulled off one of the biggest shocks in Heineken Cup history by beating champions Toulouse 23-16 at Meadowbank yesterday, but they endured a fraught final few moments before clinching victory.

A late penalty from Jean-Baptiste Elissalde left the home side clinging to a two-point lead in the fourth minute of stoppage time before Chris Paterson raced the length of the Toulouse half. He then linked brilliantly with Brendan Laney, who galloped over to apply the killer touch. The try count of 3-1 was no more than Edinburgh deserved.

Toulouse had opened up a six-point lead with penalties by Elissalde and Benoit Baby. But identical scores by Laney and Paterson levelled it. The Frenchmen struck just before the interval when stand-off Frederik Michalak set up Yannick Jauzion to score. Elissalde added a tricky conversion.

Edinburgh's response was stirring, running a penalty in the shadow of the posts. Their boldness paid off as Scotland lock Nathan Hines was powered over by his second-row mate, Scott Murray. Moments later, after further efforts by Laney and Paterson, Murray was helped over by captain Todd Blackadder.

But Elissalde kicked another penalty to lay the platform for a tense finale, before Paterson and Laney sealed it.

A second-string Harlequins side were given a scare by Spanish minnows Dulciora El Salvador in the first leg of their Parker Pen Challenge Cup tie yesterday.

Harlequins led 19-3 at half-time after two tries from Ceri Jones, but the Spaniards hit back with a penalty try and a try from Jose Revilla to narrow the score to 19-18 midway through the second half.

Tries from two replacements, Chris Bell and Tani Fuga, eased the pressure and gave the visitors a 31-18 win.

London Irish fly-half Mark Mapletoft kicked 16 points but could not prevent his side falling 30-26 at Montauban.

Mapletoft converted a try in each half from Justin Bishop and Kieron Dawson, but home fly-half Sebastien Faugue was the star of the day, scoring two tries and kicking eight points.

Connacht's veteran fly-half Eric Elwood kicked six penalties against Beziers to secure a valuable 18-10 away win.

In the final match yesterday, Pau, of France, sneaked past Rugby Parma 33-28.

On Saturday, Newcastle hammered Valladolid 71-10 and Bath were even more emphatic winners, beating L'Aquila 75-11. Saracens completed a hat-trick of English away-day success with their 45-13 triumph against Roma.

* David Mackay, the chairman of the Scottish Rugby Union's executive board, has admitted that the SRU could move from Murrayfield to clear a debt of £18.5m.

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