Laidlaw gives French lesson

PIC PHIL WILKINSON.'TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS''HEINEKEN CUP QUARTER FINAL.'EDINBURGH RUBY V STADE TOULOUSAIN.'3PM KICK OFF.''MURRAYFIELD STADIUM EDINBURGH''GREIG LAIDLAW KICKS TODAY
PIC PHIL WILKINSON.'TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS''HEINEKEN CUP QUARTER FINAL.'EDINBURGH RUBY V STADE TOULOUSAIN.'3PM KICK OFF.''MURRAYFIELD STADIUM EDINBURGH''GREIG LAIDLAW KICKS TODAY

THE giants of European rugby were sent home with their tails between their legs after a brave performance by Edinburgh in front of a record gate for a club match in Scotland – and a record gate for a Heineken quarter-final in the UK – of 37,881.

There were five Borderers in the home squad and although only four of these started the match, they all played their part in a famous victory.

Man-of-the-match and Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw was outstanding from the first minute, when he put up a bomb of a kick for the less-than-brave Toulouse winger to cunningly avoid, because he was getting the whole of the Edinburgh pack as well as the ball, to the last when he ran out time with his third successful penalty of the day.

Laidlaw also kicked a conversion and slotted a neat drop goal when the Scots had been reduced to 13 men as a result of two yellow cards at the same time.

Ross Ford and Geoff Gross had a hard but rewarding shift in the front row and both played the full 80 minutes. Strangely, it was a Scottish team which was earning penalties at the set scrum and they did their best to capitalise on these awards.

Lee Jones has just recovered from a bad concussion in international rugby. But that was not obvious as he had a great game, both in attack and especially in defence, when he had two outstanding tackles on massive opponents. That was a strong feature of the Edinburgh performance – rock-solid defence.

Roddy Grant came on near the end of the game for Ross Rennie and kept the momentum going against the French.

The whole crowd was invited to the celebrations in the Three Sisters, but I suspect a number went home to work out how to get to Dublin for the semi-final against Ulster at the Aviva Stadium on April 28.

Edinburgh scorers: Mike Blair (try) and Greig Laidlaw (three penalties, conversion and drop goal).