Edinburgh thwarted after referee disallows two tries
Edinburgh fell just short of a famous Champions Cup win over Montpellier as referee Wayne Barnes ruled out two tries.
Montpellier, coached by former Scotland coach Vern Cotter, scored three first-half tries but it was Richard Cockerill’s side who dominated the final 40 minutes.
Edinburgh crossed for a try in each half and would have won if Barnes had not ruled out a Hamish Watson try at the posts for offside and another by Magnus Bradbury for obstruction.
They had to settle for a losing bonus point, although they had to scramble to keep hold of it after home captain Louis Picamoles intercepted and almost reached the line for what would have been an extra point for the hosts.
Montpellier, fourth in the Top 14, got the scoreboard moving in the sixth minute. A kick to the corner took them to within 15 metres and a driving lineout took them up to the line. Ruan Pienaar cut inside before popping the ball to full-back Henry Immelman to finish.
Pienaar added the conversion but, midway through the half, Edinburgh struck. A brilliant offload by No8 Vili Mata reached Henry Pyrgos. He was hauled down just short of the line but Stuart McInally scooped up the ball to cross for the try.
Montpellier hit back with two quick scores, first Benjamin Fall powering through Blair Kinghorn and Simon Hickey, and the second coming from a turnover in their own 22 with flying wing Gabriel N’Gandebe finally gathering a cross-kick from Pienaar.
Hickey kicked a penalty and whatever Cockerill said at half-time, it hit home. After Watson’s try had been ruled out with Bismarck du Plessis in the sin-bin, Dougie Fyfe went over in the left corner after a brilliant burst by Ben Toolis and offload by Mata.
Scores 5-0 Immelman try; 7-0 Pienaar con; 7-5 McInally try; 7-7 Hickey con; 12-7 Fall try; 14-7 Pienaar con; 19-7 Ngandebe try; 21-7 Pienaar con; 21-10 Hickey pen; 21-15 Fife try. Montpellier H Immelman; B Fall, G N’Gandebe, V Martin, J Serfontein; R Pienaar, E Sanga; M Nariashvili, B Du Plessis, J Du Plessis, N Van Rensburg, P Willemse, F Ouedraogo, W Liebenberg, L Picamoles. Replacements V Giudicelli, G Fichten, A Guillamon, K Kornath, K Galletier, J Tomas, Y Reilhac, A Dumoulin. Edinburgh B Kinghorn; D Graham, J Johnstone, M Scott, D Fife; S Hickey, H Pyrgos; A Dell, S McInally, W P Nel, B Toolis, G Gilchrist, M Bradbury, H Watson, B Mata. Replacements R Ford, R Sutherland, S Berghan, L Hamilton, J Ritchie, S Kennedy, J van der Walt, C Dean. Referee Wayne Barnes (England).