Ed­in­burgh thwarted af­ter ref­eree dis­al­lows two tries

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Rugby Union -

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).

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