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Edinburgh make history with stunning upset

It has not been the best of times for Scottish rugby, but for the first time they have an interest in the semi-finals of European club rugby's premier tournament.

Toulouse, belying their pedigree, were shockingly inept, but Edinburgh, bottom but one of the RaboDirect Pro12 played the role of underdogs perfectly, harrying and hectoring, dragging the Top 14 leaders and aristocrats low and finishing with a flourish.

Michael Bradley clearly wanted his team starting assertively, but they did not expect to score with their first attack. It took them 90 seconds to manufacture a try on a ground where Scotland tend to go 90 hours between tries.

It was route one and came after a complacent start by Toulouse. Louis Picamoles fielded the kick-off, but lost the ball and conceded a scrum. Greig Laidlaw was standing close to Toulouse's 22 when he sent a high kick into the grey sky, towards the wing Timoci Matanavou, a prolific try scorer but not someone disposed to fielding garryowens. It would be charitable to say he dropped the ball having misjudged its flight: as he turned backwards, arms out towards his own line, he appeared not to get a touch.

The ball fell loose, eventually secured by the scrum-half Mike Blair who contorted his way through two tackles and managed to apply contact despite reaching the line on his back. Laidlaw's conversion put Edinburgh seven points ahead.

Toulouse were resembling France -- chaotic and disorganised -- when Edinburgh were awarded a penalty 40 metres out. Laidlaw kicked for touch but applied too much force and conceded a scrum where he had taken the kick from.

Jean-Baptiste Poux, much to his disgust, was penalised for slipping his binding and this time the Edinburgh outside-half found touch close to the line rather than beyond it, only for Geoff Cross to concede a penalty for holding on. It was a mess of a match, played before a record crowd for a quarter-final held in the United Kingdom. Toulouse struggled to get any possession, penalised in the scrum and wasteful in the lineout, and when they did Lionel Beauxis tended to put his boot to it.

Beauxis kicked two penalties to temper the crowd's ecstasy, but Edinburgh wasted a chance when another Laidlaw bomb caused problems.

Yet Toulouse were ahead by seven points on 30 minutes. Beauxis missed a penalty awarded after Allan Jacobsen had impeded Matanavou as the wing took a quick penalty, and the prop had only just found his seat in the sin-bin when he was joined by Ross Rennie, who thwarted the visitors' first sustained attack by playing the ball off his feet after Beauxis had butchered a two-man overlap.

Edinburgh had to play for seven minutes with 13 men and decided it was time again to test Matanavou's catching ability. Blair's kick had no chasers and the Fijian took possession on his own 10-metre line. Matanavou accelerated away from Blair and the covering Tom Brown was carried over the line.

Edinburgh needed to respond and, when they were back to 15, they took play through seven phases before Laidlaw dropped a 35-metre goal to trim Toulouse's interval lead to four points.

Edinburgh were ahead within 11 minutes of the restart and Toulouse were a man down. The hooker Williams Servat was unhappy that his side's attacking position had been lost after Nigel Owens had penalised the front row, again, for an early engagement, never mind that the ball should have been put in.

Edinburgh countered and Servat intercepted a pass in an offside position. It seemed as if Owens was merely going to award a penalty, but he eventually flourished a yellow card.

By the time Servat returned, his side was trailing. Laidlaw kicked two penalties, the first for Servat's offence and the second after Beauxis', who was as ineffective for his club as he had been for France.

Matanavou dropped another high kick and got away with a trip on Tim Visser as the Edinburgh wing got to Laidlaw's cross-kick first.

Laidlaw sealed victory with the final kick of the game after Toulouse had been penalised at yet another scrum, the roar of the crowd suggestive of the Heineken trophy being raised rather than a semi-final against Munster or Ulster secured.

Scorers -- Edinburgh: Blair try; Laidlaw 3 pens, con, drop-goal. Toulouse: Matanavou try; Beauxis 3 pens.

Edinburgh: T Brown; L Jones, N de Luca, M Scott, T Visser; G Laidlaw, M Blair (C Leck 40); A Jacobsen, R Ford, J Cross; G Gilchrist, S Cox; D Denton, R Rennie (S McInally 70), N Talei (R Grant 70).

Toulouse: J Jauzion; T Matanavou, F Fritz (C Poitrenaud 51), J David, Y Donguy; L Beauxis, L Burgess (J Doussain 65); J Poux (D Human 52), W Servat (C Tolofua 73), C Johnston (Y Montes 60); Y Maestri (G Lamboley 70), P Albacete; J Bouilhou (Y Nyanga 60), T Dusautoir, L Picamoles (G Galan 47).

Referee: N Owens (Wales)

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