Edinburgh snatch last-gasp victory
January 13, 2012
Edinburgh's Geoff Cross takes the attack to Racing Metro
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Replacement fly-half Phil Godman hit a dramatic late drop goal to propel Edinburgh to a dramatic 27-24 victory over Racing Metro at the Stade Yves du Manoir.
In a delicately poised Pool 2, Edinburgh grabbed their second victory on the road to keep the pressure on Cardiff Blues as they hunt for their first quarter-final spot in eight years. Back-row trio Ross Rennie, Netani Talei and David Denton all crossed as the visitors led for the majority of the game. But Racing responded with three tries of their own and looked set to share the spoils before Godman struck to clinch only Edinburgh's second victory on French soil.
Both sides battled for early dominance but neither could find their rhythm and Juan Martin Hernandez and Greg Laidlaw's early missed shots at goal kept the game scoreless. Sebastien Chabal's powerful early breaks provided some spark but the game really kicked into gear when Rennie crossed for the opening score.
Quick ball from the base from Mike Blair initiated things and Rennie was then fed in midfield and did not need a second invitation to barge through the weak defence and run in under the posts for a converted score.
Tackling in the midfield was again questionable for Racing's opening try. Edinburgh had repelled their hosts' repeated efforts well until Fabrice Estebanez created a hole in midfield and offloaded to Francois Steyn, who dived over. Hernandez had no problems with his second shot at goal, levelling the scores with the conversion. But Racing then seemed to take their foot off the gas and with Edinburgh in confident mood, it was always clear who was going to score next.
A quick attack down the blind side set up field position and then Edinburgh bided their time before Talei broke through and stretched over the line to grab a second try for the Scots. Captain Laidlaw added the conversion to give his side a healthy advantage at the break.
With Cardiff not playing until Saturday this was an ideal opportunity for Edinburgh to lay down a marker after the break but their lead lasted just two second-half minutes. Juan Imhoff made a mockery of the covering defence, outsprinting them down the blind side before rounding Chris Paterson with ease to level the score.
Rather than consolidate, Racing immediately started looking for their next score and switched off in defence, allowing Denton to sprint clear for the game's fifth try and make it a try apiece for the visiting back row. But they soon responded with the game's sixth try as Antoine Battut touched down after an attack that always looked destined to end with a try. Hernandez again levelled the scores, this time from the touchline before making way for Jonathan Wisniewski.
Wisniewski missed the chance to edge his side in front just minutes after coming on, with a long-range kick drifting wide, but the fly-half had no problem as his second effort sailed over. Laidlaw responded with three points of his own two minutes later and then Godman struck just before the final whistle, dropping Edinburgh to victory.
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