European Challenge Cup: Edinburgh 28-23 Stade Francais

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne scores
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne darted and stretched to score Edinburgh's third try against Stade Francais
European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool Five
Edinburgh (3) 28
Tries: Hoyland, Toolis, Hidalgo-Clyne Cons: Weir 2 Pens: Weir 3
Stade Francais (20) 23
Tries: Nayacalevu, Macalou Cons: Steyn 2 Pens: Steyn 2 Drop goal: Steyn

Edinburgh overcame a 20-3 half-time deficit and the dismissal of Phil Burleigh to beat Stade Francais and stay top of Challenge Cup Pool Five.

Stade scored first-half tries through Waisea Nayacalevu and Sekou Macalou.

Back roared Edinburgh, though, with Damien Hoyland and Ben Toolis scoring, before Burleigh saw red for a churlish slap to the face of Pascal Pape.

Edinburgh rallied, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne touching down and Duncan Weir kicking the decisive penalties.

Stade immediately reclaimed possession from the first kick-off and bludgeoned their way into Edinburgh's 22, laying the platform for Nayacalevu to power over from close range, Morne Steyn converting.

The South African pivot slammed over a drop-goal minutes later for a 10-0 lead.

Flanker Macalou punished a mix-up in the home defence to canter across the whitewash on 23 minutes, Steyn again accurate from the tee.

Samoa centre Paul Williams was sin-binned for a tip-tackle on Viliame Mata, but it did little to aid Edinburgh's disjointed and error-strewn quest for points.

A Weir penalty was all they had to show for their toil come the break, and even that had been cancelled out by the boot of Steyn.

Hoyland dummied, sprinted and swerved his way to Edinburgh's first try seven minutes into the second half, but Weir failed to convert from the left.

Damien Hoyland scores
Damien Hoyland's try sparked Edinburgh's comeback

Second row Toolis hauled the hosts within a score of Stade when he drove over from an Edinburgh maul, Weir converting.

But the momentum Duncan Hodge's side were building was jarred by Burleigh's controversial dismissal. His unprovoked slap to the face of Pape was milked in slapstick fashion by the French lock, who flung himself to ground, but referee Craig Maxwell-Keys was not laughing, and produced the red card from his pocket.

If anything, the indignation the centre's sending-off appeared to stir up in home ranks galvanised Edinburgh.

Hidalgo-Clyne darted over, Weir converting, after dynamic phase play. And the squat fly-half kicked his second penalty from in front of the posts to nudge Edinburgh ahead for the first time.

It was a lead that seemed utterly improbable at half-time, but one they held until the final whistle, Weir booting three more points in the final two minutes to ensure Edinburgh retained their 100% record in the tournament and stay top of Pool Five.


Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Mike Allen, Phil Burleigh, Will Helu, Duncan Weir, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Alasdair Dickinson, Stuart McInally, Murray McCallum, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, Viliame Mata, Hamish Watson, Magnus Bradbury.

Replacements Ross Ford, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Fraser McKenzie, Cornell Du Preez, Sean Kennedy, Jason Tovey, Glenn Bryce.

Red card: Burleigh

Stade Francais: Jeremy Sinzelle, Julien Arias, Waisea Nayacalevu, Paul Williams, Josaia Raisuqe, Morne Steyn, Will Genia; Heinke van der Merwe, Laurent Panis, Giorgi Melikidze, Paul Gabrillagues, Pascal Pape, Sekou Macalou, Mathieu di Giovanni, Willem Alberts.

Replacements: Remi Bonfils, Zurabi, Zhvania, Emmanuel Felsina, Hugh Pyle, Patrick Sio, Clement Daguin, Jules Plisson, Theo Millet.

Yellow card: Williams

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