Rugby: Robbo hails ‘grown-up’ Edinburgh

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Proud Scotland rugby coach Andy Robinson claimed Edinburgh had “grown up” after he watched them battle to a 20-19 opening Heineken European Cup win over London Irish at the Madejski Stadium, Reading.

The win gives Edinburgh a flying start into a group campaign which continues this Friday when they entertain Racing Metro at Murrayfield and was further enhanced by Glasgow’s defeat of Bath yesterday.

Robinson said: “The way Edinburgh kept their discipline in the closing stages when London Irish were pressing showed they had grown up as a team.

“They also showed composure when (Tim) Visser had a try disallowed and didn’t allow that to affect them.”

Included in the Edinburgh line-up were three players making their tournament debuts - stand off Harry Leonard, second row Grant Gilchrist and centre Matt Scott.

After paying tribute to all three Robinson added: “I also thought Roddy Grant, particularly with his work at the breakdown, added a lot to the performance when he came off the bench.”

The weekend results could scarcely have come at a better time for Scottish rugby with Robinson earlier acknowledging that the sides were likely to come under some pressure for their automatic places when a current agreement with European organisers expires at the end of this season, though no definite changes would take place until 2014.

Adding to the pleasure of his first Heineken Cup try was a man-of-the-match award for ex-Watsonian back row star Stuart McInally, who reflected on a match that went right to the wire, saying: “For me the highlight of the overall performance was the way we coped in the last six or seven minutes. London Irish were playing zig zag rugby trying to force a penalty and kick a goal to win.

“I was very, very happy by our display at the end when everybody was screaming ‘stay on side, stay on side’. We knew there was only 20 or 30 seconds to go when I picked up the ball at the base of the scrum and found there was space in front of me.

“The last thing I wanted was to get turned over and my job was to look after the ball. Fortunately it worked out.”