Edinburgh bag home tie
Scots leave it late to bag home Cup quarter-final
Last Updated: 22/01/12 6:17pm
Edinburgh: Celebrate bagging home Heineken Cup clash
Edinburgh scored two tries in the final 10 minutes to secure a home Heineken Cup quarter-final with a bonus-point 34-11 victory over London Irish in a thrilling finish to Pool 2.
The late tries ensured Edinburgh sealed a crucial try bonus point that saw them top Pool 2 ahead of Cardiff who failed score four tries in their victory over Racing Metro.
The Scottish outfit's passage was secured by tries from Tim Visser, Jim Thompson, Netani Talei and Lee Jones, plus a string of kicks from captain Greig Laidlaw, who landed all four conversions and a brace of penalties.
The Exiles, who had no chance of progressing from Pool Two, posed a limited offensive threat. Their points came from a Jonathan Joseph try and two penalties by Adrian Jarvis.
Jarvis kicked an early penalty for London Irish on six minutes, but that lead was only to last two minutes as the Scots found the opening try.
Edinburgh went ahead as winger Visser pounced on a grubber kick from Laidlaw to touch down after winning the sprint to the line and Laidlaw added the extra two points from wide on the right.
The skipper extended the Scots' lead with a close range penalty following an offence at a scrum with 20 minutes played, but that was swiftly nullified by a Jarvis effort.
However, Edinburgh were soon back on the offensive and, when Irish strayed offside 25 metres from their posts, Laidlaw added three more points to the home tally.
Five minutes before the break full-back Thompson, who was a late replacement for Chris Paterson, crossed for the hosts, and the immaculate boot of Laidlaw added the conversion.
Irish's only other points of the half came from another Jarvis penalty, to send Edinburgh in at the break with a 20-6 advantage.
Edinburgh's hopes of securing a try-bonus point were ebbing away as they struggled to breakdown their opponent in the opening stages of the second half.
And their victory even came into doubt when replacement Joseph powered over for London Irish with 14 minutes remaining.
However, Edinburgh were not to be denied and another spell of sustained pressure created the platform for the ball to be moved wide to the lurking Talei, who was on hand to crash over.
Edinburgh set off in pursuit of the bonus point score, which came with three minutes to spare when Lee Jones raced down the right flank to score. Laidlaw maintained his unblemished form with the boot.
The joy in the record Murrayfield Heineken Cup crowd was enhanced by the news that Cardiff had failed to secure a bonus point victory, handing the Scottish side home advantage in the quarter-finals.