THE rapid rise of winger Lee Jones from playing club rugby to Celtic League, RBS Six Nations and now the Heineken Cup semi-finals might appear the stuff of dreams, but the key for the 23-year-old has been simple belief.
“This season has been on a steady incline since the start and I’m just trying to make the most of it,” he said.
“There was a real belief that we could beat Toulouse and I think that shone through in the end. When we went down to 13 men and they scored, you’re thinking ‘this could get away from us’, but we were running in at half-time and they were walking in, looking tired, especially their front five, and I knew then that, back to our full complement, we could win the game.
“I don’t think we were at our best but the forwards fronted up, Greig [Laidlaw] led us well and played tactically well, and when we were leading with 20 minutes to go I didn’t feel the result was in doubt.”
Allan Jacobsen paid tribute to the pack, stating: “It’s not just the front row, but the whole pack. Toulouse hold the ball in and want your flankers to come off, so they drive you back, but we knew that and our back row stuck with us, scrumming for ten/15 seconds, which was a massive effort.
“We got some calls from the ref for a change, but I often find the harder you work the more it goes your way.
“The crowd was unreal! We’ve had great crowds and great games, but that was unbelievable. It was like playing for Scotland, maybe even louder. It was amazing.”
Wing Tim Visser added: “I played in front of a big crowd with the Barbarians, but this was just sheer passion, noise and people living through the game, which is brilliant.
“This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to Edinburgh and we can take real pride and confidence from that to the Aviva Stadium.”
Jacobsen added: “Now we’re through to the next round and these are one-off games. We’re on a roll and long may it continue. We’ve got nothing to fear. If we play the way we can play, we don’t need to fear anyone.”