Edinburgh edge Zebre

Date published: December 31 2016

Duncan Weir kicked four penalties and a conversion as Edinburgh beat Zebre 24-19 at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Saturday.

With Edinburgh heading into this match without a point on the road and Zebre yet to win at home this season, something had to give. And it was the Scottish side who opened the scoring, with Weir slotting a penalty in the 14th minute. 

But Zebre would hit back with the games first try through centre Tommaso Boni. A neat move from the Zebre backline ended with the 23 year-old dotting down in the corner. Carlo Canna added the extras to give the Italians a 7-3 lead. 

Edinburgh kept the scoreboard ticking over with a second Weir penalty bringing them back to within a point. Boni almost scored his second try of the half but was denied by a terrific try-saving tackle from Edinburgh full-back Blair Kinghorn. And Duncan Hodge's men would score their first try of the game a few minutes later. 

Outside centre Chris Dean scooped up a loose ball and was able to outpace the Zebre defence to dive over in the corner and give his side the lead. Weir added the two points from the tee to give Edinburgh a 13-7 lead going into half time. 

After a slower start to the second half from both sides, it was Edinburgh who struck first. A great kick from Blair Kinghorn was gathered by Will Held who dotted the ball down for his sides' second try. 

Zebre kept themselves in the game with their second try on the hour mark. Fly-half Carlo Canna crossed for the hosts after a period of play inside the Edinburgh 22. 

Despite Zebre's momentum, Weir kicked his third penalty to keep the gap between the teams at nine points with 15 minutes left to play. With five minutes left to go, Weir added another three points from the tee to give Edinburgh an unassailable 12 point lead. 

In the dying minutes Zebre pushed for the losing bonus point. Edinburgh were reduced to fourteen men when replacement Nathan Fowles was shown yellow. Zebre's perseverance paid off and they grabbed the crucial third try in the final minute through Dries Van Schalkwyk.

The scorers:

For Zebre:
Tries: Boni, Canna, Van Schalkwyk
Cons: Canna 2

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Dean, Helu
Con: Weir
Pens: Weir 4
Yellow Card: Fowles

Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Kurt Baker, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Faialaga Afamasaga, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 George Biagi (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Tommaso D'Apice, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Guillermo Roan, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Joshua Furno, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Matteo Pratichetti, 23 Mattia Bellini

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Chris Dean, 12 Junior Rasolea, 11 Will Helu, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Cornell Du Preez, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Dell
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Jack Cosgrove, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Lewis Carmichael, 20 Viliame Mata, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Glenn Bryce

Referee: Gary Conway
Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini, Filippo Bertelli
TMO: Leo Colgan