A powerful second half surge saw Treviso battle to a tight 20-16 PRO12 victory over Edinburgh at Stadio Monigo on Saturday.
In a scrappy first half, three Carl Bezuidenhout penalties to Tobias Botes' one gave the Scottish side a 9-3 lead at the break. Botes added a second three-pointer after the interval to reduce the deficit before the game came to life as touchdowns from Leonardo Ghiraldini and Alberto de Marchi secured Treviso the victory. Cornell du Preez went over late on for Edinburgh to give them a losing bonus-point, but this defeat could prove costly as they search for automatic European qualification.
Although these sides went into the game in the lower reaches of the Pro12 table, Alan Solomons' men still have the chance of securing a top-six position. The opening half therefore proved to be a tight and tense affair, but it was the Italian outfit that scored first through Botes.
However, the visitors gradually increased the pressure and took control of proceedings. Treviso also began to concede kickable penalties within the range of Bezuidenhout and the full-back was in good form with the boot. On 25 minutes, the South African leveled matters before adding successive three-pointers towards the end of the period to take them 9-3 ahead at the interval.
Benetton lifted the intensity immediately after the break and, following a passage of play inside the opposition 22, an Edinburgh infringement allowed Botes to reduce the arrears. Despite the accurate boots of the respective kickers, both teams struggled to create serious try-scoring opportunities.
That was until Ghiraldini showed impressive skills to go over to give Treviso the lead for the first time in the match. Still reeling from that score, the visitors conceded again when de Marchi crossed the whitewash minutes later to seal just Benetton's fourth win of the season. Although du Preez touched down with the last move of the match, it proved to be mere consolation.
Tries: Ghirladini, De Marchi
Cons: Botes 2Pens: Botes 2
Try: Du Preez
Pens: Bezuidenhout 3
Treviso: 15 Luke McLean,14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Marco Filippucci, 6 Manoa Vosawai, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (c), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Valerio Bernaḅ, 21 Christian Loamanu, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo.
Edinburgh: 15 Carl Bezuidenhout, 14 Jack Cuthbert, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Andries Strauss (c), 11 Tom Brown, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Cornell Du Preez, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Ewan McQuillin, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Sam Beard, 23 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wal)