EDINBURGH SECURE BONUS-POINT WIN IN PARMA
Edinburgh pulled clear in the second half to earn a hard-fought 27-10 bonus-point victory over Zebre Parma in the United Rugby Championship.
Having fallen behind to a Pierre Bruno try in Italy, the capital side led 8-7 at half-time thanks to a Jack Blain touchdown, before Stuart McInally, Boan Venter and Ben Vellacott added their names to the scoresheet after the break.
The result moves Edinburgh, who also benefited from seven points from the boot of Blair Kinghorn, to the top of the Scottish/Italian Shield ahead of the international break, sitting three points ahead of Glasgow Warriors after five rounds.
Zebre, meanwhile, remain without a victory since February and are bottom of the overall URC standings.
Kinghorn – back in the Edinburgh side following a quad injury – opened the scoring from the tee after four minutes, but it was Zebre who registered the game’s first try.
A perfectly weighted 50:22 from Carlo Canna gave the hosts a line-out on the Edinburgh five-metre line and they spread the ball out to the left for Bruno to find a gap in the defence and go over, with Canna adding the extras.
Mike Blair’s men responded shortly after the half-hour mark when they showed quick hands to move the ball right – cleverly helped along by Kinghorn, who took a heavy hit from Junior Laloifi for his efforts – and Blain finished the job.
Kinghorn dusted himself down but missed the conversion, leaving Edinburgh with a one-point advantage at half-time.
Both sides struggled for fluency early in the second half, but Edinburgh stretched their lead when McInally touched down from the back of a maul.
The margin stayed within a converted try at 13-7 as Kinghorn was again unsuccessful from the tee, although he was on target after Venter barged through for Edinburgh’s third score, with Zebre having been reduced to 14 men following a yellow card for Jimmy Tuivaiti.
Antonio Rizzi stepped off the bench to reduce the deficit to 10 with his boot, but Vellacott finished the job with his fourth try of the season, spotting an opportunity to dive over in the corner at the death after Edinburgh had got within inches of the line and leaving Kinghorn to round off the scoring.
Player of the match
A couple of Edinburgh’s tries were a result of good work from the forwards and it was flanker Luke Crosbie who took home the individual honour.
Play of the match
It was a split-second contribution when Edinburgh needed it most.
Kinghorn’s flicked pass out wide to Blain opened the door for the visitors to cross for their first try having earlier fallen behind.
He may have felt the full force of Laloifi as a result, but it earned Edinburgh the half-time lead and gave them a platform to build on in the second half.
Kick-off 1:00 pm