Edinburgh move back into play-off picture after beating Zebre Parma

Edinburgh move back into play-off picture after beating Zebre Parma

Edinburgh had to fight all the way against a spirited Zebre Parma side but in the end they secured a 40-14 bonus-point victory to give their BKT United Rugby Championship play-off hopes a considerable boost.

After an opening spell in which they were on the back foot, Edinburgh steadily began to exert more pressure on Zebre, and that pressure told just past the quarter-of-an-hour mark when Scotland hooker Ewan Ashman finished off from a lineout maul after a penalty had been sent to touch on the right. Ben Healy hooked the conversion attempt just wide of the far post.

Zebre hit back less than 10 minutes later when Geronimo Prisciantelli slalomed his way through the Edinburgh defence and touched down close to the posts. The home team protested that Grant Gilchrist had been blocked in the build-up but, after a review, referee Ben Breakspear ruled that the try should stand. Thomas Dominguez’s conversion put the Italians in front.

Edinburgh had a chance to hit back immediately when they sent a penalty to touch some 15 metres out on the left, but this time the throw-in was stolen by the defence. Two or three minutes later, however, they tried again from the identical position, and this time they got it right, with Scotland hooker Ashman claiming his second.

Healy converted, and a couple of minutes later the stand-off added another two points after WP Nel had got Edinburgh’s third try. The scoring move again began with a lineout, but this time the play went out to the backs.

The pack joined in the close-range assault on the line, and Nel finished off from very close range.

Beginning the second half 19-7 behind, Zebre were far from finished and, after a long period of stalemate, they scored a try when winger Jacopo Trulla finished off following lengthy pressure and Giovanni Montemauri converted.

Edinburgh got the elusive fourth try with quarter of an hour to play. A maul was collapsed illegally but play continued and, after good work by Ben Vellacott, Healy popped up a pass from which Chris Dean scored in the right corner, with the former converting to make it 26-14.

Vellacott added a fifth a few minutes from time with a wonderful solo effort, then in time added on Javan Sebastian got a sixth touchdown off a lineout, with replacement Cammy Scott converting both.


BKT United Rugby Championship Player of the Match

Scotland international hooker Ewan Ashman helped give Edinburgh a vital platform by scoring the first two tries. His work in the loose was just as impressive as he put in an energy-packed performance before giving way to Dave Cherry quarter of an hour into the second half.

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