Edinburgh claim last minute BP win
Edinburgh kick-started the New Year with a dramatic bonus-point against Zebre Parma.
Paddy Harrison came on from the bench to claim the win with the final play of the game, muscling his was over the line with the clock in the red. The game had see-sawed, with blustery conditions dictating much of the play.
The home side put themselves in control with a dominant first half display, with tries from Charlie Shiel and Jack Blain giving Edinburgh the ascendancy. Shiel struck first, darting over on the back of good work from the pack. Twice the Edinburgh men mauled their Italian counterparts backwards, with Shiel profiting after peeling away to finish in the corner.
The capital side continued to pile on the pressure, with Bennett in particular causing headaches for the Zebre defence. The second break eventually came; Savala put Haining into space, and the marauding number eight timed his pass to perfection to give Blain a simple run in to bag his first score of the season.
The dangerous Bennett almost gifted Blain a second try, burning his man before coming close to putting Blain away down the wing. The intervention from Simone Gesi was deemed illegal, with the winger deliberately knocking on and earning himself a yellow card.
The yellow seemed to galvanise the visitors, who went into the sheds with the ascendancy. They took the momentum into the second half, striking immediately through Gesi, having just returned to the pitch. The winger struck again shortly after to level the scores, finishing off after a break from Fusco from the base of the maul.
The conditions and the visitors continued to cause the Edinburgh men troubles. The home side came close to scoring with a driving maul, however it was Zebre who would take the lead to complete their comeback. Fly-half Tiff Eden did it all by himself, bursting through and beating the full back to claim the lead with 10 minutes to go.
The capital men rallied from the kick-off, with the driving maul once again proving a potent weapon. Zebre were penalised for being offside, and from the resulting penalty kicked to the corner. The driving maul splintered, and Connor Boyle was in the right place to cross the line.
The game was finely poised at 17-17, and Paddy Harrison stepped up to make the decisive intervention. The replacement hooker made a crucial jackal turnover to give Edinburgh field position, and after battering away at the Zebre line the breakthrough finally came, with Harrison finding a gap before powering over to claim the win, and the bonus point.