Edinburgh secure bonus-point win in Parma
Edinburgh were 38-19 victors over Zebre Parma but faced a stern second-half test from their hosts despite MJ Pelser's first-half red card.
Mike Blair’s side ran in three tries before the hosts had Pelser sent off just 22 minutes into the match and led 31-0 early in the second half.
However, Zebre rallied despite their numerical disadvantage, with Alessandro Fusco, Luca Rizzoli and Jacopo Trulla all going over after the break.
Adam McBurney had touched down twice and Jamie Hodgson and debutant Wes Goosen also crossed as Edinburgh bagged a bonus point before half-time, with Henry Immelman and Matt Currie going over in the second half.
Edinburgh scored the opening try in the seventh minute when hooker McBurney picked up the ball and darted for the line.
Emiliano Boffelli added the extras before McBurney was held up as he came agonisingly close to a second try five minutes after his first.
McBurney’s close call had come from a lineout drive and a similar move soon after led to Hodgson burrowing over, with Boffelli sending his conversion attempt wide.
The Argentina international rediscovered his range after Edinburgh spread the ball out to the left wing for debutant Goosen to go over, and things went from bad to worse for Zebre when Pelser saw red for a dangerous clearout on Nick Haining.
McBurney wrapped up the bonus point from a driving maul in the 26th minute, with Boffelli’s conversion making it 26-0.
Boffelli was then sin-binned following an offside offence in the closing moments of the half as Zebre enjoyed their best period of the match to that point, but Pierre Bruno spilled the ball forwards in the act of scoring as a golden opportunity went begging.
Immelman collected Currie’s looping pass to touch down within two minutes of the second half getting under way. Jaco Van Der Walt – kicking in Boffelli’s absence – struck a post from the tee.
Fusco had a try disallowed for a forward pass in the build-up, but a quickly taken penalty soon after saw the scrum-half belatedly get his side off the mark.
Tiff Eden was wayward with the conversion, but a Rizzoli try – converted by replacement Geronimo Prisciantelli – showed the hosts would not lie down.
Currie crossed to give Edinburgh more of a cushion, but it was Zebre who edged the second-half scoring after Trulla added his name to the scoresheet. Replacement Charlie Savala and Prisciantelli converted the two late tries respectively.
Number 8 Bill Mata capped off a memorable birthday by winning BKT Player of the Match on his 100thappearance for the club.