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Edinburgh produce late fightback to beat Zebre

MATCH REPORT: Edinburgh produced a second half fightback to clinch a 24-19 United Rugby Championship victory at Zebre Parma.

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The visitors were far from their best and made their opponents pay for a lack of discipline at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

The Scottish side trailed for the majority of the game due to an early Gonzalo Garcia try and the boot of Giovanni Montemauri, but they eventually wore the Italians down.

They were awarded a penalty try in addition to scores from Boan Venter and Dave Cherry, and two conversions and a penalty from Ben Healy were enough to see them return home with four points in a game that saw flanker Hamish Watson make his 150th appearance for the club.

The hosts were quick out of the blocks and went in for the game’s opening try after just three minutes of the contest.

It was danger man Simone Gesi who was the architect of the score as he broke through three tackles down the left wing before flipping the ball to scrumhalf Garcia to cross. Montemauri converted from the touchline.

And after soaking up a period of Edinburgh pressure when strong defence denied the Scottish side’s rolling maul, Montemauri extended the advantage with a straightforward penalty.

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Edinburgh finally got on the board seven minutes before the interval when Healy slotted a penalty but a disjointed first-half display left them with work to do after the interval.

Montemauri kicked another penalty early in the second half before Edinburgh got themselves right back into the game with 46 minutes on the clock.

Edinburgh was knocking on the door against a spirited Zebre rearguard and in the eighth phase, Venter managed the squeeze under the covering home defence to touch down, with Healy’s conversion making it 13-10.

But the home side would not lie down and Montemauri sent over a third penalty of the evening after Edinburgh were penalised for not releasing after a tackle.

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Edinburgh went ahead for the first time with 12 minutes remaining when referee Ben Whitehouse went under the posts to award a penalty try after Dylan de Leeuw was yellow carded for hauling down a dangerous rolling maul and that left the Scots 17-16 ahead

The visitors stretched their advantage as lack of discipline caught up with Zebre and it was again the maul that caused the damage as Cherry powered over with the Italian defence in disarray following three straight penalties deep in their half.

Geronimo Prisciantelli’s late penalty secured a losing bonus point for Zebre – their seventh of the season.

But the home side would not lie down and Montemauri sent over a third penalty of the evening after Edinburgh were penalised for not releasing after a tackle.

Edinburgh went ahead for the first time with 12 minutes remaining when referee Ben Whitehouse went under the posts to award a penalty try after Dylan de Leeuw was yellow carded for hauling down a dangerous rolling maul and that left the Scots 17-16 ahead

The visitors stretched their advantage as lack of discipline caught up with Zebre and it was again the maul that caused the damage as Cherry powered over with the Italian defence in disarray following three straight penalties deep in their own half.

Geronimo Prisciantelli’s late penalty secured a losing bonus point for Zebre – their seventh of the season.

Man of the Match: In an attritional battle, Edinburgh No. 8 Bill Mata was at the forefront of the battle up front and his team-leading 10 carries was pivotal in the Scots gaining late control.

Scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Venter, Cherry, Penalty
Cons: Healy 2
Pen: Healy

For Zebre:
Try: Garcia
Con: Montemauri
Pens: Montemauri 3, Prisciantelli

Teams:

Zebre Parma: 15 Geronimo Prisciantelli, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Luca Morisi (captain), 12 Damiano Mazza, 11 Simone Gesi, 10 Giovanni Montemauri, 9 Gonzalo Garcia, 8 Davide Ruggeri, 7 Iacopo Bianchi, 6 Bautista Stavile, 5 Leonard Krumov, 4 Matteo Canali, 3 Matteo Nocera, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Muhamed Hasa.
Replacements: 16 Marco Manfredi, 17 Luca Rizzoli, 18 Riccardo Genovese, 19 Dylan de Leeuw, 20 Taina Fox-Matamua, 21 Alessandro Fusco, 22 Scott Gregory, 23 Giovanni Licata.

Edinburgh: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Harry Paterson, 13 Matt Currie, 12 James Lang, 11 Chris Dean, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Ali Price, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie (captain), 5 Glen Young, 4 Marshall Sykes, 3 WP Nel, 2 Dave Cherry, 1 Boan Venter.
Replacements: 16 Paddy Harrison, 17 Luan de Bruin, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Tom Dodd, 20 Connor Boyle, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Mark Bennett, 23 Nathan Sweeney.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy), Manuel Bottino (Italy)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)

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