Fri 23 Apr 2021 | 11:48

Youthful Edinburgh outclass Zebre

Youthful Edinburgh outclass Zebre
Fri 23 Apr 2021 | 11:48
Youthful Edinburgh outclass Zebre
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RAINBOW CUP REPORT: Matt Currie scored a try on his first Edinburgh start as Richard Cockerill’s side claimed an opening PRO14 Rainbow Cup triumph courtesy of an improved second-half display against Zebre.

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The Italians deservedly led at the break at BT Murrayfield but a youthful Edinburgh team secured a 24-18 victory after dominating the second half.

The impressive Eroni Sau notched the first try of the game for Edinburgh before Andrea Lovotti replied, and Carlo Canna’s kicking had Zebre six points ahead at the break.

But the hosts scored tries from skipper Luke Crosbie and 20-year-old centre Currie as the home team pushed their opponents back for the bulk of the second half, before Johan Meyer bagged a last-gasp consolation try.

Cockerill named a squad with an average age of 24, with 19-year-old Ben Muncaster making his debut among a raft of young Scottish-qualified players.

Canna bagged an early penalty before Sau struck in the 12th minute following a fine team move. Mike Willemse broke off a maul following a line-out on the right and Edinburgh worked it out to the opposite flank where Blair Kinghorn fed Sau to go over in the corner.

Nathan Chamberlain, the 21-year-old flyhalf, produced a brilliant conversion but Zebre responded magnificently.

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Stand-off Canna kicked a penalty and was generally dictating play, while number eight Renato Giammarioli was making serious headway through the Edinburgh ranks.

The visitors got their first try in the 26th minute when Lovotti powered over from close range after a penalty kick into the corner. Canna put them 13-7 ahead.

Edinburgh were a changed side after the break and produced a controlled display with the penalty count going in their favour.

Sau was instrumental in Edinburgh’s second try, bursting past six defenders after getting the ball from Crosbie following a line-out. Jamie Hodgson was just held up but Crosbie went over.

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Kinghorn was stopped near the line and Sau came close again after a pass over the top from Chamberlain, but Pierre Bruno’s tackle put him into touch near the corner.

Currie burst on to Chris Dean’s close-range pass and over the line to extend the lead and could have had another try if Damien Hoyland had released him.

Chamberlain added a late penalty to his three conversions and the clock had gone past the 80-minute mark when Meyer finished off a slick breakaway to reduce the deficit.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Sau, Crosbie, Currie.
Cons: Chamberlain 3.
Pen: Chamberlain.

For Zebre
Tries: Lovotti, Meyer.
Con: Canna.
Pens: Canna 2.

Teams

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Matt Currie, 12 George Taylor, 11 Eroni Sau, 10 Nathan Chamberlain, 9 Charlie Shiel, 8 Ben Muncaster, 7 Luke Crosbie (captain), 6 Mesu Kunavula, 5 Jamie Hodgson, 4 Marshall Sykes, 3 Lee-Roy Atalifo, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Boan Venter.
Replacements: 16 Patrick Harrison, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 WP Nel, 19 Viliame Mata, 20 Connor Boyle, 21 Roan Frostwick, 22 Jack Blain, 23 Chris Dean.

Zebre: 15 Michelangelo Biondelli, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Federico Mori, 12 Enrico Lucchin, 11 Gabriele Di Giulio, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Renato Giammarioli, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Potu Junior Leavasa, 5 Ian Nagle, 4 David Sisi (captain), 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Massimo Ceciliani, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Giampietro Ribaldi, 17 Daniele Rimpelli, 18 Alexandru Tarus, 19 Leonard Krumov, 20 Giovanni Licata, 21 Nicolò Casilio, 22 Antonio Rizzi.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ben Blain (Scotland), Ian Kenny (Scotland)
TMO: Mike Adamson (Scotland)

PV: 22
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Youthful Edinburgh outclass Zebre | Rugby365