Professional14: Edinburgh 31-30 Benetton – Hosts cling on for bonus-point win
|Edinburgh (24) 31|
|Tries: Scott, Van der Merwe, Kinghorn, Fife Cons: Hickey 2 Pen: Hickey|
|Benetton (15) 30|
|Tries: Sperandio 3, Fuser, Barbini Con: Allan Pen: Allan|
Edinburgh held off a Benetton fightback to earn a nerve-shredding bonus-point win in a Professional14 try-fest.
First-half scores from Matt Scott, Duhan van der Merwe and Blair Kinghorn put the hosts in command, regardless of Luca Sperandio and Marco Fuser crossing.
Dougie Fife touched all the way down to safe the bonus level early within the second interval.
Sperandio bagged two extra tries and Marco Barbini crossed to chop the deficit to some extent, however the hosts clung on with Grant Gilchrist within the sin-bin.
The Italian aspect out-scored Edinburgh by 5 tries to 4, however paid the worth for lacking all however one among their conversion makes an attempt with Tommaso Allan and Ian McKinley wayward off the tee.
Benetton take dwelling a four-try bonus level and a shedding bonus level for ending inside seven factors of their opponents.
‘Reborn Benetton give Edinburgh a scare’
With just one win from their opening 4 video games – three of them robust assignments on the highway – this was one Edinburgh needed to win get some momentum into their season. Richard Cockerill introduced again most of the heavies he rested final weekend in opposition to Leinster in Dublin they usually bought the job carried out. Simply.
Gone are the times when Benetton have been a one-dimensional soft-touch. They have been reborn as a skilful, formidable, off-loading menace. In Sperandio that they had a 22-year-old hat-trick man. His third rating, particularly, was a wondrous end.
Allan and Simon Hickey traded penalties early on, however when Edinburgh hit the guests with two tries in 4 minutes halfway by way of the half they bought themselves a cushion.
Scott sliced between two defenders as Allan bungled a Henry Pyrgos box-kick, then Hickey brilliantly slipped in Van der Merwe. The fly-half transformed each tries to place Edinburgh 17-Three up.
That lead was eaten into when Sperandio stepped Van Der Merwe for his first attempt, however dwelling benefit was restored when Chris Dean scythed by way of the defence and fed Kinghorn who scored with ease.
The conversion made it a 16-point sport, however Edinburgh may by no means fairly shake off the guests. Their assault was sharp, however a few of their defence was weaker than weak. Fuser went over off a pushed line-out simply earlier than the break to convey the hole all the way down to 9.
It was breathless stuff at instances. Edinburgh’s bonus level attempt got here 9 minutes into the brand new half once they went left off a scrum, then whipped round and attacked down the precise, Kinghorn throwing a beautiful cross out to Fife who motored on to stretch the benefit to 29-15. That turned 31-15 when Hickey landed the conversion.
‘Edinburgh get off the hook’
A 16-point sport as soon as extra. Edinburgh on simple avenue? No. They misplaced management of the sport and Sperandio scored once more on 52 minutes when the house defence bought sucked in and Benetton hit them on the surface.
He scored a fairly good attempt 9 minutes later to finish his treble. Sperandio went haring up the precise wing, bought tackled about 5 metres quick however wasn’t held, then popped again up and went once more.
He launched himself for the nook with Pyrgos and Kinghorn making an attempt to batter him into contact. They could not do it. Underneath all kinds of strain, Sperandio bought the ball down. Fantastic.
Having missed two of their three conversions earlier within the sport, McKinley then made it three out of 4. How they are going to rue these missed factors.
There was a rigidity about Edinburgh now. They’d a six-point lead, however Benetton have been the dominant workforce and all of the extra dominant when Gilchrist was binned 9 minutes from the top. Within the subsequent play, a close-range line-out maul, Benetton struck as soon as extra when Barbini went over along side a ruck.
Once more, Edinburgh’s defence had been terrible. And once more, happily for them, Benetton missed the conversion. McKinley miscued it to the precise of the posts, a dreadful waste that finally allowed a severely pressured Edinburgh off the hook.
Edinburgh: Kinghorn; Fife, Dean, Scott , Van der Merwe; Hickey, Pyrgos; Dell, McInally (capt), Nel, Toolis, Gilchrist, Bradbury, Watson, Mata.
Replacements: Ford, Sutherland, McCallum, McKenzie, Ritchie, Fowles, Van der Walt, Socino.
Benetton: Hayward; Tavuyara, Iannone, Morisi, Sperandio; Allan, Duvenage; Traore, Bigi, Riccioni, Fuser, Budd (capt), Negri, Barbini, Barbieri.
Replacements: Makelara, Appiah, Ferrari, Ruzza, Lazzaroni, Gori, McKinley, Brex.
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)