Zebre vs Edinburgh Rugby, Sat, 19/04/2014 - 14:30

An injury hit Edinburgh Rugby side lost a disappointing clash with Italian side Zebre at the Stadio XXV Aprile this afternoon (26-13).

The capital side arrived in Parma having lost their last two outings on Italian soil (to Treviso) but got off to a good start when stand-off Carl Bezuidenhout sent over a penalty for his side's first points of the afternoon.

Zebre came back immediately, getting close to their opponents' line before number 8 Samuela Vunisa knocked on, but with play taken back for an earlier Edinburgh infringement, Luciano Orquera levelled (3-3).

With the club already without front-line locks Grant Gilchrist and Izak van der Westhuizen, a 15-minute injury to second-row Ollie Atkins meant number 8 David Denton was needed in the tight five.

The side’s lineout was set to creak from there on in before Zebre made their way down the blind side to wing Giovanbattista Venditti, who crashed over at the corner for an unconverted score (8-3).

Despite a period of Edinburgh possession in Zebre's half, it was the Italians who added to their tally on 28 minutes as centre Gonzarlo Garcia's long-range penalty tumbled over for 11-3.

Bezuidenhout then missed with his own attempt for the visitors, before making amends on the 31st minute (11-6).

With the half-time break approaching, centre Matt Scott shot out to put in a big hit on Garcia at the half-way line, but was ultimately penalised for coming off his feet, allowing Garcia hit another long-range three-pointer. 

Half-time: Zebre 14-6 Edinburgh Rugby

The interval appeared to have a galvanizing effect on the visitors, who were back to within a point after five minutes of play.

As they pushed forward into the Zebre 22, returning wing Tim Visser broke the line before feeding Scott for his third try in as many games.

With Bezuidenhout off at half-time, the kicking duties were handed to full-back Jack Cuthbert, who was successful with the conversion and, despite watching a 48th-minute penalty drift wide, the Scottish outfit looked much improved.

Edinburgh Rugby looked set to continue their upward trend but a miss-queued, tip-on pass from Scott allowed Zebre to snatch possession and work their way up to the 22.

As Zebre came again, Orquera offloaded to second-row Quintin Geldenhuys who rammed his way towards the line, before Filippo Cristiano picked up and crossed the whiteash from short range.

Orquera missed the conversion to leave the scores at 19-13.

Still in the contest, Edinburgh Rugby’s forward woes deepened when back-row Roddy Grant was forced off injured on 57 minutes, to be replaced by Sam Beard, with centre Andries Strauss entering uncharted territory on the openside flank.

The losses to Atkins and Grant put the pack under substantial pressure in the set piece.

Cuthbert had another chance to reduce the deficit but his kick from the Zebre 10m line was just wide.

The hosts then made the points safe three minutes from time, when they turned over the underpowered Edinburgh 5m scrum, and slipped the ball to replacement back Dion Berryman to cross under the posts, which Orquera converted.

Full-time: Zebre (14) 26-13 (6) Edinburgh Rugby

Zebre team: 15 David Odiete; 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti; 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Brendon Leonard; 1 Matias Aguero, 2 Davide Giazzon, 3 Dario Chistolini, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 5 George Fabio Biagi, 6 Filippo Cristiano, 7 Dries van Schalkwyk, 8 Samuela Vunisa. Substitutes: 16 Tommaso d'Apice on Giazzon (68'), 17 Andrea de Marchi, 18 David Ryan, 19 Michael van Vuuren, 20 Filippo Ferrarini on for Cristiano (68'), 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Dion Berryman on for Sarton (55'), 23 Kameli Ratuvou on for Gacia (55'), Garcia back on for Iannone (62').

Edinburgh Rugby team: 15 Jack Cuthbert; 14 Tom Brown, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser; 10 Carl bezuidenhout, 9 Sean Kennedy; 1 Wicus Blaauw, 2 Ross Ford, 3 Willem Nel, 4 Ollie Atkins, 5 Ben Toolis, 6 Mike Coman CAPTAIN, 7 Roddy Grant, 8 David Denton. Substitutes: 16 James Hilterbrand on for Ford (54'), 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Alex Toolis on for B.Toolis (54'), 20 Cornell Du Preez on for Atkins (15'), 21 Grayson Hart on for Kennedy (40'), 22 Harry Leonard on for Bezuidenhout (41'), 23 Sam Beard on for Grant (57').

Team lineups

Zebre
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15 David Odiete
14 Leonardo Sarto
13 Tommaso Iannone
12 Gonzalo Garcia
11 Giovanbattista Venditti
10 Luciano Orquera
0 Brendon Leonard

Backs

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Forwards

1 Matias Aguero
2 Davide Giazzon
3 Dario Chistolini
4 Quintin Geldenhuys
5 George Biagi
6 Filippo Cristiano
7 Andries Van Schalwyk
8 Samuela Vunisa

Forwards

1
2 Rob Herring
3
4
5
6
7
8

Substitutes

16 Tommaso D'apice
17 Andrea De Marchi
18 Dave Ryan
19 Michael Van Vuren
20 Filippo Ferrarini
21 Guglielmo Palazzani
22 Kameli Ratuvou
23 Dion Berryman

Substitutes

Man of the match: 
George Fabio Biagi