Zebre vs Edinburgh Rugby, Sat, 29/11/2014 - 16:00

A dreich afternoon in northern Italy saw Edinburgh take something of a step back after posting four wins out of five recent games and a run of positive performances. Missed opportunities - three yellow cards for the home side didn't result in any opportune points for the visitors - and a scrappy scramble of a match in mizzly conditions didn't make it easy viewing for the crowd at Stade XXV Aprile who watched Zebre defeat Edinburgh 18-10.

Head coach Alan Solomons said: "It's a game I felt we should have won - it's disappointing, to say the least.

"Although we struggled in the first half, the penalty count was massive against us - five penalties in the first eight or nine minutes - and there were one or two incidents in the game that sealed our fate.

The first points went to the home side, through stand-off Kelly Haimon's tenth minute penalty, which slammed the upright but still dropped over the whitewash. It could have gone either way, but that was to sum up much of the game.

Opposite number Tom Heathcote wasn't as lucky with the posts moments later as his first penalty attempt rebounded the wrong way off the sticks and failed to draw the hosts level.

There was good work going on at the set piece and on the break but each phase generally ended the same way - close but no cigar. After riling the home side sufficiently, Zebre's Valerio Bernabo was shown the first of their three yellow cards but Edinburgh took the lead after he had returned to the pitch, unable to capitlise on advantage.

Eventually, within five minutes of the break, flanker Roddy Grant scored the opening try, after good offloads from Viser and co, and Heathcote made no mistake with a well-worked conversion.

(HT: 7-3)

Edinburgh pressed and pushed and twirled and swirled around the ball, with winger Dougie Fife hauled down just short of the line moments after the restart, but that was to be the nearest thing to a second try this game. After Daniller Heathcote's first penalty extended the advantage after Hennie Daniller's indiscipline saw him yellow carded, Heathcote had the chance to extend the lead and duly did so, hammering the ball between the uprights to put the visitors 10-3 ahead.

There was more yellow to someshortly after when Rory Sutherland and Zebre's Dario Chistolin were both dispatched to the bus shelter/sin bin after repeated issues with the scrum.

Into the last 15 minutes, Zebre started to take more control of the game, Haimon scored a penalty from in front of the posts and Zebre then seized the lead in style (13-10)

At the restart WP Nel fumbled and the hosts collected and countered, centre Bisegni chasing nearly 80 metres to dot down under the posts, and an easy conversion for Haimona.

Then a moment - or rather nearly four minutes - of controvercy as eplacement centre Visentin bundled over in the corner, his foot looking in touch. After endless reviews by the local TMO, the try was confirmed after a long wait, however Haimona missing the extras.

Edinburgh must now regroup over the next few days to focus firmly on their European competition, with London Welsh the visitors next weekend.

Team lineups

Zebre
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Backs

15 Hennie Daniller
14 Leonardo Sarto
13 Giulio Bisegni
12 Matteo Pratichetti
11 Giulio Toniolatti
10 Kelly Haimona
9 Brendon Leonard

Forwards

Forwards

1 Andrea Lovotti
2 Andrea Manici
3 Dario Chistolini
4 George Biagi
5 Marco Bortolami
6 Valerio Bernabo
7 Filippo Cristiano
8 Samuela Vunisa

Substitutes

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

Substitutes

16 Oliviero Fabiani
17 Andrea De Marchi
18 Lorenzo Romano
19 Quintin Geldenhuys
20 Dries van Schalkwyk
21 Guglielmo Palazzani
22 Michele Visentin
23 Luciano Orquera
Man of the match: 
Samuela Vunisa