Edinburgh suffer narrow loss in Treviso

Edinburgh were the architects of their own downfall as Benetton secured the narrowest of victories in treacherous conditions at Treviso’s Stadio Monigo.

Although the capital side leave Italy with a losing bonus-point, that will mean little considering the chances and opportunities that unfortunately went begging throughout the 80 minutes.

Jaco van der Walt did have the chance to win it late on, but with the rain lashing down, kicking from tee was far from straightforward, and the stand-off’s attempt at the sticks fell wide with just three minutes remaining.

The capital side has lead early in the second-half thanks to a try from Luke Crosbie and a pair of penalties from Van der Walt.

However, Tomasso Allan matched Edinburgh kick-for-kick and it was his accuracy at goal that eventually won it for the Conference B rivals.

Speaking after the match, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “We had chances to win the game and unfortunately didn’t take them.

“Benetton played well and we congratulate them on the win, but it was a pretty poor game because of the bad weather.

“The luck was probably with them tonight and we’re obviously disappointed. But we’re five games in and we’ll take what could be a valuable point back to Scotland.”

The hosts shot out of the blocks to start the first-half and had the first try of the day with just four minutes on the clock.

With Benetton pushing forward, full-back Jayden Hayward got on the end of a neat chip over the top for the straightforward score. With Allan adding the extras, it was 7-0.

Edinburgh bounced back well, however, and soon replied with a penalty of their own. With the Benetton defence caught offside, Van der Walt stroked it home to make 7-3 with six minutes played.

Allan added a further three-pointer to increase his side’s lead to 10-3, but Edinburgh quickly drew level thanks to an excellent counter-attacking score finished by Luke Crosbie.

With Damien Hoyland making the initial break from inside his own half, the ball was offloaded to Mike Willemse, who swiftly linked up with Mark Bennett.

With the Benetton defence on rushing, Bennett’s chip bounced fortuitously into the hands of Crosbie who raced home from 20m out. Van der Walt’s conversion made it 10-10.

With both sides struggling to string together possession due to the tricky conditions, chances were few and far between, however when Edinburgh went down to 14-men following Jamie Bhatti’s yellow card, the Italians capatalised.

As Tomas Baravalle guided over a lineout drive, the hosts led 15-10, with Allan missing the resulting conversion.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Edinburgh continued to battle and should have perhaps had a score in the final stages of the first half.

With Edinburgh lining up on the Benetton whitewash for 30 plus phases, the stout Italian defence kept the visitors at bay and Van der Walt was left to settle for yet another penalty. It was 15-13 at the break.

The capital side looked confident in the opening stages of the second-half and eventually took the lead as Van der Walt added his third penalty of the evening. [15-16]

With the introduction of Bill Mata – who made his first appearance of the season – Edinburgh continued to carry abrasively, however the lead once again changed hands as Allan struck back with a penalty of his own. [18-16]

Edinburgh continue to plug away and with a host of changes – including Nic Groom on at scrum-half – they looked to be in the ascendency and in a position to claim the win.

However, with Van der Walt given a pair of opportunities to win it late on, it unfortunately wasn’t his night from the kicking tee, and the hosts held on to claim the nervy win.

live commentary 5:15 PM Saturday 2 Nov 2019

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Kick-off 5:15 PM

Benetton

Edinburgh

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