Zebre claim first win of the season as Edinburgh leave Italy pointless

Zebre claim first win of the season as Edinburgh leave Italy pointless
Edinburgh's Fraser McKenzie is tackled by Guglielmo Palazzani, Johan Meyer and Andrea Lovotti of Zebre

Zebre 19 Edinburgh 11

Zebre claimed their first win of the Guinness PRO12 season and ended Edinburgh’s unbeaten start at the same time as they won 19-11 at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

Fly-half Carlo Canna, on his return from Italy’s World Cup campaign, chipped in with a 14-point haul to get Zebre off the mark, with Dion Berryman scoring their only try.

Hamish Watson dotted down for Edinburgh, with Nathan Fowles adding two penalties, but it was not enough for the Scottish side. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Blair Kinghorn also missed penalties at the death to mean they leave Italy without even a losing bonus point.

Edinburgh, who also lost 18-10 on their last visit to Parma in 2014, started well and kept Zebre penned inside their own 22 after Jack Cuthbert’s initial break from deep put the hosts on the back foot.

Scrum-half Fowles slotted a penalty on eight minutes to give them something to show for their efforts, but Canna replied with three of his own to give Zebre a deserved 9-3 lead after 26 minutes.

Zebre, who welcomed seven of their World Cup stars back into their starting line-up, crumbled just before the break though and Edinburgh took advantage to snatch an 11-9 lead at the interval.

First, Fowles pulled it back to 9-6 with his second penalty – despite missing one moments earlier – and then Watson made the crucial breakthrough, darting over after Phil Burleigh’s break to put the visitors back in front, although Fowles missed the conversion.

Zebre drove forward with intent after the restart and wing Berryman eventually crashed over after 54 minutes as Edinburgh buckled under the pressure on their own line. Canna added the conversion and then a penalty soon after to put the Italian side 19-11 up at the end of the third quarter.

The visitors tried to force the issue but were unable to break through. Any hopes of salvaging something from the match were dashed when Hidalgo-Clyne and Kinghorn missed penalties in the 78th and 81st minutes respectively.

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