Edinburgh 17-20 Benetton Treviso: Edinburgh suffer first PRO14 defeat of season
Last Updated: 15/09/17 10:35pm
Edinburgh suffered their first defeat of the Guinness PRO14 campaign as they were beaten 20-17 at home by Benetton Treviso.
The Scots struggled to impose themselves on lacklustre opponents who moved ahead early in the second half then held on as the hosts squandered numerous late scoring opportunities.
Edinburgh led at half-time through a brace of tries from Chris Dean, both converted by Duncan Weir, while the visitors responded with a touchdown from Angelo Esposito, which Ian McKinley converted before adding a penalty.
Esposito made it a double in the second half and McKinley added the conversion as well as a penalty to hand Treviso an advantage which was cut to three points following a Weir penalty. And the Italians survived a late Edinburgh onslaught to post their first win of the campaign, despite ending the match with 13 men.
The visitors suffered an early blow when centre Tommaso Allan left the field on a stretcher after only two minutes. But Treviso almost snatched the lead when Tommaso Benvenuti intercepted on halfway and looked set to score, only to be thwarted just shy of the line by a last-ditch Weir tackle.
Edinburgh were enjoying the territorial advantage but a mounting error count meant it was the 18th minute before they took the lead. Robbie Fruean raced into space and freed Dean to score with a bullet pass. Weir banged over the touchline conversion and the hosts had a seven-point lead their stuttering efforts just about merited.
And the tally doubled six minutes later as a multi-phase attack ended with Weir delivering the scoring pass for Dean to dart in for a second time before adding the conversion.
The Italians had offered very little by way of a scoring threat but their first sustained assault on the home defence yielded a try as Esposito crashed over from close range.
Treviso ended the half with 14 men after Engjel Makelara was yellow carded for pulling down a maul but they trimmed the deficit to four points with a close-range penalty by McKinley after Edinburgh strayed offside.
Treviso looked lively after the restart and moved to within a point when McKinley landed his second penalty after Magnus Bradbury earned a yellow for kicking the ball in a ruck.
The visitors continued to press and they moved in front after 51 minutes. Captain Dean Budd carried the ball into contact and when it was recycled, a looping pass found Esposito in space and the winger sprinted in.
Shocked into action, Edinburgh clawed back three points with a penalty by Weir and mounted a string of attacks that repeatedly foundered on errors, though the sustained pressure led to a yellow card for Cherif Traore with six minutes left.
The home side spent several minutes camped on the opposition line as a string of penalty scrums failed to produce points. And although Alberto De Marchi joined Traore in the sin bin, Edinburgh failed to take advantage.