Edinburgh 41-10 Zebre, RaboDirect PRO12
Visser brace fires Edinburgh to victory
September 14, 2012
Edinburgh winger Tim Visserr now has six tries to his name this season
© PA Photos
Edinburgh's Tim Visser made it six tries in three games as his side thrashed Zebre 41-10 in their RaboDirect PRO12 clash at Murrayfield.
The hosts' first home win of the season was considerably more comfortable than the scoreline suggested. However, the Scottish side's inability to convert lengthy periods of dominance into points provided further evidence that Michael Bradley's beefed-up squad is still a work in progress.
The hosts had two tries fromVisser, one each by Sean Cox and Ross Ford, plus a penalty try, together with a string of kicks from the flawless boot of skipper Greig Laidlaw. The Italian side's haul was a try from Sinoti Sinoti and two kicks by Daniel Halangahu.
Both sides took time to settle in an error-strewn opening but, with five minutes on the clock, Laidlaw eased Edinburgh in front when he banged over a long-range penalty after an offence at the breakdown.
Zebre were proving difficult to break down and offered a stern physical test to the home side, but there were 15 minutes gone before the newcomers made their first foray into the home 22 with an attack that came to nothing. And, while the hosts were not firing on all cylinders, they eventually converted their pressure into additional points after 22 minutes.
From a lineout deep in the Zebre half, the ball was swept along the line to Richie Rees, whose darting run took him past one defender before he drew a tackle and offloaded to Cox.
The second row powerhouse rumbled towards the line and, although tackled, his momentum took him over the whitewash. Laidlaw's conversion hoisted Edinburgh's advantage into double figures.
Zebre opened their account with a well struck penalty by Halangahu but that was instantly cancelled out by a similar strike from Laidlaw. That success sparked a pre-interval flourish from the Scots.
A strike against the head at a scrum on the Zebre line provided the possession for them to sweep the ball wide where Visser gratefully accepted a pass from Greig Tonks to gallop over for his fifth try of the season. Laidlaw's conversion sent the hosts in at the break with a 20-3 lead.
Edinburgh resumed at a ferocious pace and a bristling run by Matt Scott took the centre to within a few metres of the line. The recycled ball was moved inside where Ford was on hand to crash over and leave Laidlaw a simple conversion.
The home side continued to apply incessant pressure and the visitors were becoming increasingly desperate in their attempts to prevent Edinburgh from claiming the bonus point score. Their task became enough tougher when skipper Quinton Geldenhuys was yellow carded for a high tackle on Lee Jones.
The inevitable fourth score came after 58 minutes when the referee lost patience following a string of offences culminating in a collapsed scrum, and awarded a penalty try. Laidlaw clipped over the conversion.
With the job seemingly done, the Scots were guilty of allowing their opponents their best spell of possession and with 11 minutes to play, Sinoti capped a brief spell in the ascendancy by Zebre when he dived over from close range to touch down and Halangahu converted.
The Italians came close to bolstering their points tally before, in the dying seconds, a spilled pass just short of the home line fell to the foot of Visser who booted the ball clear then won the foot race to gather and touch down for his second score of the match, with Laidlaw adding the extra two points.
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