Rugby: Scrum-half wary of Zebre but is sure Italians are beatable

Chris Leck knows how to score tries and is looking for more on Friday
Chris Leck knows how to score tries and is looking for more on Friday
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Scrum-HALF Chris Leck 
believes Edinburgh can draw on a new-found ability to pull tight encounters out of the fire when their Rabo Direct Pro 12 campaign continues at home to Italian newcomers Zebre on Friday.

Turning out for the 11th time in Edinburgh’s past 13 matches, Leck came off the bench to supply the pass with which Greig Laidlaw dropped a goal to give Edinburgh a late 21-19 victory in Cardiff at the weekend.

Leck said: “It’s nice to win 
a close game once in a while 
because, without sounding negative, we seemed to be on the end of a lot of these reverses last season.”

In fact, Edinburgh had opened their competitive season by losing to Munster by a single-score margin.

Added the former Sale Shark: “We let ourselves down a bit against Munster and should have won that game. We had the chances to put the game away towards the end.

“So, it was nice to get 
the points back we lost the 
previous week.

“With the opportunities we produced in Cardiff it would have been a shame not to win. Our forwards were immense and we even had the substitute front row coming on to replace a quality front row that is starting and still got a pushover try.

“We also had Coxy [Sean Cox] popping up in the back line and helping to create a try for Tim Visser on the wing.”

That took Visser’s total for the season to four and in the competition to 41; only Irish internationalist Tommy ranks above him with 46 touchdowns.

“I actually joked during the first week to Tim saying: ‘Just three today will do nicely’, and he actually did put three past Munster,” said Leck, adding: “Such scoring feats and last weekend’s win give us a lot 
of confidence going into a match with Zebre where there is no chance of us becoming complacent.”

Edinburgh have never lost at home to Italian opposition in the league, but Leck insists: “Like us, they are beginning to gel with new players introduced and will be getting better every week.”

Zebre’s coaching panel includes Alessandro Troncon, capped 101 times by Italy, and Leck says of his fellow scrum half: “In Troncon they have a coach who has been there and done it and I’m sure his experiences will be getting passed on.”

l   Stewart’s Melville flanker Scott Riddell and former Watsonians back row Michael Fedo have signed two-year contracts to be full-time players in Scotland’s national sevens squad which begins the new circuit in Australia next month. Scotland now have a pool of 15 players to pick from.