EDINBURGH coach Stevie Scott was left to rue what might have been after watching his side go down 30-10 on the road to Benetton Treviso last night.
In a RaboDirect Pro 12 game ultimately decided by the smallest of margins, Edinburgh failed to build upon an early ten point-lead and eventually left Treviso without so much as a losing bonus point.
Matt Scott scored his second try of the season for the visitors whilst Greig Laidlaw added five points with the boot.
However, Edinburgh failed to score a single point beyond the opening 15 minutes, and though they chased hard throughout, they were left chastened by the ever-improving Italians, who scored three tries courtesy of Manoa Vosawai, Michele Rizzo and Simone Favaro.
“I’m bitterly disappointed,” said a rather sombre Scott when it was all done and dusted. “It was the same as last week against Connacht when we found ourselves 12-3 up but still lost.
“Tonight we were 10-0 up and it was the same areas of our play that let us down. Our intention was to start really well and I thought that in the first 20 minutes we did just that. But poor discipline let them back into the game just before half time, and that cost us in the end.”
With Treviso so strong at home, the result didn’t come as any great surprise for the travelling party. However, there was an unmistakable feeling of regret given the chronology of the first half.
Laidlaw had them on the scoreboard three minutes in and was called upon not long after to convert a terrific try by Scott.
Tim Visser was architect-in-chief, accelerating through a tiny chink in the home defence, drawing the fullback and before finally unleashing the 22-year old who outsprinted the cover defence.
Treviso, meanwhile, missed two kickable penalties before finally getting on the scoreboard ten minutes later courtesy of Alberto di Bernardo’s first successful effort of the evening.
And from there, things started to go downhill for the visitors.
From the restart, Dougie Fife was lucky to escape a yellow card for taking his man out in the air. Tom Brown, however, was less fortunate when his outstretched leg stopped a full speed Paul Derbyshire in his tracks, and was duly sin-binned in one of the key moments of the game.
“It was interesting one,” said Scott. “The guy was running at full tilt and he changed direction at the last moment.
“Tom’s initial reaction was to change his direction too and in doing so he caught his leg. I’ve seen yellow cards given and not given. It’s one of these things.”
With a one-man advantage for the final six minutes of the first half, Benetton tagged on another penalty and then a converted try when giant No.8 Vosawai (on for the injured Derbyshire) barged over the line from close range.
Di Bernardo converted and Edinburgh went down the tunnel trailing 13-10.
Undeterred, however, the visitors came storming out of the blocks in the second half, and Scott so very nearly collected his second try after once again combining magnificently with Visser.
Unfortunately, he just failed to gather his chip ahead, and the chance went a begging. “That was a great piece of individual skill and he was very unlucky not to get anything from it,” commented Scott.
“The end result doesn’t show that, but the game hinges on small margins, and that was definitely one of them.”
Indeed, had Edinburgh scored then, one got the feeling they might have gone on to add a few more, such was their exuberance. Instead, Benetton shifted gears, and put the game to bed during their purple patch.
Bernardo extended their lead with another penalty before Rizzo landed the hammer blow with a try on the hour mark, the conversion taking the score out to 23-10.
Treviso lost both Edoardo Gori and Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet to the bin in the final ten minutes, but even with 13 men they were too good for Edinburgh, and Favaro’s injury-time try added injury to insult.
“In terms of effort, I couldn’t have asked for any more form our players,” was Scott’s final take. “But the small details are killing us, and we need to eradicate them for our last game of the season.”
Scorers: Treviso: Tries: Vosawai, Rizzo, Favaro. Conversions: Di Bernardo 3. Penalties: Di Bernardo 3. Edinburgh: Try: Scott. Con: Laidlaw. Pen: Laidlaw.
Treviso: B Williams (L McLean 48); L Nitoglia (E Gori 63), T Benvenuti, G la Grange (K Burton 33-40), C Loamanu; A di Bernardo, F Semenzato; A de Marchi (M Rizzo 50), L Ghiraldini (capt) (G Maistri 72), L Cittadini (I Fernandez-Rouyet 50); F Minto, V Bernabo; S Favaro, A Zanni, P Derbyshire (M Vosawai 35)
Edinburgh: T Brown; D Fife, N de Luca, M Scott, T Visser; H Leonard (P Francis 69), G Laidlaw (capt) (S Kennedy 41); A Jacobsen, R Ford (S Lawrie 60), G Cross (J Yapp 60); G Gilchrist, S Cox; S McInally, H Watson, N Talei (P Parker 73).