Duncan Weir excelled with the boot as Edinburgh snapped a three-game losing streak in the Guinness PRO12 by triumphing 24-19 at Zebre on New Year’s Eve.
Scotland internationalist Weir converted the first of his four successful penalties in the 14th minute before Zebre took the lead with a Tommaso Boni try that Carlo Canna converted.
Weir had closed the gap before the half hour with another penalty and, heading into the break, Chris Dean restored Edinburgh’s advantage with a score in the corner that Weir converted from wide.
Will Helu won a footrace to extend the lead when play resumed in Parma, although Weir missed the conversion, and Zebre’s response was to grab a try through Canna in the 61st minute.
The Benevento-born stand-off failed to add the extras, however, and back-to-back penalties from Weir gave Edinburgh a 12-point cushion heading into the final five minutes.
South African No 8 Dries van Schalkwyk made it a nervous finale with his last-gasp try, converted by Canna, but Zebre had fallen short of recording a first home win of the season.
Acting head coach Duncan Hodge said: “We’re extremely happy to come here and come away with the win.
“We managed to play as we wanted; we played a lot in their half and put some phases together. What let us down was a couple of knock-ons and turnovers, and we conceded the first try too easy with a missed tackle.
“However, there was a lot of good stuff in the first-half, and we just had to build on that.
“It wasn’t a glamorous game, but we managed to get ahead on the scoreboard and carry on from there. We’re slightly disappointed to concede the last try, but overall we’re very happy.
“They’re not an easy defence to play against – they hold a solid flat line – and we did well to score the second try from the kick, which is something we spoke about at half-time.
“The forwards did well at the set-piece; some of the lineout defence was good and the scrum was pretty solid.
“There was some good performances in there and we can come away satisfied with the result.”