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Edinburgh eclipsed by fiery Treviso display

jmcconnell 6 May 2011

Luke McLean and Corniel van Zyl crossed for late tries as Benetton Treviso ended their first Magners League season on a high with a 25-point victory over Edinburgh.

In another exhibition of their strength at home, Treviso took the game to an out-of-sorts Edinburgh side and were rewarded for their endeavour with tries from Luke McLean (2) and Corniel van Zyl.

South African fly-half Willem de Waal did some damage with the boot, finishing with an 18-point tally which dwarfed Chris Paterson's contribution of two first half penalties.

Treviso recaptured some of the form which saw them beat the likes of Leinster and Munster earlier in the campaign and Glasgow Warriors most recently.

Indeed, the Cardiff Blues and Ulster were the only sides not to lose a league game at Stadio di Monigo this season. A fine record for Franco Smith's men and something to build on for 2011/12.

In this particular encounter, Treviso used their forward might to win the collisions and boss play up front, especially in the set piece and at the breakdown. They were also clinical in terms of fashioning and finishing their scoring chances.

Italy full-back McLean was helped on his way by some weak Edinburgh tackling as he cut through for a second minute try.

Tim Visser, the league's top try scorer this season, knocked the ball on after failing to deal with a difficult bouncing ball in his 22. Treviso seized their opportunity to put McLean over in the corner and de Waal added the conversion.

There were three penalties from de Waal to two to Paterson as the first half motored along, Treviso sticking to their task and using their muscular forwards to keep them on the move – their mauling was excellent, and the scrum had Edinburgh under a lot of pressure.

The Scots looked to have the measure of their opponents in the back-line, but they were lacking a killer touch or the ability to create space for the likes of Visser and Simon Webster.

It was a bruising contest and Edinburgh were coming off worse. Scrum half Greig Laidlaw took a knock to his head and had to be replaced and early in the second half, lock Steven Turnbull was stretchered off with his neck in a brace.

Stuart McInally (foot) and Paterson (shoulder) also picked up injuries, the latter making way after de Waal had added three more points onto Treviso's 16-6 half-time lead.

David Denton and Scott Macleod, who is moving to Japanese club Kobe Steelers, were the pick of the Edinburgh forwards in terms of trying to match the Italians' physicality but after reinforcements had arrived, the hosts added a second try.

There were 72 minutes on the clock when McLean went over again after an Edinburgh attack had broken down. The score had been coming, as scrum half Tobie Botes had a previous effort ruled out for crossing.

The scoring was completed by van Zyl from close range after McLean, who ran well with ball in hand, had almost claimed a hat-trick.

Conceding that his side were well beaten, Edinburgh's interim head coach Nick Scrivener said: "It was a very disappointing performance from us. There were too many errors and we did not match their physicality around the park so we were never allowed to play with the freedom we would want.

"It fell well below the standards we have set for ourselves recently and it was a poor way to reward the fans who travelled out to support us."

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