Treviso whitewashed by six-try Edinburgh

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Guinness PRO12 bottom team, Benetton Treviso were the visitors to Edinburgh for the latest round in the league and suffered a 48-0 points defeat in a match where they barely saw the inside of their opponent’s half. Proceedings were interrupted at one point in the second half by an almighty brawl which cost the visitors a red card.

It took Edinburgh 45 seconds to open the scoring through Sam Hidalgo-Clyne. Jack Cuthbert evaded several tackles before passing the ball to Greg Tonks. Tonks then moved the ball swiftly on to Hidalgo-Clyne who raced through a yawning gap in the Treviso defence to go over on the left of the posts for the try. He then converted, so Edinburgh took a welcome, and early, 7-0 lead.

What appeared to be an early blip on the part of the visitors seemed to be rectified as they spent a good few minutes hammering away at Edinburgh’s defence inside the home 22.

However, they were held out and the ball was eventually turned over and Edinburgh proceeded to exert some pressure on Benetton territory. They were rewarded with a 15th minute penalty which Hidalgo-Clyne put through to stretch the lead to 10-0.

They followed this up with an extended period of attacking play from both the forwards and the backs, but it was to be the pack which put another five points on the board. Setting up a rolling maul on the right touchline, the pack soon had the Benetton defence in trouble and rolled them back over their own goal line, Mike Coman coming up with the ball for a 15-0 score. Hidalgo-Clyne then scored with another difficult kick to make it 17-0 for the home side.

The rest of the half was played out inside the Treviso half, but the hosts couldn’t secure the ball for long enough to add to their tally so the teams went in at half time with that 17-0 scoreline.

Just before the end of the first half, however, and as the subs were making their way down the pitch for a warm-up session, the ball was passed back from a ruck in the Edinburgh half and front row, John Andress, finding himself playing stand-off, booted the ball ‘somewhere’ much to the amusement of his – so called – team mates. An exchange between two of these ‘team- mates’ went something like: “Who was that?” “John Andress”. “Who did he think he was? Ronan O’ **** Gara!?” Queue, less than, sympathetic chortles all round……

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Although Treviso had a couple of minutes of possession early in the second half, Edinburgh were soon back on song and a penalty – kicked by that man Hidalgo-Clyne – 10 minutes in put the first of the half’s points on the board.

From here on in, Edinburgh went on to dominate possession and territory. The third try was scored off the back of a Tim Visser break up the left, but he was put into touch by the final defender.  Edinburgh then turned the ball over from Treviso’s line out and the forwards went to work. Probing at the defence, it was Willem Nel’s turn to burrow over from a ruck to score his first try of the season (really?). With Hidalgo-Clyne on song with the boot, the points tally was up to 27-0.

Two minutes later, and with 63 minutes on the clock, it was the backs’ turn. Another break from Visser saw him cut inside the defender, leaving sub, Grayson Hart in the clear to collect his offload and gallop over for the bonus point, fourth try. It was then another sub, Tom Heathcote’s turn to add to the points for an unassailable 34-0 lead.

And then it all blew up. ‘Something’ happened which encouraged Benetton’s Acosta Romulo to start laying into the back of Fraser McKenzie’s head as the lock lay on the floor. All hell then broke loose as players flew in from all angles, Hart taking a particularly nasty blow which encouraged him to battle Romulo off the pitch and into, and over, the crowd barriers where the punch-up carried on, Eventually, order was restored and once the refereeing team viewed the incident on the screen, Romulo was red-carded and Hart was yellow carded for the respective parts they played in the affair. The one light note which came out of it all was the scene of one of Romulo’s team mates almost begging him to stop punching McKenzie at the start of it all.

Once play resumed it was the home side who dominated. They set up camp in the Benetton 22 from the restart, but were turned over and lost the ball. They were soon back and Nel was bundled over from another rolling maul for his second try of the match. Heathcote continued on with the home side kicking record and upped the score to 41-0, with eight minutes of play left.

It was to be an eight minute period of play which had the local fans chewing their finger nails. Edinburgh put in a couple of attacks, but it was the visitors who dominated play. They got within a few metres of scoring with a couple of minutes remaining, but lost the ball which Man-of-the-Match, Roddy Grant, kicked clear and then chased upfield to clear the lines.

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Edinburgh’s final try came after time as Benetton were doing their best to keep possession and set up a scoring chance. Again they handed over the ball, and Edinburgh were off, spreading the ball and leaving David Denton with an overlap to score in the right corner. Heathcote kept the faith and his successful conversion took the final score up to 48-0.

Benetton Treviso were never really in the game from the start, but Edinburgh played well to defend when they needed to and attack – and score – whenever the opportunity arose. A fine bonus point win and long may it continue. Glasgow may, of course, upset their apple cart on the 27th at Scotstoun….

Images from the match will appear here over the next few days.