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Treviso move off bottom after powerful performance

Robert Barbieri and Angelo Esposito scored tries either side of half-time as Benetton Treviso leapfrogged Zebre in the Guinness PRO12 table thanks to a 21-6 victory over Edinburgh.

The Italians were dominant at the set-piece for the majority of the game and No.8 Barbieri scored his from the scrum to put the hosts in control at half-time.

Eagle-eyed kicking from Ian McKinley also helped Treviso’s cause and Gori made victory certain on the hour mark, while Edinburgh only had two Jason Tovey penalties to show for their efforts.

Glenn Bryce was in the thick of the action early on as the full-back showed a few promising touches, but Treviso stood strong and were particularly resolute in the scrum.

However, a Treviso knock-on deep in their own territory nearly spelled disaster for the hosts – only for Chris Dean to lose control of the ball after picking a good line off Phil Burleigh.

The deadlock was finally broken at the start of the second quarter thanks to Damien Hoyland, whose scything break led to a penalty that Tovey successfully converted.

As soon as that kick went over Treviso hit back off the tee through McKinley, and the fly-half put one through the posts again as the home side continued to assert themselves at scrumtime.

Indeed the momentum had well and truly swung the Italians’ way, forcing Hamish Watson to ground the ball over his own line just past the half-hour mark.

And a try was perhaps inevitable given their superiority at the set-piece – Barbieri picked up the ball from the base of the scrum before piling over the whitewash.

McKinley’s conversion made it 13-3 and the Treviso train showed no signs of slowing down after the break as the Irishman added another three-pointer upon the restart.

It could have been worse for Edinburgh after Treviso booted a penalty to the corner following a high tackle, but they eventually cleared their lines.

Burleigh nearly found the inspiration that the away side needed as he found a gap through Treviso’s stout defence, but the final offload was intercepted.

There was no doubt Edinburgh were gathering momentum however and they got their rewards for a spell of pressure through a second successful Tovey penalty.

But Esposito struck a hammer blow for Treviso after quick hands put him through into the corner, and though McKinley missed the conversion, they had a healthy 21-6 lead on the hour mark.

Try as they might, Edinburgh, who have now lost eight on the spin in the PRO12, could not find a way through.

Luca Sperandio nearly added another try for Treviso at the death, but he failed to ground the ball over the line.

The Guinness PRO12 Final takes place on May 27 at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. 
Fans can guarantee their place by booking their tickets via www.ticketmaster.ie

Further information: www.pro12rugby.com/final

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