Cockerill’s men settle a score
back Blair Kinghorn found a gap, with centre James Johnstone there to put Sam Hidalgo-Clyne in for the opening try with only three minutes on the clock.
About 25 minutes in, Treviso, despite having flanker Francesco Minto in the sin-bin, cut the deficit with two Ian McKinley penalties as they started to work their way into the game, with Edinburgh’s line-out a particular problem.
Treviso kept the momentum after the break and wing Angelo Esposito eventually went over. Edinburgh could now hold their nerve and come through the test or they could fold.
Straight from the kick-off, they won a scrum for Kinghorn to exploit the blind side and put Dougie Fife in. With Jason Tovey, later named man of the match, converting, Edinburgh were back in front. They eased further ahead with a Tovey penalty and cemented the win when Kinghorn and Fife produced a replay of the earlier try-scoring move, this time off a line- out drive. Kinghorn produced a try-saving tackle from the last move of the game, but the good news was that Edinburgh had flirted with disaster but found a way to avoid it. WHO knows? After staring down the barrel of defeat but finding a way to come through it and emerge with a confidenceboosting win, Edinburgh may come to see this as the turning point in their season.
It has been a horrible few weeks for them off the field, with drink and drug allegations haunting the camp, but on the field they have had a perfect start to the European Challenge Cup and are showing signs that the difficult times might be helping to pull the squad together.
This was a game they could easily have lost. They had a bright start, but surrendered the initiative to allow Treviso to overhaul them. That was the crunch time; would they find a way back or would they give up? To their credit, it was the former, and head coach Richard Cockerill was delighted with the players’ response.
“It was important for us that we proved we can win away against a side that we lost to at home,” he said. “We are getting there with the confidence in the team. Even when we were under pressure we kept to our game plan, ball-in-hand, and we were a threat the whole game.
“Our game is slowly developing and growing, though there is still a long way to go. This is a difficult place to come – just ask Toulon who spend a considerable amount of money more than we do [and needed an extra-time penalty to win 30-29 in the European Champions Cup].
“We are pleased with the win. We said five weeks ago we wanted to win the next five games; now we have won four and have Ospreys at home next week to finish it. We have to front up then.”
Edinburgh had the perfect start, winning a line-out in the home 22 and rumbling through the phases until full- PRO14