Cock­er­ill left fum­ing by sloppy se­cond half

The Rugby Paper - - Guinness Pro14 - ■ By GARY HEATLY

BENET­TON caused a shock to earn their first win of the sea­son against Ed­in­burgh on Fri­day night.

And given that the Ital­ians are not known for their away suc­cesses, Ed­in­burgh head coach Richard Cock­er­ill was an an­gry man af­ter­wards.

“We were sim­ply not good enough and we paid the penalty,” the for­mer Le­ices­ter Tigers and Toulon boss said.

“We were 14-0 up and then sat back while in the se­cond half we tried to force too many things and made stupid er­rors.”

Ed­in­burgh took the lead in the 20th minute when a lovely de­layed pass by Kiwi cen­tre part­ner Rob­bie Fruean put Dean in for a try. Weir con­verted.

The hosts had their tails up at that point and five min­utes later Dean again was the man on the end of a good move for his se­cond try with Weir con­vert­ing.

Winger An­gelo Es­pos­ito did get Benet­ton on the board with a con­verted try just be­fore the half hour mark, but then hooker Eng­jel Make­lara was yel­low carded for pulling down a maul.

Ed­in­burgh thought they had scored their third try of the first half in the 35th minute, but winger Ja­son Har­ries knocked on over the line.

And Benet­ton cut the gap to four with an Ian McKin­ley penalty just be­fore the in­ter­val.

That gave them hope and they started the se­cond half well, lead­ing to Ed­in­burgh skip­per Mag­nus Brad­bury be­ing sin-binned for kick­ing aball in a ruck.

Stand-off McKin­ley kicked a penalty and then in the 52nd minute Es­pos­ito glided in at the cor­ner for his se­cond try. With McKin­ley’s con­ver­sion it was 20-14.

Three min­utes later Weir kicked a penalty for Ed­in­burgh to close the gap and then Brad­bury re­turned to the ac­tion.

The game then be­came a for­ward ori­en­tated bat­tle, the Ital­ians los­ing re­place­ment Cherif Traore to the sin bin in the 74th minute as Ed­in­burgh went search­ing for the win­ning try.

A se­ries of scrum penal­ties then saw prop Al­berto De Marchi yel­low carded, but a knock on af­ter 80 min­utes by Ed­in­burgh gave Benet­ton a fa­mous win which they just about de­served for their bat­tling qual­i­ties.

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