Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Laidlaw saves Edinburgh

Greig Laidlaw booted Edinburgh to victory

Scotland star Greig Laidlaw booted Edinburgh to a narrow 9-7 victory over Zebre in Parma - but it could easily have been a miserable night for the visitors.

With time running out at the Stadio XXV Aprile, Zebre fly-half Luciano Orquera hit the crossbar with a drop-goal attempt, when had the ball landed the right side it would have been a near-certain match-winner.

Zebre remain without a victory in the RaboDirect Pro12, but this was a night when they went particularly close, scoring the game's only try when Dries van Schalkwyk crossed in the first half, and leading 7-3. Edinburgh cut the gap to a single point at the break, and Laidlaw kicked his third penalty of the contest five minutes into the second half.

That gave Edinburgh a lead they clung to, but it never looked as vulnerable as when Italy fly-half Orquera took aim with three minutes to go and so nearly claimed the spoils.

Zebre went into the match on the back of 18 consecutive defeats in the competition this season, and finished it with the small consolation of their eighth losing bonus point.

Laidlaw edged Edinburgh ahead with his first penalty in the third minute, but the lead was relinquished when South African Van Schalkwyk barged over in the 30th minute. Orquera converted.

Laidlaw reduced the arrears with the interval approaching and made it three successful kicks in three attempts soon after half-time.

Despite applying plenty of pressure in the second half, Edinburgh could not add to their two-point lead, with Laidlaw among those who failed to make the most of try-scoring opportunities.

Orquera almost punished them, but the visitors rode their luck to snatch their sixth win in the Pro12.

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre