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Sam Hidalgo-Clyne adds the second-half spark as Edinburgh dismiss Zebre

A scrappy bonus point win moved Edinburgh ahead of Glasgow in the push for the Scottish spot in next season's Champions Cup.

Zebre have still to win a match in Scotland and have now played 247 minutes without scoring after Friday's 29-0 Guinness PRO12 defeat.

A poor first half finished with Edinburgh leading 3-0 thanks to a penalty from their recent arrival from Dragons - Jason Tovey.

The insertion of subs at the turnaround, notably scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, brought some focus to the home play.

Two tries in five minutes from Damien Hoyland really decided the issue before Hidalgo-Clyne and Alex Toolis crossed. Man of the match Tovey converted the first three.

Zebre camped in the Edinburgh 22 for the opening nine minutes without reward.

A kickable penalty was turned down but Edinburgh chose to go for the points in 13 minutes with Tovey opening his account.

There the score stood to the pause in a game with a symmetry to the error-studded play.

In mid-half Edinburgh back row sub Magnus Bradbury made a 30-metre break that finished with centre Mike Allen's try chalked off for a forward pass.

Scrum-half Sean Kennedy then tapped a penalty awarded under the crossbar - but Bradbury was tackled on the line.

When Zebre, in turn, staged a good handling attack it broke down when prop Dario Chistolini dropped the ball three metres from the line.

A long-range penalty from Kelly Haimona fell under the bar and the half finished with Zebre hooker Oliviero Fabiani touching down - but referee Leighton Hodges chalking the 'score' off for crossing.

Twelve minutes after the restart Haimona again missed with a penalty. In the subsequent broken play Hidalgo-Clyne smartly kicked the ball through and left winger Hoyland scored the first try of the night.

Five minutes later Hoyland touched down again, this time finishing handling after the forwards were held on the line.

Ten minutes from the end Tovey got things moving and Stuart McInally sent in Hidalgo-Clyne for the third try, before Toolis got the fourth in the final minute. Tovey converted all four.


From Belfast Telegraph