Benetton 13 - 24 Edinburgh: Cockerill’s side win in Italy

Benetton winger Angelo Esposito moves in to tackle full back Blair Kinghorn, who was involved in all three Edinburgh tries. Photograph: Roberto Bregani/Fotosport
Benetton winger Angelo Esposito moves in to tackle full back Blair Kinghorn, who was involved in all three Edinburgh tries. Photograph: Roberto Bregani/Fotosport
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It is all about confidence – and slowly, inch by inch, Edinburgh are starting to find it and use it to turn games they might have lost into wins. This is a classic case in point.

When they went behind for the first time in the 55th minute, they might have gone into their shells. After all, they had been under the cosh for the previous half hour and Treviso had their tails up.

It didn’t work out like that. Instead Edinburgh looked at themselves, resolved to turn things round and did just that. It was impressive.

In the end, young full-back Blair Kinghorn proved the matchwinner, having a hand in all three tries and pulling off a try-saving tackle with the last move of the game, but the plaudits should be spread all round, with Jason Tovey getting man of the match and plenty of others in contention.

“They are starting to understand what it takes to win,” said Richard Cockerill, the head coach afterwards. “It shows that we have an environment that is working, we have good coaches and good people, good players. We have to keep getting that belief. Days like this, when you get that result, are important.

“We have some good players, we have to keep our consistency, keep our feet on the ground and keep developing our game. We are doing some very good things and we are doing some pretty average things at times as well. We are working hard. Those players are good. We just have to keep developing their skill sets and their belief in what we are doing. That is the challenge.”

He maintained that even when Treviso took the lead, he never lost the faith that they would find a way to win – if so he was proved correct as the players cemented the gains they had made in the European Champions Cup – in contrast with last season when they beat Harlequins one week in Europe and lost to Zebre the week afterwards. They have form in post-Europe collapses.

Still, confidence was soaring after bonus point wins in both their Challenge Cup games and it must have been even higher when they scored inside the first three minutes thanks to a Kinghorn break that created the space for Sam Hidalgo-Clyne to run in under the posts for the opening try.

Tovey, who had made a surprise recovery after being taken off on a stretcher last week, added the conversion but missed a reasonably straightforward penalty as his side struggled to take full advantage of their domination in the first-quarter.

They might have had tries when Phil Burleigh was over the line only to be called back for an earlier knock-on and when Tovey broke on his own but didn’t have the support to turn it into a score, and then the game swung dramatically against them as soon as they found themselves facing 14 men.

The Italians had had moments of threat all through the half, but really started to turn the screw after Francesco Minto was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle, camping in the Scots’ 22 and cutting the deficit to a single point at half time thanks to two Ian McKinley penalties.

They kept it going after the break and eventually won their reward and the lead when Angelo Esposito claimed his third try against the Scots this season and McKinley converted.

Instead of folding, however, Edinburgh regrouped. They forced a mistake at the kick off, swinging the ball to the blind side where Kinghorn did the damage in putting Dougie Fife, the wing, in for a try. With Tovey converting, they were back in front.

An almost identical move off a lineout drive earned Fife his second score and ensured they could not be caught.