sport

Zebre dent Edinburgh hopes

Edinburgh's European Rugby Champions Cup hopes suffered a major blow as they suffered a surprise 26-13 defeat to Zebre in Italy.

The Scots need to overtake Scarlets and finish in the top six of the RaboDirect PRO12 to qualify for next season's top-tier competition, but missed the chance to make up ground and trail the Welsh region by 10 points with just three games remaining.

Zebre did their chances of qualification no harm at all as the bottom team closed the gap on Italian rivals Benetton Treviso to just four points.

Carl Bezuidenhout booted Edinburgh into an early lead, but Luciano Orquera soon levelled things up from the tee before Zebre crossed for their first try.

The Italians completed a series of phases down the blindside and Giovanbattista Venditti crashed over in the corner, with Orquera's conversion attempt coming back off a post.

Gonzalo Garcia then extended the lead with a penalty before Bezuidenhout reduced it once more, but the gap was eight at the break thanks to a further Garcia penalty.

It took Edinburgh just five minutes after the break to register their try as Tim Visser, on his return from injury, found Matt Scott, who went over, with Jack Cuthbert adding the extras.

Zebre were soon clear again, though, as Quintin Geldenhuys and Orquera combined to send Filippo Cristiano in for a try.

Kameli Ratuvou then put the icing on the cake three minutes from time following a lineout, with Orquera converting to seal Zebre's first Pro12 win against Scottish opposition.