Pro12: Edinburgh 37-0 Zebre
|Edinburgh (20) 37|
|Tries: Grant 2, Fife, Ford, McInally Con: Hidalgo-Clyne 3 Pen: Hidalgo-Clyne 2|
|Zebre (0) 0|
A brace of tries from flanker Roddy Grant helped Edinburgh secure a crucial bonus-point Pro12 triumph over last-placed Zebre at Murrayfield.
Dougie Fife, Ross Ford and Stuart McInally also crossed for the hosts as they bludgeoned the ill-disciplined Italians into submission up front.
Zebre lost props Dario Chistolini and Matias Aguero to yellow cards, with Giulio Toniolatti also sin-binned.
Edinburgh occupy sixth place in the Pro12 pending Saturday's results.
With Connacht and Scarlets, their rivals for the coveted sixth spot and an automatic berth in next season's European Champions Cup, in action on Saturday, this was a match the hosts had to win, and win well.
Though Zebre prop up the league standings, the Italians had overcome Alan Solomons' side in their previous two meetings, and passed up an early opportunity to open the scoring when Gonzalo Garcia pushed a long-range penalty attempt wide.
Almost immediately, however, Edinburgh began to establish the physical dominance that would characterise their victory, the pack's punishing drive allowing open-side Grant to dive over.
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne converted, and added a penalty with a quarter of the match gone as tight-head Chistolini hinged and buckled under pressure from Al Dickinson in the scrum.
The scrum-half probed a delightful box kick in behind the Zebre cover defence to lay the platform for the hosts' second try. Anton Bresler stole the line-out five metres from the Italian line, and smart handling from Grant in midfield allowed Sam Beard to provide Fife with the easiest of finishes.
Hidalgo-Clyne converted again, and as the Edinburgh front-row continued to pulverise their counterparts in the tight, referee Leighton Hodges sent Chistolini packing for a 10-minute spell on the touchline.
From the resultant Edinburgh line-out, Ben Toolis was hauled down in the air, allowing Hidalgo-Clyne to strike from the tee again, stretching the home lead to 20 points, and Toniolatti was shown a yellow card before the interval for, in the words of Hodges, "interfering" with the airborne Tim Visser's descent while contesting a high ball.
Edinburgh's scrum supremacy continued in the second half, as further set-piece penalties yielded a third Zebre sin-binning, this time loose-head Aguero seeing the flash of Hodges' yellow.
And they scored a well-worked third try from a close-range line-out move clearly honed on the Murrayfield training pitches, as Dickinson received the ball, spun and fed McInally, who sent Ford rumbling over in the corner.
Hidalgo-Clyne missed the conversion, but all-action Grant bagged his second, and vitally, Edinburgh's fourth, from another fearsome 22m maul, the scrum-half bisecting the posts on this occasion.
McInally completed the scoring in the final minute with an unconverted try in the corner from yet another driving maul, Solomons' troops emerging with five precious Pro12 points and no major injuries ahead of Friday's Challenge Cup final showdown with Gloucester.
Edinburgh: Brown, Fife, Beard, Strauss, T Visser, Burleigh, Hidalgo-Clyne, Dickinson, Ford, WP Nel, Bresler, Toolis, McInally, Grant, Coman.
Replacements: Bezuidenhout for Beard (70), Heathcote for Strauss (47), Fowles for Hidalgo-Clyne (66), Cochrane for Dickinson (65), Sutherland for Ford (65), Andress for W. Nel (61), McKenzie for Bresler (59), Du Preez for Coman (59).
Zebre: Daniller, Toniolatti, M. Bergamasco, Garcia, Odiete, Orquera, Palazzani, Aguero, Manici, Chistolini, Bernabo, Bortolami, Cristiano, van Schalkwyk, Vunisa.
Replacements: Leonard for Odiete (59), Mahu for Bernabo (59), Lovotti for Vunisa (59). Not Used: Fabiani, Redolfini, Ferrarini, Chillon, Pratichetti.
Sin Bin: Toniolatti (37), Aguero (50).
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)