Treviso secured their third win of the season with an impressive 27-22 victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Friday.
While it was Treviso's first away win of the season, one of the main talking points will be the performance of referee Matteo Liperini. The rookie official, in charge of his first match, penalised Edinburgh at 10 scrums in the first half, then found the Italians guilty of a similar crime count in the second period.
Man of the match Robert Barbieri crossed twice for the visitors, in addition to a penalty try and a string of kicks by Alberto Di Bernardo, while the hosts responded through touchdowns by Tim Visser, Lee Jones and Dougie Fife, with Greig Laidlaw booting the other points. The hosts started at a blistering pace and Laidlaw opened the scoring in the third minute when he atoned for an earlier miss by hammering over a long-range penalty.
An offence at the first scrum handed Di Bernardo a chance to square matters, but the stand-off failed to find the target. However, that was the cue for the visitors to step up the pace. They dominated the next 20 minutes and with more composure in the danger zone could have made the breakthrough.
Edinburgh were making life easy for Treviso by repeatedly falling foul of the referee. He penalised Edinburgh at seven of the first eight scrums and eventually lost patience, despatching WP Nel to the sin-bin. And when, at the next scrum, a surge by the Italians forced the home side to offend once more, Liperini ran round behind the posts to signal a penalty try which Di Bernardo converted.
Edinburgh's response came in the form of a scintillating score as Dave Denton released Visser and the winger blazed down his flank then darted round behind the posts to leave Laidlaw a simple conversion that edged Edinburgh back in front. However, by the interval, Treviso were back in the lead. Di Bernardo tied matters with a straightforward penalty then sent his side into the break with a 17-10 advantage when he stroked over the conversion after Robert Barbieri had pounced on an Edinburgh error and powered over for his side's second touchdown.
Di Bernardo extended Treviso's lead to 10 points with another penalty five minutes after the restart and the Italians were further rewarded when Barbieri charge down an attempted clearance by Richie Rees to bag his second try of the evening. Edinburgh responded with a rare foray into opposition territory and left with further points added to their tally after Jones had scampered over for his side's second try.
The referee's interpretation of the Edinburgh scrummage effort appeared to have undergone a rapid revision and he now decided that Treviso were constantly breaching the rules. Three illegal scrums in a row persuaded him to flash the yellow card once more - this time to the visitors' prop Alberto De Marchi. The hosts were unable to capitalise during his absence but managed to haul themselves back into the contest when Fife capped a spell of sustained Edinburgh pressure when he darted in for a try and Laidlaw converted.
And the hosts made a brave bid to snatch the win in the dying seconds when Visser broke a tackle and chipped ahead only to lose out in the race for the line, leaving Edinburgh with only a losing bonus point for their efforts.