Five-star Blues too good for Zebre

Sat, 04 Nov 2017 22:14
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PRO14 REPORT: Cardiff Blues got back to winning ways on Saturday with a comprehensive five-try, 37-8 win over Italian side Zebre.

Lloyd Williams was the first to strike for the Blues when they signalled their intentions by running the ball out from their own 22.

Rampaging centre Willis Halaholo also strode over the line in the first half and Welsh international Matthew Rees got his name in lights just after the interval.

Matthew Morgan and Tom James crossed late on for the Blues, which still left time for Guglielmo Palazzani to get a consolation for the visitors.

The side from the Welsh capital came into the game knowing that a win would lift them above Zebre in Conference A and looked in control right from the off.

After just six minutes the home side had the first score of the evening, with Halaholo feeding Williams on the left and the scrumhalf racing away 70 metres to touch down.

Minutes later Carlo Canna swept over a penalty from 25 metres out but the Blues kept pushing to extend their advantage – with James and Steve Shingler both coming close to the line.

On 19 minutes the hosts displayed the penetration they were looking for with a set move finding Halaholo on a scything line back inside that took him past Canna’s challenge and 40 metres to the tryline.

The centre was only able to touch the ball down in the corner but Shingler added an impressive conversion before notching two penalties that gave the Blues an 18-3 half-time lead.

The Welsh side remained on the front foot after the break and was rewarded on 52 minutes with a try for hooker Matthew Rees.

A superb Shingler kick found touch five metres out from the Zebre line and Rees was able to burrow over from the back of the resultant driving line-out.

There was fight from Zebre but the home side was in no mood to let up and got the bonus point on 62 minutes with Morgan passing to winger Blaine Scully and then receiving the same pass back as he crossed the line.

Five minutes later and it was five tries for the Blues with James racing away down the left to get his name on the scoresheet.

Despite being 37-3 down the Italian side pushed hard to register a try in the final five minutes and achieved their target when Palazzani took a quick penalty to batter his way over the line from ten metres out.

The scorers:

For Cardiff Blues:
 Williams, Halaholo, Rees, Morgan, James
Cons: Shingler 3
Pens: Shingler 2

For Zebre:
Pen: Canna


Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Aled Summerhill, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Blaine Scully 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Ollie Robinson, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Macauley Cook, 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Keiron Assiratti, 19 George Earle, 20 Sion Bennett, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Ben Jones, 23 Tom James.

Zebre: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Giulio Bisegni, 13 Mattia Bellini, 12 Tommaso Castello (captain), 11 Gabriele Di Giulio, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Derick Minnie, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Giovanni Licata, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Leonard Krumow, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Sami Panico.
Replacements: 16 Luhandre Luus, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Jacopo Sarto, 20 Renato Giammarioli, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Serafin Bordoli, 23 Ciaran Gaffney.

Referee: Sean Gallagher (Ireland)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Mike English (Wales)
TMO: Neil Hennessey (Wales)

Source: @PRO14Official

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Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 17 10 0 7 54
Cheetahs 17 9 0 8 47
Cardiff Blues 17 9 0 8 42
Connacht 17 6 0 11 33
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 16 4 0 12 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
Scarlets 17 12 1 4 61
Edinburgh 17 12 0 5 55
Ulster 16 9 1 6 46
Treviso 17 8 0 9 40
Dragons 17 2 2 13 17
Kings 17 1 0 16 9