Zebre see off Connacht

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 16:47
Large zebre v connacht 2017 800

PRO14 REPORT: Zebre secured just their third win of the Pro14 season as tries from Johan Meyer and Giovanbattista Venditti saw off Connacht 24-10.

Zebre were physical in defence and controlled territory throughout in a tense and tight encounter.

And when the pressure was on they produced as Meyer scored following a kick over the top and Venditti muscled his way through to clinch it.

The result moves Zebre to within two points of Connacht in a tight Conference A.

With just three wins from nine games and a point off Cardiff Blues in fourth, this was a crucial game for Connacht.

The 2016 champions started positively, controlling much of the possession in the first ten minutes but they struggled to make much ground against Zebre's fierce defence.

And the Italians got on the board first as Carlo Canna slotted over a penalty from close range after Connacht were caught offside at the breakdown.

Zebre's defence was beginning to cause nerves in Connacht's attack with Tiernan O'Halloran uncharacteristically kicking out on the full while under pressure.

Tries were still unforthcoming through, with Zebre wing Venditti failing to find centre Giulio Bisegni in space after a neat Canna kick to the left flank.

Venditti was in the thick of the action just before the break as he sprinted clear and reached out for the corner following a floated pass out wide.

But O’Halloran just about held the ball up and Zebre were left with just a Canna penalty.

Connacht were a team on a mission after the break and took the lead within five minutes of the re-start as Tom Farrell burst through to score with Steve Crosbie converting.

Zebre piled forward with Canna at the heart of everything they did in possession, and it was his break which almost set up a try.

Connacht’s scramble defence just about prevented it but Canna put them back ahead with his third penalty.

Jack Carty regained the lead for Connacht, with the Irish side injecting more urgency into their play but they were stung as Meyer latched onto the end of a kick over the top to dot down.

Canna extended that to nine points with a penalty before Venditti powered through to cap off a superb afternoon.

The scorers:

For Zebre:
Tries: Meyer, Venditti
Con: Canna
Pens: Canna 3
DG: Canna

For Connacht:
Try: Farrell
Con: Crosbie
Pen: Carty

Zebre: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Boni, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Renato Giammarioli, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Maxime Mbandà, 5 George Biagi (captain), 4 Leonard Krumov, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Luhandre Luus, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 David Sisi, 20 Jacopo Sarto, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Serafin Bordoli, 23 Ciaran Gaffney.

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Cian Kelleher, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 Tom Farrell, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Steve Crosbie, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon (captain), 7 James Connolly, 6 Eoghan Masterson, 5 James Cannon, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Shane Delahunt, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Peter McCabe, 18 Conor Carey, 19 Cillian Gallagher, 20 Naulia Dawai, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Eoin Griffin.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
TMO: Leo Colgan (Ireland)


There are currently no matches being played
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sharks v Waratahs 13h05 Kings Park
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 15h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Gloucester v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Kingsholm
Bulls v Lions 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scarlets v Leinster 15h15 Parc y Scarlets
Zebre v Ospreys 17h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Cheetahs v Connacht 17h35 Bloemfontein
Jaguares v Hurricanes 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 16 10 0 6 53
Cheetahs 16 8 0 8 43
Cardiff Blues 15 7 0 8 33
Connacht 16 6 0 10 32
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 15 4 0 11 21
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 16 13 0 3 61
Scarlets 15 11 0 4 54
Edinburgh 16 11 0 5 51
Ulster 15 9 1 5 46
Treviso 16 8 0 8 39
Dragons 16 2 2 12 17
Kings 16 0 0 16 4