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Zebre gets a rare win in Europe

MATCH REPORT: A brace from Simone Gesi helped Zebre Parma defeat the Dragons 20-17 in their EPCR Challenge Cup Round 3 match in Italy.

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The home side had been down 12-8 at half-time, with the Dragons flyhalf Cai Evans more than happy to punish any Zebre Parma mistakes, kicking four first-half penalties.

But the Italian team scored the first period’s only try via Gesi, and while Giovanni Montemauri missed the conversion he added three from the tee soon after to ensure there was hope for the hosts in the second period.

They led soon after the restart, with Jacopo Bianchi crossing to give them the lead, and Montemauri converting, and the hosts were not done there as Gesi finished well for his second try and Zebre Parma’s third.

Evans then missed a crucial penalty, but the Dragons were not done yet.

Jared Rosser gathered a cross-field kick well to finish in the corner for an unconverted score and bring them back within three of their hosts, setting up an enthralling final 20 minutes.

But Zebre Parma held firm and the Dragons could not get the points they needed, the hosts holding on for a vital win in Pool One.

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The scorers

For Zebre
Tries: Gesi 2, Bianchi
Con: Montemauri
Pen: Montemauri

For the Dragons
Try: Rosser
Pens: Evans 4

Teams

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Zebre: 15 Lorenzo Pani, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Luca Morisi (captain), 12 Enrico Lucchin, 11 Simone Gesi, 10 Giovanni Montemauri, 9 Gonzalo Garcia, 8 Davide Ruggeri, 7 Jacopo Bianchi, 6 Guido Volpi, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 4 Leonardo Krumov, 3 Matteo Nocera, 2 Marco Manfredi, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Giampietro Ribaldi, 17 Luca Rizzoli, 18 Juan-Manuel Pitinari, 19 Matteo Canali, 20 Giacomo Ferrari, 21 Thomas Dominguez, 22 Geronimo Prisciantelli, 23 Scott Gregory.

Dragons: 15 Cai Evans, 14 Rio Dyer, 13 Aneurin Owen, 12 Harri Ackermann, 11 Jared Rosser, 10 Will Reed, 9 Rhodri Williams (captain), 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Harri Keddie, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 George Nott, 4 Sean Lonsdale, 3 Luke Yendle, 2 James Benjamin, 1 Rhodri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Bradley Roberts, 17 Rodrigo Martinez, 18 Chris Coleman, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Ollie Griffiths, 21 Dane Blacker, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Ewan Rosser.

Referee: Benoit Rousselet (France)
Assistant referees: Thomas Chereque (France), Hervé Lasausa (France)
TMO: Cedric Marchat (France)

Source: @ChallengeCup_

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