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Zebre ends 18-month drought against 14-man Sharks

MATCH REPORT: Italian outfit Zebre won their first match in 18 months when they edged a shockingly poor Sharks team 12-10 in their United Rugby Championship encounter at Stadio Lanfranchi, in Parma, on Friday.


The Sharks, who finished the game with 14 players after a yellow card midway through the second half and a red card towards the end, will only have themselves to blame for still being stuck at the bottom of the standings.

The visitors’ poor discipline resulted in a lopsided penalty count of 15-3 against them – to go with the red and yellow cards.

Despite losing the set-piece battle, the Italian outfit hung on grimly and found a way to record their first win since early 2022.

* To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!

Sharks vs Zebre stats

It was another scrappy start by the Sharks, who also coughed up a couple of early penalties – allowing fullback Geronimo Prisciantelli to open Zebre’s account with a penalty in the seventh minute..

From the restart the home team was penalised for offside at the breakdown and Boeta Chamberlain leveled the scores up at 3-all after 10 minutes.

Minutes later wing Jacopo Trulla, entrusted with the long-range kicks, slotted a second penalty for the hosts.


Again, the Sharks’ response was immediate and blistering – some sublime hands resulting in scrumhalf Cameron Wright scoring the match’s first try. Chamberlain was on target with the conversion – 10-6 by the end of the first quarter.

The game now settled into a routine of phase play, with both teams guilty of errors at crucial stages.

Zebre, after several penalties and line-out mauls that the hosts stopped, eventually coughed up possession just a metre from the Sharks’ line.

That left the visitors with that four-point (10-6) lead at the half-time break.


The second half started as the first finished, with a litany of errors – a pattern that continued for most of the third quarter.

On the hour mark Aphelele Fassi was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle, with Prisciantelli slotting the resulting penalty to narrow the gap to just one point – 9-10.

The penalty count started to mount against the visitors, with Prisciantelli putting his team back in the lead in the 67th minute – the first time since the 15th minute that they were ahead, 12-10.

With just over two minutes to go Hyron Andrews was red-carded for a dangerous clean-out, leaving the home team in a commanding position.

That allowed the home to hold on for a famous win.

Man of the match: James Venter, Dylan Richardson and Corne Rahl were impressive for the visitors. Captain Giovanni Licata was Zebre’s most impressive forward, but our award goes to fullback Geronimo Prisciantelli – for his three penalties, including the match-winning score in the 66th minute.

The scorers

For Zebre
Pens: Prisciantelli 3, Trulla

For the Sharks
Try: Wright
Con: Chamberlain
Pen: Chamberlain

Yellow card: Aphelele Fassi (Sharks, 60 – foul play, dangerous tackle)
Red card: Hyron Andrews (Sharks, 78 – foul play, dangerous clear out)


Zebre: 15 Geronimo Prisciantelli, 14 Jacopo Trulla, 13 Fetuli Paea, 12 Enrico Lucchin, 11 Simone Gesi, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Gonzalo Garcia, 8 Giovanni Licata (captain), 7 Lacopo Bianchi, 6 Luca Andreani, 5 Leonard Krumov, 4 David Sisi, 3 Juan Pitinari, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Giampietro Ribaldi, 17 Luca Rizzoli, 18 Muhamed Hasa, 19 Matteo Canali, 20 Davide Ruggeri, 21 Alessandro Fusco, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Taina Fox-Matamua.

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 George Cronje, 7 Phendulani Buthelezi, 6 James Venter, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Corne Rahl, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Dylan Richardson, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Replacements: 16 Daniel Jooste, 17 Khwezi Mona, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Marnus Potgieter.

Referee: Peter Martin (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Riccardo Angelucci (Italy) and Filippo Bertili (Italy)
TMO: Mark Patton (Ireland)


Sharks vs Zebre stats


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