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Zebre drag Dragons down

Italian side Zebre recorded their first-ever victory over the Newport-Gwent Dragons with a 23-17 Guinness PRO12 success at the Stadio XXV Aprile in Parma.

Mirco Bergamasco kicked 13 points as Zebre claimed only their third league win of the season - and first since November - following home victories over Ulster and Edinburgh.

Zebre, however, stay bottom of the table, closing the gap on fellow Italians Benetton Treviso to four points while the Dragons are nine points better off.

Bergamasco kicked Zebre into a seventh-minute lead but the Dragons were 10-3 ahead just after the halfway mark of the first period with hooker T Rhys Thomas and centre Jack Dixon crossing for tries in the space of three minutes.

The hosts soon levelled through flanker Jacopo Sarto's converted try and Bergamasco gave them a 13-10 interval lead, with his second penalty on the stroke of half-time following a yellow card to Dragons full-back Rhys Jones for tackling his man in the air.

Irish referee Gary Conway evened the numbers up at 14-a-side when he sent Zebre lock Agustin Cavalieri to the bin for a dangerous tackle within a minute of the restart and Dragons flanker Nic Cudd instantly made them pay with a try which Tom Prydie converted.

But Mateo Pratichetti darted through the Dragons defence four minutes later and his fellow centre Bergamasco converted to put Zebre 20-17 ahead.

Prydie missed key kicks for the visitors in the final quarter before Bergamasco eased home nerves with his third penalty in the final minute.

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