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Zebre qualify for European Champions Cup with win over Newport Gwent Dragons

Published 07/05/2016

Carlo Canna scored 22 points in Zebre's 47-22 win over Newport Gwent Dragons
Carlo Canna scored 22 points in Zebre's 47-22 win over Newport Gwent Dragons

Zebre ended the Guinness Pro12 season with a 47-22 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons to qualify for the European Champions Cup.

The Italians went into the final round of fixtures sitting bottom of the table but the win lifted them above Benetton Treviso, who lost heavily to Leinster.

It was a meeting between two out-of-form sides, with Zebre looking for a first win since January and the Dragons hoping to avoid extending their record losing run.

The Welsh side, who were without Bath-bound Taulupe Faletau, will head into next season having lost their last 10 Pro12 games.

The visitors drew first blood with a penalty from Angus O'Brien in the opening minute but Zebre soon hit back and after 12 minutes led 12-3 thanks to a try from Oliviero Fabiani and a conversion and penalty from Carlo Canna.

Canna then converted another try from Kayle van Zyl and two more penalties from the fly-half gave Zebre a 23-3 lead at half-time.

Rynard Landman was the first man to cross the try-line for the Dragons in the 53rd minute but five minutes later Leonardo Sarto grabbed Zebre's third.

The Italians were on a roll and with 64 minutes gone their lead was 47-10 after Canna converted further tries from Bruno Postiglioni and Kelly Haimona.

The Dragons at least finished the game strongly with tries from Landman and Hallam Amos in the final 10 minutes but their chance of victory had long since gone.

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