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Zebre see off Cardiff with bonus-point victory

Published 31/10/2015

Carlo Canna pulled the strings throughout for Zebre
Carlo Canna pulled the strings throughout for Zebre

Zebre claimed their second PRO12 victory in as many weeks and condemned Cardiff Blues to their fifth straight defeat after a 26-15 bonus point triumph in Parma.

Cardiff, who still have not won since beating Zebre at home on the opening day, continue to struggle and will be desperate to get their World Cup stars back in action to arrest the slide.

The Italians took charge with tries from Kayle Van Zyl, Andries Van Schalkwyk (two) and Johan Meyer, while fly-half Carlos Canna kicked a six-point haul.

Cardiff notched tries from Adam Thomas and Tom James, while Rhys Patchell added five points with the boot, but it was not enough.

Two tries in the first 10 minutes got the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi crowd on their feet straight away.

The hosts got the initial breakthrough as right wing Van Zyl collected Canna's offload to go in at the corner after three minutes.

Canna was unable to add the conversion from out wide and opposite number Patchell had similar trouble minutes later as Thomas dotted down after a well-worked Blues backs move to make it 5-5.

Cardiff, who were without rested trio Sam Warburton, Gethin Jenkins and Alex Cuthbert, achieved parity for just eight minutes before the hosts moved ahead again.

Matteo Pratichetti sparked a break from deep and Van Schalkwyk finished it off, before Meyer seized on Canna's deft chip over the top to score the hosts' third try after 28 minutes.

Canna converted both, while Patchell split the posts with a 33rd minute penalty, to make it 19-8 at the interval.

James set up a tense finale by crashing over after a superb break from Williams just before the hour mark. Patchell was spot on with the conversion to make it 19-15 going into the last quarter.

When Andrea De Marchi was sent to the sin bin with 13 minutes remaining it looked like Cardiff could nick it, but Zebre number eight Van Schalkwyk shut down those hopes with his second try in the 75th minute. Canna converted to complete the scoring.

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