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Jones bows out

Adam Jones received a standing ovation as Cardiff Blues ended their season with a 29-5 win over Zebre.

The Wales prop was replaced in the second half of his last appearance for the Blues before joining Harlequins next season.

By then, Cardiff had already claimed a bonus point thanks to tries by Alex Cuthbert, who crossed twice, Gethin Jenkins and Rhys Patchell.

Garyn Smith crossed in injury time to complete a comfortable victory at the Arms Park.

Blues led 12-0 at half-time in the Guinness PRO12 tussle, although it had taken half an hour before they combined a passage of play to find a way past Zebre.

The visitors, looking to overtake rivals Benetton Treviso as Italian representatives in next season's European Champions Cup, made a bright start.

Cardiff were twice caught short out wide by angled kicks from fly-half Luciano Orquera but Zebre failed to capitalise. Centre Gonzalo Garcia was also off-target with an optimistic drop goal attempt from halfway.

Blues showed ambition through Gavin Evans and Richard Smith but lost scrum-half Tavis Knoyle to an early injury.

They eventually found their way over the line in the 30th minute.

Cuthbert finished in the corner after a pass from full-back Aled Summerhill, making his league debut. Patchell missed the conversion from close to the touchline.

Zebre had made a bright start but were reduced to 14 men when captain Marco Bortolami was sin-binned for infringing at a ruck.

Cardiff took swift advantage, kicking the resulting penalty into touch from where Jenkins broke clear from a driving line-out for his first try of the season that was converted by Patchell.

Blues should have added a third try before half-time against seven forwards but the scrum was penalised five metres from the Italian line for an early engagement.

Cuthbert barged over for his second try after 50 minutes following an initial break by Tom Isaacs to open breathing space at 17-0 despite Patchell missing a second conversion.

And the Wales wing turned provider just eight minutes later for Patchell to earn the bonus point.

That cleared the way for a raft of changes by both teams on the hour, including the departure of Jones for the last time at the Arms Park to applause.

Zebre claimed a consolation try 11 minutes from time through replacement Valerio Bernabo before Smith raced onto Patchell's pass for a late score. Lock Filo Paulo, making his last appearance for the region, was wide with the conversion attempt.


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