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Cardiff Blues

  • Hewitt,
    Penalty goals: Halfpenny (6),
    Conversions: Halfpenny,
25 - 30

Zebre

  • Bergamasco, Odiete, Leonard,
    Penalty goals: Orquera (2),
    Drop goals: Orquera,
    Conversions: Orquera (3),
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 20th Sep 2013
  • KO 19:30
  • Ground: Cardiff Arms Park
  • Att: 7,513

RaboDirect PRO12: First win for Zebre as they shock Cardiff Blues in Wales

Last updated: 21st September 2013  

Leigh Halfpenny

Leigh Halfpenny couldn't stop Blues defeat

Luciano Orquera Zebre

Luciano Orquera: Kicked 15 points for Zebre

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Italian side Zebre claimed their first RaboDirect Pro12 win in 25 attempts as they upset Cardiff Blues 30-25 in Wales, although the match had a controversial ending.

There was confusion at the end as the visitors appeared to have an extra man on the field for a passage of play in the closing minute - as after replacement prop Luca Redolfini was sent to the sin bin, Dario Chistolini was called back on to complete the front row for a scrum, without anyone making way for him until the vital phase was over.

That said, the visitors, inspired by New Zealand scrum-half Brendon Leonard, were well worth their 30-25 success, crossing for three tries to the Blues' second-minute effort, made by fly-half Rhys Patchell for centre Dafydd Hewitt, Leigh Halfpenny converting.

Halfpenny, returning to action for the first time since his Player of the Series contribution to the British and Irish Lions' triumph in Australia, supplied 20 points with the boot, but it was to no avail.

Zebre, who led mighty Munster at half-time last weekend, gained territory through runs by pacy Kiwi winger Dion Berryman and Leonard, before the pack heaved flanker Mauro Bergamasco across the line. Luciano Orquera converted and then put the visitors ahead with a penalty from wide out.

Halfpenny missed a long-range attempt to equalise, but made amends with an easier chance three minutes later, only for a further Orquera penalty to restore Zebre's advantage before the interval.

The Blues, who had never lost at home to an Italian team, showed more urgency on the resumption, Halfpenny slotting over from 40 yards, only for Orquera, having gone close with another penalty, to drop a goal from in front of the posts. But the home full-back struck a superb penalty from wide out to level the scores once more.

Lions wing Alex Cuthbert, who had a quiet night, hacked a loose ball downfield, but it bounced into touch, and another Blues attack broke down when Halfpenny, of all people, knocked on. He recovered to kick his fourth penalty, but Zebre scrum-half Leonard sent wing David Odiete through for a try which Orquera improved.

Halfpenny cut the deficit to a single point before a scything Patchell break came to nothing and the visitors escaped downfield for Leonard to finish a flowing move. Orquera's conversion extended the gap to two scores.

The Blues threw everything into attack and Halfpenny kicked another penalty, but it was too late to save the game.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - January 11 2015
Pos Team P Pts
12 Zebre 13 10
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 13th February
Guinness PRO12
19:35Ulster vs Benetton Treviso
20:05Edinburgh vs Ospreys
Saturday 14th February
19:35Munster vs Cardiff Blues
Sunday 15th February
12:45Scarlets vs Connacht
13:00Zebre vs Glasgow
15:00Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 20th February
19:05Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Edinburgh vs Ulster
19:35Leinster vs Zebre
Saturday 21st February
14:40Scarlets vs Munster
17:15Glasgow vs Ospreys
Sunday 22nd February
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht
Friday 27th February
19:35Ospreys vs Leinster
19:35Ulster vs Scarlets
Saturday 28th February
19:15Munster vs Glasgow
Sunday 1st March
12:45Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh
17:00Zebre vs Newport Gwent D'gons
17:15Connacht vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 6th March
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Connacht
19:35Glasgow vs Zebre
Saturday 7th March
14:40Ospreys vs Munster
17:15Scarlets vs Leinster
18:00Benetton Treviso vs Edinburgh
Sunday 8th March
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ulster
Friday 27th March
19:35Leinster vs Glasgow

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Phil Edwards

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