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RaboDirect PRO12: Zebre so close to shock win at Ospreys
Fly-half Dan Biggar scored all Ospreys' points as they survived a scare at the hands of Italian strugglers Zebre, battling back to win 16-15 at Liberty Stadium.
The Ospreys had probably targeted a bonus point win against the winless Italians but an error-strewn display saw them trail until the 66th minute.
Biggar scored three penalties and converted his own try, while Zebre scored tries through scrum-half Alberto Chillon and his replacement Tito Tebaldi.
It was the Italians who got on the scoreboard first through a penalty goal for Chillon following a ruck offence and Ospreys trailed by eight after a couple of gaps opened up allowing Chillon to dive over for the first try of the game after 28 minutes.
The Ospreys closed the gap to two points five minutes later with two Biggar penalties before Zebre number eight Andries van Schalkwyk was yellow carded as the home side drove for the line.
Despite leading 8-6 Zebre made five changes at the interval including the entire front row and try scorer Chillon.
The Ospreys, who brought on in-form scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i after 54 minutes to loud cheers, continued to show frailties in defence and it was only a knock-on in their 22 which prevented the Italians from claiming a second try.
On the hour Zebre failed to take the chance to go five points up when replacement centre Daniel Halangahu was wide with a penalty shot.
The Ospreys suddenly came to life with Biggar putting over a third penalty as they led for the first time before he went over for a converted try as the home side put the ball impressively through the hands.
But the Welsh side's joy was short-lived as Zebre hit back with a second try three minutes later when Tebaldi slid in at the left corner to cut the Ospreys' lead to only a point.
The hosts held on but it was not the sort of performance coach Steve Tandy would have wanted before they host Leicester in the Heineken Cup next Sunday.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Dragons|
|17:00||Munster vs Leinster|
|18:45||Ulster vs Connacht|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:40||Glasgow Warriors vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Scarlets|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:00||Zebre vs Treviso|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Dragons 25 - 11 Zebre|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Ospreys 31 - 20 Ulster|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com