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Zebre


  • Penalty goals: Orquera (2),
6 - 33

Connacht

  • Naoupu, Fifita,
    Penalty goals: Parks (7),
    Conversions: Parks,

Heineken Cup Pool 3: Connacht dismantle Zebre but fail to earn bonus

Last updated: 19th October 2013  

LUCIANO ORQUERA HEINEKEN CUP ZEBRE

Luciano Orquera kicked all Zebre's points but it was not enough to avoid defeat

DAN PARKS CONNACHT HEINEKEN CUP

Dan Parks registered 23 points from the boot as Connacht raced past Zebre

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Connacht reignited their hopes of qualifying from Heineken Cup Pool Three following a 33-6 victory over Zebre, however the Irish province missed out on a winning bonus point.

George Naoupu and Mata Fifita scored a try in each half for Connacht, while Dan Parks did the rest, registering 23 points with his trusty right boot.

For Zebre, Luciano Orquera kicked all their points, but they failed to register so much as a losing bonus point on yet another failed adventure for the Italians.

Connacht led from start to finish, a second minute penalty by Parks setting them on their way against the only side they had previously beaten this season.

Zebre came into the game with ambitions of their own, confident of finally securing their first win in European competition.

However, for all their early endeavour, they did not quite have the tools to pick open a stubborn Connacht defence, and relied exclusively on Orquera for points.

Persistence

The Italian international traded penalties with Parks as both teams continued to feel their way into the game, Connacht being asked to defend more than they might have reckoned on.

James So'oialo, Robbie Henshaw and Danie Poolman were all asked to make try-saving interventions as the home side laid siege to the visitors' line inside the opening quarter.

In attack, Connacht had opportunities of their own. Henshaw at outside centre was an inspiration every time he touched the ball, while scrum-half Kieran Marmion was also lively.

At times they were perhaps guilty of over-complicating things, but their persistence eventually paid off on the half hour when big back rower Naoupu touched down for the opening try following some desperately soft defending from Zebre in the lineout.

Standing at two, the Kiwi barely had to get off the ground as Sean Henry's dart flew straight into his hands and he collapsed over the line.

Parks converted and then added two quick-fire penalties to help Connacht go down the tunnel with a useful 19-3 lead.

Pressure

Into the second half and the visitors were forced to defend for long periods as Zebre tried to launch a comeback.

As in the opening 40 minutes, however, the Italians were unable to convert pressure into tries, with Orquera forced to kick penalties rather than conversions.

He split the posts on 48 minutes to reduce the deficit, but it was a short reprieve for Zebre.

Connacht started to play a more territorial-based game and waited for the penalties to come. And when they did, former Scotland out-half Parks was there on each to occasion to push his side further ahead, kicking three penalties in quick succession to leave Connacht coasting at 28-6.

With the bit between their teeth, the westerners then went in search of tries, and got their second from another line-out set piece, replacement Fifita this time the beneficiary.

With more time they might have added a couple more, but in the end they left content that they had done the job they came to do.

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European Rugby Champions Cup Table

European Rugby Champions Cup Table - January 19 2014
Pos Team P Pts
4 Zebre 6 0
Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
15:15Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
14:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92
Saturday 6th December
TBCMunster vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCSale vs Saracens
TBCCastres vs Wasps
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
TBCUlster vs Scarlets

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