Zebre 21-23 Cardiff Blues: Blues survive scare in Italy
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 24/09/16 7:23pm
Cardiff Blues survived a scare from Zebre on Saturday to notch their fourth victory in as many games.
The win puts the Welsh region second in the Guinness PRO12 table, level on points with leaders Ulster.
Tries from wing Blaine Scully and full-back Matthew Morgan aided an 18-11 interval lead for the Blues. Tom James crossed early in the second half to extend the advantage, but Giulio Bisegni and winger Giovanbattista Venditti added to Guglielmo Palazzani's first-half try to keep Zebre in it.
Full-back Edoardo Padovani could not convert Venditti's 75th-minute score from out wide, which enabled the Blues to hang on for the victory.
Fly-halves Carlo Canna and Steven Shingler exchanged early penalties before Palazzani crossed from a lineout. Canna missed the conversion.
Shingler missed with two penalty attempts before finally landing another, but the visitors continued to fight back. With Zebre hooker Oliviero Fabiani in the sin-bin, Scully touched down after good work from his forwards, with Shingler converting.
Blues lock Josh Turnbull was soon sin-binned but, despite initial Zebre pressure, it was the visitors who attacked well and Morgan went over for the try. Shingler was off target with the extras and Padovani kicked a penalty just before the break.
Zebre lock Federico Ruzza was shown a yellow card early in the second half and James soon took advantage with a try in the corner, but the conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Visiting prop Rhys Gill was the next to see yellow and, once the visitors were back to 15 men, Bisegni scored out wide but Canna could not convert.
Both teams had chances for tries before Venditti touched down in the corner to set up a thrilling end but Padovani was unable to level.
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