Zebre ended their RaboDirect PRO12 season winless after narrowly losing out to Munster 27-25 at Stadio XXV Aprile in Parma on Friday.
Zebre ended their RaboDirect PRO12 season winless after losing out to Munster 27-25 at Stadio XXV Aprile.
BJ Botha's converted 65th minute try proved to be the winning score, as Zebre finished their debut season rock bottom, with nine losing bonus points to show from their efforts over the 22 games.
The Irish outfit, despite having beaten Zebre earlier in the season, were on the back end of a poor run of form, with only one win in their last seven games.
Only four players remained from their Heineken Cup defeat to Clermont last weekend, but they came out of the starting block firing on all cylinders. Johne Murphy scored the first try of the game five minutes in, though Sinoti Sinoti brought one back soon afterwards, before Paddy Butler put the Irishmen back in front on 17 minutes.
Zebre pressed on their visitors and despite a disallowed try, scored two penalties before scoring their second try of the night as half-time approached; Giovanbattista Vendetti's try, along with Gonzalo Garcia's late penalty giving the Italians a 22-14 half-time lead.
Munster pulled three points back in the first minute of the second period, as Ian Keatley added to his two first half conversions, before trading further kicks with Halangahu on the hour mark, for a 25-20 scoreline.
But it was the South African prop, Botha, who gave Keatley the opportunity to kick his side into a 27-25 lead with fifteen minutes remaining.
That led to a nervy final period, as Halangahu missed a penalty attempt in the last ten minutes of the game which could have earned his side a famous first ever victory.
Tries: Sinoti, Venditti
Pen: Halangahu 3, Garcia 2
Tries: Murphy, Butler, Botha
Con: Keatley 3
Pen: Keatley 2
Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Alberto Benettin, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Josh Sole, 3 David Ryan, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Andrea Mancini, 17 Luciano Leibson, 18 Andrea de Marchi, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Matteo Pratichetti, 23 Samuele Pace.
Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Ronan O'Mahony, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Ian Keatley, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 Paddy Butler. 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Billy Holland, 3 John Ryan, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damian Varley, 17 James Cronin, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Ian Nagle, 20 Johnny Holland, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Cian Bohane, 23 Felix Jones.
Venue: Stadio XXV Aprile
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)
Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini, Stefano Roscini (both FIR)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (FIR)