Zebre sealed the double over Cardiff Blues in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season as they won 15-10 at Stadio XXV Aprile on Saturday.
Zebre recorded the double over Cardiff Blues in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season as they won 15-10 at Stadio XXV Aprile on Saturday.
Tries from Brendon Leonard and Giulio Toniolatti gave the Italian outfit a 12-3 advantage at the interval, while Gareth Davies' penalty provided the Welsh region's sole response.
Despite Tom Williams' second-half score giving Cardiff hope, Luciano Orquera's three-pointer secured a rare win for the hosts.
Zebre's first ever victory in the PRO12 came against the Blues in Wales earlier this season. That day, they were inspired by former New Zealand international Leonard and the scrum-half was on the score-sheet in this encounter when he scampered over.
Although Davies reduced the deficit almost immediately, Cardiff were struggling to compete at the contact area. Phil Davies' men conceded a number of penalties and it eventually resulted in a yellow card for flanker Rory Watts-Jones.
The Italians took advantage when Toniolatti touched down to extend their lead to 12-3 after 22 minutes.
Despite Filippo Ferrarini also receiving his marching orders for the hosts, Zebre held onto their nine-point buffer until the break.
Cardiff opened the second period on the front foot and they were rewarded through Williams' try, which took them to within two points of Zebre.
However, the home side remained resilient and Orquera's three-pointer provided a valuable cushion.
The Blues tried to get the crucial score which would take them ahead, but Zebre held on for their third win of the campaign.
Tries: Leonard, Toniolatti
For Cardiff Blues:
Try: T Williams
Zebre: 15 Guglielmo Palazzani, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Tommaso Iannone, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Kelli Haimona, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Abraham Steyn, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 George Biagi 4 Andries van Schalkwyk (capt), 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Luigi Ferraro 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Sami Panico, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 David Ryan 19 Filippo Cazzola, 20 Emiliano Caffini, 21 Luciano Orquera, 22 Tommaso Castello, 23 Ruggero Trevisan.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Tom Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Isaia Tuifua, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Dan Fish, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Rory Watts-Jones, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Chris Dicomidis, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Sam Hobbs (c).
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Simon Humberstone, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.
Referee: Gary Conway (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Claudio Blessano (Italy)
Television match official: Carlo Damasco (Italy)
Timekeeper: Giannino Cappellozza (Italy)
Assessor: Mauro Dordolo (Italy)