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Connacht

Zebre pipped at Connacht

01st March 2013 21:34

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Dan Parks

Late kicks: Dan Parks

Zebre were once again denied a first PRO12 victory as they fell to a 23-19 defeat at Connacht on Friday, despite being ahead with five minutes to go.

Converted tries from Eoin McKeon and Gavin Duffy took the Irish province into a 14-13 half-time lead.

Leonardo Sarto's touchdown and two Paolo Buso penalties was the Italian side's response before the break.

Dan Parks stretched the hosts' lead in the second period before successive three-pointers from Buso and Gonzalo Garcia took Zebre ahead.

But the nerveless Parks was the hero as he added a drop-goal and a penalty to snatch the win.

The visitors went into this match having lost in heart-breaking fashion to the Dragons the previous week. And the league's bottom club fell behind early in this encounter against Connacht when McKeon powered over and Parks added the extras as the home side led 7-0 after just three minutes.

However, Zebre responded with a Buso penalty before Duffy's converted try extended the advantage to 14-3. But it was the Italian outfit which looked the more threatening from there on in.

They duly reduced the deficit to one point at the interval through Sarto's touchdown and the boot of their stand-off.

Parks briefly settled the nerves with an early three-pointer in the second half, but it was the visitors that continued to press.

Buso took the score to 17-16 before the boot of Garcia took them into the lead for the first time and it looked like they were going to garner their first win. Connacht's pivot was the saviour, though, as he kicked a drop-goal and penalty late on.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Tries: McKeon, Duffy
Con: Parks 2
Pen: Parks 2
Drop: Parks

For Zebre:
Try: Sarto
Con: Buso
Pen: Buso 3, Garcia

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Brian Murphy, 11 Gavin Duffy (c), 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Nathan White, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 TJ Anderson, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.

Zebre: 15 Alberto Benettin, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Matteo Pratichetti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Paolo Buso, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Dries van Schalkwyk, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Josh Sole, 3 Dave Ryan, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Andrea de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Luciano Leibson, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Nicola Belardo, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Alberto Chiesa, 23 Samuele Pace.

Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)
Assistant referees: Michael Black (Ireland), Ed Kenny (both Ireland)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

  • Connacht Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Friday , November 21
Connacht vs Zebre19:35
Saturday , November 29
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Friday , December 19
Leinster vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , December 27
Ulster vs ConnachtTBC
Friday , January 9
Connacht vs Edinburgh19:35
Wednesday, January 14
Scarlets vs ConnachtTBC
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Saturday , December 6
Connacht vs BayonneTBC
Saturday , December 13
Bayonne vs ConnachtTBC
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
  • Connacht Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 18
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 10
Benetton Treviso 6 - 9 ConnachtBenetton Treviso vs Connacht Report
Friday , October 3
Connacht 24 - 24 Cardiff Blues
Friday , September 26
Glasgow 39 - 21 Connacht
Friday , September 19
Connacht 10 - 9 Leinster
Friday , September 12
Edinburgh 13 - 14 Connacht
Saturday , September 6
Connacht 16 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Table
Guinness PRO12 Table
PosTeamPPts
3Ulster622
4Munster619
5Connacht618
6Leinster616
7Scarlets614