Planet Rugby

Connacht edge gallant Zebre

18th January 2013 21:53

Share:

Connacht s Mike McCarthy R

Win for Connacht: Mike McCarthy

Connacht needed two late three-pointers from Dan Parks to edge Zebre 25-20 in their Heineken Cup clash at the Sportsground on Friday.

Dan Parks, who returned to the side after missing last week's defeat to Harlequins, kicked two penalties to just one from Daniel Halangahu in the opening quarter of an hour as the home side dominated territory for the most part.

The visitors struggled to get out of their own 22 at times and didn't help themselves by conceding a string of penalties as well.

Parks didn't need the tee to take his tally for the evening to nine points though as he was afforded the time and space to knock over a drop goal from in front of the posts.

Halangahu kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Italians with another three points but Parks was doing a good job of pinning the opposition deep inside their own half with the boot and he had the final say of the first half from the tee to make it 12-6.

Connacht probably thought they had made the crucial breakthrough five minutes after the restart as the power of their pack proved too much in the scrum and the referee had no option but to award them a penalty try.

Zebre had other ideas, however, and their forwards responded in the best possible manner by marching straight back up the field and giving their kicker two penalty opportunities in quick succession to reduce the deficit to seven points.

And the Italian backs then did their bit as well, producing the moment of the match as they used the platform of a scrum in the centre of the pitch to launch an inspired move.

Giovanbattista Venditti found a gap in the defence and sprinted away before offloading to Matteo Pratichetti, who fed Ruggero Trevisan to score in the corner.

Halangahu missed the conversion from out wide but he made up for that moments later with another penalty that gave Zebre an unlikely lead with just 10 minutes left on the clock.

The Italians' ill-discipline cost them in the though and they let Connacht off the hook by conceding a penalty almost immediately, which Parks converted.

And the former Scotland international made sure that the home side did make it a total of three victories in this season's Heineken Cup and the visitors remain winless in all competitions with a second drop goal of the night five minutes from time.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Try: Penalty try
Con: Parks
Pens: Parks 4
Drops: Parks 2

For Zebre:
Try: Trevisan
Pens: Halangahu 5

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Andrew Browne, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Mick Kearney, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White, 2 Jason Harris Wright,1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements:16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 JP Cooney, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Dave Gannon, 20 Eoghan Grace, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Danie Poolman

Zebre: 15 Tito Tebaldi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Ruggero Trevisan, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Filippo Ferrarini, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Emiliano Caffini, 5 Josh Sole, 4 Mike Van Vuren, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 David Ryan, 19 Nicola Belardo, 20 Andrea Manici, 21 Luca Martinelli, 22 Alberto Chiesa, 23 Samuele Pace.

Venue: The Sportsground
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Jean-Luc Rebollal (France), Cyril Lafon (France)
Television match official: Daniel Irazoqui (France)

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , December 6
Sale vs Saracens13:00
Munster vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Harlequins vs LeinsterTBC
Leicester vs ToulonTBC
Ulster vs ScarletsTBC
Montpellier vs BathTBC
Toulouse vs GlasgowTBC
Benetton Treviso vs Northampton13:00
Ospreys vs Racing Metro 9215:15
Sunday , December 7
Castres vs Wasps13:00
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Saturday , October 25
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster28
2Clermont Auvergne26
3Saracens25
4Sale Sharks21
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Harlequins28
2Leinster28
3Wasps22
4Castres21
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon28
2Scarlets24
3Leicester Tigers24
4Ulster21
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Glasgow Warriors29
2Toulouse28
3Montpellier22
4Bath21
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Racing Metro Paris28
2Northampton25
3Ospreys25
4Treviso20