Zebre secure Euro spot with Dragons thrashing

Date published: May 7 2016

Zebre gave the retiring Marco Bortolami the perfect send-off and secured Champions Cup qualification for next season with a 47-22 thrashing of the Dragons.

The boot of Carlo Canna provided Zebre with 13 points in the first-half complementing tries from Andrea Lovotti and Kayle van Zyl to storm into a 20-point lead at the break.

Second half tries from Leonardo Sarto, Bruno Postiglioni and Kelly Haimona made sure of victory for the Italians with Rynard Lyndman scoring a brace alongside a Hallam Amos try to act as consolation for Newport as they slipped to a 47-22 defeat.

The win sees Zebre rise from the bottom of the PRO12, knocking Italian rivals Treviso into the basement position. Meanwhile, the Dragons finished just two points clear of their opponents after a poor season.

The hosts were immediately on the back foot as Angus O’'Brien kicked Dragons into an early lead from the tee in the first minute.

The Italian side bounced back well as, in the seventh minute, Lovotti touched down to score. Canna added the extras for a 7-3 lead. After 12 minutes Zebre extended their lead, Canna kicking a penalty.

The Italians had their second try in the 17th minute, Van Zyl steeling in to score. Canna was successful with his conversion to send his side into a 14-point lead.

A quickfire double of penalties from Canna meant that Zebre went into half-time with a 23-3 lead.

The Italian fly-half added another penalty in the 46th minute to pile on the misery for Dragons. Newport gave themselves a glimmer of hope after 53 minutes, with Landman crossing the whitewash. The score was converted by Rhys Jones to make scores 26-10.

However, Zebre, were not going to give up the chance to record a rare victory as Italy international Sarto scored his side’s fourth try, Canna converted for a 23-point advantage.

The rout continued in the 62nd minute as Postiglioni scored under the posts for the hosts.

This was before Haimona showed a clean set of heels to score another try two minutes later both were converted to make the score 47-10.

With the match winding down, Landman had his and the Dragons’ second try, Jones converted to make the deficit 30-points.

Amos scored another consolation try with the clock having gone red. This was how it finished with the final score 47-22.

The scorers:

For Zebre:
Tries: Fabiani, Van Zyl, Sarto, Postiglioni, Haimona
Cons: Canna 5
Pens: Canna 4

For Dragons:
Tries: Landman 2, Amos
Cons: GR Jones 2
Pen: O'Brien

Zebre: 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Kayle Van Zyl, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Filippo Cristiano, 6 Johan Meyer, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (c), 3 Guillermo Roan, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Bruno Postiglioni, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Kelly Haimona, 23 Mils Muliaina

Dragons: 15 Geraint Rhys Jones, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 James Thomas, 6 James Benjamin, 5 Nick Crosswell (c), 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 2 Rhys Buckley, 1 Phil Price
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Luke Garrett, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Rynard Landman, 20 Harrison Keddie, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Dorian Jones, 23 Carl Meyer

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Elia Rizzo (Italy), Simone Boaretto (Italy)
TMO: Stefano Marrama (Italy)