Connacht make it back-to-back wins as they prove too strong for Zebre
Bonus-point win helps Pat Lam’s side move up to tenth spot in the table
Zebre’s Dario Chistolini tackles Jason Harris-Wright of Connacht during the clash at the Stadio XXV Aprile. Photo: Francesca Soli/Inpho
Zebre 19 Connacht 27
Connacht put back-to-back Pro 12 wins together for the first time this season after producing a dominant display over fellow strugglers Zebre in Italy yesterday.
In grabbing their first four-try bonus point of the season, Connacht put some distance between themselves and bottom-of-the-table Zebre and also leapfrogged Treviso to move into 10th place in the Rabdirect Pro 12 table.
Connacht led 8-0 after five minutes. An early Dan Parks penalty was swiftly followed by the first try when prop Rodney Ah You touched down from a line-out and drive.
Connacht capitalised on three successive penalties and a sinbinning for Zebre prop Salvatore Perugini to grab try No 2 after 25 minutes. Scrumhalf Kieron Marmion dived over from a unstoppable scrum, with Parks adding the extras for a 15-0 lead.
And before the break Connacht were awarded a penalty try to put Connacht in front by 22-0. The fourth try and bonus came from London-Irish bound Eoin Griffin in the 55th minute. Zebre grabbed three tries in the second half, but they still finished empty-handed by a distance.
ZEBRE: T revisan, Berryman, Ratuvou, Quartaroli, Venditti, Nathan, Leonard, Perugini, T. D’Apice, Chistolini, van Vuren, Biagi, Caffini, van Schalkwyk, Vunisa. Replacements: Toniolatti for Trevisan (54), Chillon for Nathan (71), De Marchi for Perugini (55), Redolfini for Chistolini (49), Cazzola for van Vuren (71), Saccardo for Caffini (49). Not used: Giovanchelli, Bisegni. Sin bin: Perugini (25).
CONNACHT: D Leader, O’Halloran, E. Griffin, McSharry, Carr, Parks, Marmion, Buckley, Harris-Wright, Ah You, Swift, Kearney, Browne, Masteron, Muldoon. Replacements: Poolman for E. Griffin (62), Bealham for Buckley (74), Heffernan for Harris-Wright (56), Cooney for Ah You (71), Muldowney for Swift (49), Naoupu for Muldoon (56). Not used: O’Donohoe, Nikora.
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales).