Zebre battle past Benetton
PRO14 REPORT: Zebre won a third straight Pro14 game for the first time in their history thanks to a tight victory away at Italian rivals Benetton.
David Sisi and Carlo Canna scored the tries for the visitors as they finished the campaign with a flourish at a sunny Stadio Monigo.
It was just their third away win all season and it was made all the more sweeter as it came at Benetton, on a special day for Italian rugby.
That win was the 18th by an Italian side in the Pro14, a new record, with Zebre contributing seven of them.
Benetton had been on a three-game winning run and had not lost to their rivals in four games and it was they who got the first points on the board.
A slick move off the back of a scrum saw scrum-half Tito Tebaldi slip a pass to Tommaso Allan, who in turn found Alberto Sgarbi to dart in under the posts.
Zebre got their first try on the stroke of half time, with Sisi powering over off the back of a driving maul from a well-constructed line-out.
That gave the away side the momentum heading into the second half and they struck, with Canna going over in the corner after Zebre had sucked in Benetton’s defence.
But the hosts hit back minutes later, with Allan powering through three tackles to get the ball down after Benetton gained good position through a rolling maul.
The fly-half extended their lead to four points with a penalty but in the end it was in vein as Marcello Violi’s four penalties saw Zebre over the line.
Tries: Sgarbi 2
Cons: Allan 2
Tries: Sisi, Canna
Pens: Violi 4
Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (captain), 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Sebastian Negri, 6 Federico Ruzza, 5 Alessandro Zanni, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Federico Zani.
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Abraham Steyn, 22 Luca Sperandio, 23 Marty Banks.
Zebre: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello (captain), 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 David Sisi, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Jacopo Sarto, 5 George Biagi, 4 Leonard Krumov, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Luhandre Luus, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Edoardo Padovani, 23 Gabriele Di Giulio.
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Manuel Bottino (Italy), Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
TMO: Sean Davey (England)