Champions Cup: Connacht 66-21 Zebre – Connacht put Italians to the sword

  • Connacht romped to a 10-try victory against Zebre
  • Six first-half tries saw the Irish province build a comprehensive 40-14 halftime lead
  • Another four after the restart took Connacht to ten tries for the afternoon 
Connacht remains on course for a Champions Cup quarter-finals spot as they notched a 10-try win over a shambolic Zebre side in Galway.

Zebre briefly held the lead early on but succumbed to their fifth successive defeat in the competition while the bonus-point win for the Irish province provided them a great opportunity to progress to the knockout stages.

Tiernan O’Halloran, Kieran Marmion and Matt Healy scored two tries with John Cooney, Finlay Bealham, Craig Ronaldson and Caolan Blade also touching down.

The home team wobbled early on as tries from Johann Meyer and Federico Ruzza helped Zebre take an unexpected 14-7 lead.



But Connacht hit 33 unanswered points before the break as Zebre imploded.

The visitors played the closing eight minutes of the first half with 13 men after Lloyd Greeff and prop Pietro Ceccarelli had both been sin-binned.

After the break, the hosts added further scores with Healy and O’Halloran scoring their second tries of the game as the hosts began to take off their key players.


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Marmion added the eighth try soon after and the score was more representative of a cricket score than a game of rugby.

Zebre got their third try on the hour mark through centre Mattia Bellini, but the day belonged to Connacht, who scored their 10th and final try through Caolin Blade.

MANOFTHEMATCH

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran

LINE UPS

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Craig Ronaldson, 11 Matt Healy, 10 John Cooney, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon (c), 7 Eoin McKeon, 6 Sean O’Brien, 5 James Cannon, 4 Lewis Stevenson, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 JP Cooney, 18 John Andress, 19 James Connolly, 20 Naulia Dawai, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Tom Farrell, 23 Danie Poolman
Zebre: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Lloyd Greeff, 13 Edoardo Padovani, 12 Mattia Bellini, 11 Guglielmo Palazzani, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Federico Ruzza, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Maxime Mbandà (c), 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Joshua Furno, 20 George Biagi, 21 Carlo Engelbrecht, 22 Derick Minnie, 23 Serafin Bordoli
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