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Bulls hit winless Zebre for six

By PA
Bulls DoR Jake White /Getty

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The Bulls ran in six tries to beat Zebre Parma 45-7 and ensure the Italians’ winless run in the United Rugby Championship will extend to over a year.

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Tries from Johan Grobbelaar, Embrose Papier, Marcell Coetzee, Arno Botha, Lionel Mapoe and Kurt-Lee Arendse secured a comfortable bonus-point win as the Bulls scored 45 unanswered points.

Chris Smith, stepping in for the suspended Morne Steyn at fly-half, produced a flawless goal-kicking display, adding 15 points with a penalty and six conversions.

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Zebre have now lost 20 consecutive games, with their last URC win coming against the Dragons on February 27 last year.

Madosh Tambwe thought he had opened the scoring in the ninth minute but Bulls centre Mapoe had knocked on in the build-up.

The Bulls were reduced to 14 men after 21 minutes when Marcello Violi’s kick was deflected skywards.

Jacopo Trulla got there first but he was caught in by mid-air by Bulls skipper Coetzee, who was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

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Zebre instantly made the most of their one-man advantage as a driving maul snaked infield to give Violi options right and left.

Violi darted to his right and fed Antonio Rizzi, who stepped inside Tambwe for a score he converted.

Smith replied with a penalty and the Bulls took command after being restored to their full complement by Coetzee’s return.

Hooker Grobbelaar squirmed over as a forward drive appeared to be heading for the touchline.

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The Bulls established a 17-7 half-time lead when Mapoe, with a superb one-handed offload, and Arendse combined to send Papier over.

The visitors continued to dominate after the break and kept the ball in hand well for Coetzee to stretch out and reach the line.

The Bulls celebrated a bonus point just before the hour as Botha benefited from more forward power to drive over from close range.

Mapoe then sliced through from a well-worked set-piece before Arendse kept the best for last.

Elrigh Louw’s footwork and back-of-the-hand pass freed Arendse, who scorched down the touchline to leave several Zebre defenders trailing in his wake.

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