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Zebre fightback stuns Edinburgh as depleted Scarlets overcome Kings

By Peter Hanson
Zebre fly-half Carlo Canna

Edinburgh let a 13-point lead slip through their fingers in a shock loss at Zebre, while Scarlets outfought Southern Kings to move level with Leinster in Conference B of Pro14 on Friday.

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Few would have predicted Zebre’s 34-16 fightback win particularly given the way Edinburgh hammered Toulon 40-14 in the European Rugby Champions Cup last weekend.

Such a proposition appeared even more unlikely when Darcy Graham’s try and Simon Hickey’s boot helped Richard Cockerill’s men into a 13-0 lead.

But Carlo Canna’s penalty put Zebre on the board before the break and the hosts outscored Edinburgh 31-3 in the second half to consign the visitors to a fourth defeat in seven Pro14 games.

David Sisi ran in Zebre’s first unopposed and Gabriele Di Giulio had a similarly easy run over the line before Canna pinched Hickey’s pass to dot down. Tommaso Castello then crashed over to seal the winning bonus point.

Scarlets won a 10-try thriller in Port Elizabeth to deny Conference B’s bottom side Southern Kings what would have been a timely victory.

Trailing by five at the break, a Scarlets side heavily depleted by international call-ups and injuries came roaring back as second-half scores from Ioan Nicholas, Werner Kruger, Kieran Hardy and Taylor Davies negated converted efforts from Harlon Klassen and Bjorn Basson.

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Ulster recorded a 200th win in the competition’s history as Stuart McCloskey scored twice, while Henry Speight, Dave Shanahan and Michael Lowry also crossed in a 36-18 beating of Dragons.

Rounding off the action, Ospreys defeated Connacht 22-17 in a match that went down to wire with the score tied heading into the closing stages, with Keelan Giles having scored twice inside the opening 10 minutes for the hosts.

Dan Evans had the final say with a last-gasp try that broke Connacht hearts at Brewery Field.

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