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Zebre shock Sharks to claim first URC win in 29 matches

By PA
GettyImages-1748499398

Zebre Parma secured a first win since April 2022 after a nail-biting 12-10 BKT United Rugby Championship victory over Hollywoodbets Sharks at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

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The Italian outfit had lost a record 28 games since that victory over Dragons and were indebted to three penalties from the boot of full-back Geronimo Prisciantelli and a further one from Jacopo Trulla.

The Sharks crossed for the only try of the game from Cameron Wright with Boeta Chamberlain tagging on the conversion and adding a penalty, but it was not enough to deny the hosts.

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Stormers head coach John Dobson on the challenge of facing Benetton in Treviso

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Stormers head coach John Dobson on the challenge of facing Benetton in Treviso

Defeat extends a poor start to the season from Sharks, who have now lost all four of their opening games and scored only six tries in the process and have yet to record a point as they sit rooted to the foot of the table.

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1 Comment
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Rob 223 days ago

So happy for them, the sharks are a shambles

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Flankly 13 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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