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Zebre stop the rot, Cheetahs beat Scarlets

Zebre fly-half Carlo Canna

Zebre halted a six-match losing streak with a 24-10 win over Connacht and the Cheetahs consigned Conference B leaders Scarlets to only a second Pro14 defeat of the season on Saturday.


Not since the end of September had Zebre celebrated a victory, but tries from Johan Meyer and Giovanbattista Venditti and 14 points from the boot of Carlo Canna gave them just a third Pro14 win of the campaign.

The Italian side are now within two points of Connacht in Conference A after a hard-fought success at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, where two Canna penalties put them 6-0 up at half-time.

Tom Farrell raced through for a converted try to put the 2016 champions in front early in the second half and Jack Carty slotted over a penalty to restore their one-point advantage after a third Canna kick.

Zebre were not to be denied, Meyer and Venditti going over in the last 13 minutes and Canna nailing a drop-goal as the Parma-based side stopped the rot.

Craig Barry claimed a brace in a 28-21 win for Cheetahs over Scarlets at Free State Stadium.

William Small-Smith also dotted down as saw their advantage over Leinster at the Conference B summit cut to three points, tries from James Davies and Ioan Nicholas proving to be in vain.


Munster, second in Conference A, eased to a five-try 36-10 victory over Ospreys, while James Lowe scored two tries on his debut in Leinster’s 36-10 win at Benetton Treviso.




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William 2 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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FEATURE 'The All Blacks won the series, but not in the way they wanted' 'The All Blacks won the series, but not in the way they wanted'