Bonus-point win for Zebre

Zebre secured a second successive win in the PRO12 on Saturday as they battled past Cardiff Blues, winning 26-15 at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

A brace of tries from Dries van Schalkwyk helped secure an impressive win for the Italians.

Zebre's second home win as many weeks provides an opportunity for them to make further progress up the table, whilst Cardiff's own hopes of breaking into the top half are sidelined for another week. 

Kayle Van Zyl snapped up Carlo Canna's offload to score a try in the fourth minute, but the conversion was missed. 

The visitors found a perfect response through Adam Thomas, who crossed following good work from Dan Fish, Blaine Scully and Tom James, and a great final ball from Rhys Patchell. 

The Blues were also unable to convert their try, leaving the scores level, but Canna was on target a conversion after Van Schalkwyck finished off a break on the back of a Cardiff error. 

Canna then missed an attempt at goal, but he hit another conversion before half-time following a try he created with a deft chip for Johan Meyer. 

Patchell narrowed the arrears to 11 points with a penalty goal on 35 minutes and it remained that way until half-time. 

There was a much more controlled start to the second half, with scoring opportunities few and far between, and the hosts seemingly content to sit on their lead.

The Blues gave themselves hope just after the hour when Tom James supported Lloyd Williams' break to touch down. Patchell added the conversion to make it 19-15, but that was as good as it got for Cardiff. 

And despite continuing to press, good work from the line-out created an opening for van Schalkwyk to grab his second try, which Canna converted to seal victory for Zebre.

The scorers:

For Zebre:
Tries: Van Zyl 2, Van Schalkwyk, Meyer
Con: Canna 3

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Thomas, James
Con: Patchell
Pen: Patchell

Zebre: 15 Dion Berryman, 14 Kayle Van Zyl, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Jean Cook, 5 George Biagi (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Jacopo Sarto, 21 Marcello Violi, 22 Guglielmo Palazzani, 23 Edoardo Padovani.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Adam Thomas, 11 Tom James, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Josh Navidi (c) 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Garyn Smith.

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Matteo Liperini (Italy), Stefano Bolzonella (Italy)
Television match official: Alan Falzone (Italy)
Assessor: Gabriele Villari (Italy)

- Team Talk Media
- Team Talk Media