Pro12: Zebre 3-20 Leinster
|Zebre (3) 3|
|Leinster (3) 20|
|Tries: Madigan, McGrath Cons: Madigan, Gopperth Pens: Madigan 2|
Ian Madigan scored 13 points as Leinster got back to winning ways in the Pro12 with an unconvincing 20-3 triumph over Zebre in Parma.
Luciano Orquera kicked Zebre into the lead but Madigan turned the match around with a try, conversion and two penalties in just 10 minutes.
Luke McGrath dotted down late on with Jimmy Gopperth adding the extras.
After last weekend's demoralising defeat by Munster, the win moved Leinster up to sixth in the table.
Zebre - who remain second bottom - fell away as tiredness crept in and undid their good first-half work.
Leinster hooker Richardt Strauss returned from a five-month lay-off with a serious hamstring injury to make his 95th appearance for the Irish province.
His perfectly-weighted line-out throw in the 17th minute looked to have helped set up a try for Isaac Boss but the effort was ruled out by the television match official.
Despite having Marco Bortolami in the sin-bin, Zebre took the lead on 26 minutes as Orquera punished a Leinster breakdown indiscretion.
Leinster were almost caught napping when Zebre surged forwards and only a slight knock-on from Giulio Toniolatti scuppered the chances of a try for Quintin Geldenhuys.
Madigan then hit the post with a straightforward penalty chance as Leinster began to look rattled, but the fly-half did level the contest just before the interval.
Shortly after the break, Madigan eased Leinster's nerves further with a superb solo dart to scythe through Zebre's defence and touch down under the posts.
It was a moment of individual brilliance and Madigan added the extras, before adding another penalty in the 50th minute to suddenly put Matt O'Connor's side in control at 13-3.
Replacement scrum-half McGrath, on for Boss, then made the most of Zebre's tiredness to dart over round the fringes to score in the 69th minute with Jimmy Gopperth adding the extras as Madigan received treatment after a heavy challenge from George Biagi.
Zebre: D Odiete; G Toniolatti, T Iannone, G Garcia, L Sarto; E Padovani, G Palazzani; M Aguero, A Manici, D Chistolini, Q Geldenhuys, M Bortolami (capt); M Bergamasco, F Cristiano, S Vunisa.
Replacements: O Fabiani, A Lovotti, L Leibson, A Ferreira, V Bernabo, L Orquera, K Haimona, G Biagi
Leinster: R Kearney (capt); Z Kirchner, G D'Arcy, N Reid, D Fanning; I Madigan, I Boss; J McGrath, R Strauss, M Moore; M McCarthy, K Douglas; R Ruddock, J van der Flier, J Conan.
Replacements: B Byrne, E Byrne, T Furlong, D Toner, J Heaslip, L McGrath, J Gopperth, M McGrath.
Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU)