Pro12: Zebre 10 - 40 Connacht

Matt Healy holds off Mauro Bergamasco to score a try for Connacht against Zebre
Matt Healy holds off Mauro Bergamasco to score a try for Connacht against Zebre
Zebre (10) 10
Tries: Leonard Pens: Orquera Cons: Orquera
Connacht (21) 40
Tries: Cooney 2, Healy, Masterson, O'Halloran, O'Leary Cons: Carty 3, McKeon 2

Connacht wrapped up a bonus-point win over Zebre on Saturday with six tries to boost their hopes of playing in the European Champions Cup next season.

John Cooney scored two first-half tries with Matt Healy also crossing in Parma as Connacht led 21-10 at the break.

Eoghan Masterson ran in the fourth try after 54 minutes to secure the all-important bonus point for the visitors.

Connacht must beat Pro12 leaders Ospreys in the final game next week to stay in the hunt for a top-six finish.

Coach Pat Lam opted to start John Cooney at scrum-half instead of the more experienced Kieran Marmion and the decision paid off with Cooney crossing for the opening try after 11 minutes.

Jack Carty converted to put Connacht 7-0 ahead but Brendon Leonard's try helped the home side level the scores after 26 minutes.

Connacht pulled clear when Matt Healy and Cooney ran in for tries in the 29th and 35th minutes respectively.

Carty was again on target with the conversions and despite Luciana Orquera landing a penalty for the Italians, Connacht were comfortably ahead 21-10 at the interval.

Eoghan Masterson secured the bonus point win for the Irish province with his 54th minute try.

Zebre replacement Luca Redolfini was sin-binned in the 64th minute and Connacht took advantage of the numerical advantage, Tiernan O'Halloran and Shane O'Leary running in late tries.

Zebre: D Berryman; G Venditti, M Pratichetti, G Carcia, M Visentin; L Orquera, B Leonard; M Aguero, A Manici, D Chistolini; Q Geldenhuys, V Bernabo; F Cristiano, Mauro Bergamasco (capt), A Van Schalkwyk

Replacements: O Fabiani, A De Marchi, L Redolfini, A Mahu, J Sarto, G Palazzani, A Chillon, Mirco Bergamasco.

Connacht: T O'Halloran, D Poolman, R Henshaw, B Aki, M Healy, J Carty, J Cooney, D Buckley, T McCartney, R Ah You, U Dillane, A Muldowney, J Muldoon (capt), E Masterson, E McKeon

Replacements: D Heffernan, JP Cooney, F Browne, G Naoupu, K Marmion, C McKeon, D Leader.

Referee: I Davies (Wales).

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