Cardiff Blues 29-5 Zebre
|Cardiff Blues 29 (12)|
|Tries: Cuthbert 2, Jenkins, Patchell, Smith Cons: Patchell 2|
|Zebre 5 (0)|
Cardiff Blues scored five tries to beat bottom-side Zebre 29-5 at Arms Park to deny the Italians a place in next season's European Champions Cup.
Alex Cuthbert opened the scoring on 29 minutes, before lock Marco Bortolami was sent to the sin bin for the Italians.
Within 60 seconds prop Gethin Jenkins powered over for Blues, Rhys Patchell converting.
After the break Cuthbert, Patchell and Garyn Smith crossed for Blues with Valerio Bernabo scoring for Zebre.
The visitors would have represented their country in next season's European Champions Cup had they won due to Treviso's 17-13 home loss against Scarlets.
But, after frustrating the hosts for the majority of the first-half the deadlock was finally broken when Blues full back Alex Summerhill fed Cuthbert to dive over in the corner, Patchell missing the conversion.
Five minutes later Zebre captain Bortolami was shown the yellow card for coming in at the side of a ruck.
Cardiff immediately capitalised with Jenkins peeling away from a drive from an attacking line out to score, with Patchell adding the extras.
After the restart Cuthbert rode a challenge before touching down for his second for an unconverted try.
Patchell made amends for missing that kick by later converting his own try to seal a bonus point for Blues.
Zebre, the lowest try scorers in the Pro12 this season, scored a consolation through Bernabo, but fly-half Luciano Orquera failed to convert.
The Blues sealed their first home win in the league since March 6, with a try for Smith in injury time, Samoan lock Filo Paulo missed the conversion.
Cardiff Blues: Aled Summerhill; Alex Cuthbert, Tom Isaacs, Gavin Evans, Richard Smith; Rhys Patchell, Tavis Knoyle; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Kristian Dacey, Adam Jones, Filo Paulo, Lou Reed, Macauley Cook, Sam Warburton, Josh Navidi.
Replacements: Rhys Williams, Thomas Davies, Taufa'ao Filise, Josh Turnbull, Manoa Vosawai, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Gareth Anscombe.
Zebre: Dion Berryman; Giulio Toniolatti, Mirco Bergamasco, Gonzalo Garcia, David Odiete; Luciano Orquera, Brendon Leonard; Samuela Vunisa, Andries van Schalkwyk, Mauro Bergamasco, Marco Bortolami (Capt), Quintin Geldenhuys, Dario Chistolini, Oliviero Fabiani, Andrea De Marchi.
Replacements: Tommaso D'Apice, Andrea Lovotti, Luca Redolfini, Valerio Bernabò, Filippo Ferrarini, Guglielmo Palazzani, Tommaso Iannone, Filippo Cristiano.
Referee: Gary Conway (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Neil Hennessy & Sean Brickell
Citing Commissioner: Jeff Mark (WRU)