Pro12: Zebre 25-22 Connacht

Craig Ronaldson scores a try for Connacht in the Pro12 win over Zebre in Italy
Craig Ronaldson scores a try for Connacht in the Pro12 win over Zebre in Italy
Zebre 25 (13)
Tries: Minnie, Boni, Padovani Cons: Canna 2 Pens: Canna 2
Connacht 22 (12)
Tries: Ili, Ronaldson, Rowland Cons: Cooney, Ronaldson Pen: Cooney

Connacht were beaten by Pro12 bottom club Zebre in Saturday's rearranged league game in Parma.

Despite leading 12-3 after early Stacey Ili and Craig Ronaldson tries, Connacht trailed 13-12 at the break with Derick Minnie crossing for Zebre.

Tommaso Boni stetched their lead and despite Minnie's sin-binning, Edoardo Padovani added a third Zebre try.

Josh Rowland scored a late try on his first Connacht start but Zebre held on for only a second win of the season.

This was a disappointing result for the outgoing Pro12 champions.

The pivotal moment came after 20 minutes when Andrew Browne was held up over the line when Connacht, already leading by nine points, were closing in on a third try.

Momentum swung Zebre's way and managed to stay in front throughout the second half.

The game between the sides last September was abandoned at half-time because of torrential rain in Parma, when Zebre were leading 22-10.

Zebre: D Berryman; K Van Zyl, G Bisegni, T Boni, L Greeff; C Canna, M Violi, F Ruzza, D Minnie, J Furno, G Biagi (capt), G Koegelenberg, D Chistolini, T D'Apice, A Lovotti.

Replacements: S Tobias, A De Marchi, P Ceccarelli, V Bernabo, O Fabiani, G Palazzani, M Pratichetti, E Padovani.

Connacht: J Rowland, D Poolman, T Farrell, B Aki, S Ili, J Carty, J Cooney, D Buckley, T McCartney, F Bealham, Q Roux, A Browne, S O'Brien, E McKeon, J Muldoon (capt).

Replacements: D Heffernan, I Soroka, D Robertson-McCoy, J Cannon, E Masterson, C Blade, C Ronaldson, E Griffin.

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