Rugby Union: Zebre upset Connacht to end long losing run

Zebre claimed their first win since the end of September at the expense of 2016 champions Connacht, while Scarlets went down to Cheetahs.

Zebre ended a 15-match losing streak by coming from behind to stun defending Pro12 champions Connacht with a 25-22 victory at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Saturday.

The Italian club are rooted to the foot of the table following a woeful winless run which stretched back to last October, but they rallied from 12-3 down to claim their first home success of the season.

Connacht had won four games in a row before coming unstuck at Glasgow Warriors last weekend and looked set to get back on track after Stacey Ili touched down and Craig Ronaldson added a second try with his first contribution after replacing the injured Ili.

Zebre showed great character to battle back and lead at the break courtesy of a Derick Minnie try and eight points from Carlo Canna's boot setting them on their way to only a second victory of the season in the competition.

Tommaso Boni caught Connacht cold with another try out on the left early in the second half before John Cooney landed a penalty and Edoardo Padovani added another just after Minnie was sent to the bin, ensuring a late converted Josh Rowland score was in vain.

Zebre are now just two points adrift of second-bottom Benetton Treviso and will feel justice has been done, as they led Connacht 22-10 at half-time back in October when the game was abandoned due to treacherous weather.

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