Rugby Union: Zebre upset Connacht to end long losing run

A first Pro12 win since October and only their second of the season finally came the way of Zebre against champions Connacht.

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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