Zebre shock Worcester Warriors in Challenge Cup

Worcester Warriors have been beaten by Zebre

Italian European Rugby Challenge Cup side Zebre upset English Premiership Rugby side Worcester Warriors 27-8 in their Pool 4 match at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

The loss for Worcester was their first ever to an Italian side after letting two early tries slip through in the first 14 minutes.

The Pool 4 contest was not helped by the conditions but Warriors were never really in the match after the home side made a whirlwind start and international outside half Carlo Canna put the boot in with 17 points.

The Warriors had marked their return to European action with a solid 19-3 win over La Rochelle in week one but now they face tough back-to-back clashes with Premiership rivals Gloucester Rugby when the tournament returns next month.

Zebre, beaten 23-10 at Gloucester Rugby in Round 1, made that dream start in front of their own fans and were 10 points up in as many minutes.

Andrea Manici burst through to set-up scrum-half Marcello Violo to score a fifth minute try and his half back partner Canna added the conversion and a penalty to warn Worcester they had a real challenge on their hands.

And there was even more for Zebre fans to shout about with Tommaso Boni – a late call up in the centre – going over for their second try and, although Canna was wide with his conversion attempt, he made amends with a smart drop goal minutes later.

And with the rain pouring down it took Worcester 22 minutes to open their account with a penalty goal from outside half Ryan Lamb but then back rower Sam Betty was yellow carded to leave the Warriors a man short for 10 minutes against a side with the momentum.

And there was more disappointment for Worcester when Lamb saw his next penalty goal attempt come back off the upright to leave them 18 points adrift at the break.

There was more woe for Worcester when Canna landed a third penalty after a smart break by Giulio Bisegni and both teams concentrated on kicking for territory in the testing conditions.

That contributed to a brief flare up before Canna added another penalty with just 11 minutes to go and the points safely in the Zebre bag.

And Canna leaves to huge support after his 17 points contribution before Worcester enjoy a late, late moment following good work by replacement Derrick Appiah ends with wing Dean Hammond sliding over for a 77th minute try.

Just to sum up Worcester’s dismal afternoon Lamb sees a second of his kicks bounce back off the posts.

Final Score Zebre 27 (21) Worcester Warriors 8 (3)

Scorers

Zebre
Tries – Violi, Boni
Pen – Canna 4
Con – Canna
Drop – Canna

Worcester Warriors
Tries – Hammond
Pen – Lamb
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: Tual Trainini (France),
Assistant ref: Salam Attalah (France),
Assistant ref: Vincent Blasco Baqué (France),
Citing Commissioner: Ray Wilton (Wales)

Teams

Zebre Rugby: Guglielmo Palazzani; Dion Berryman, Giulio Bisegni, Gonzalo Garcia, Leonardo Sarto; Carlo Canna, Marcello Violi; Andrea Lovotti, Andrea Manici, Dario Chistolini, Quintin Geldenhuys, George Biagi (c), Jacopo Sarto, Johan Meyer, Dries van Schalkwyk

Replacements: Oliviero Fabiani, Andrea de Marchi, Pietro Ceccarelli, Valerio Bernabo, Paul Derbyshire, Luke Burgess, Tommaso Boni, Edoardo Padovani

Worcester Warriors: Ben Howard; Perry Humphreys, Max Stelling, Alex Grove, Dean Hammond; Ryan Lamb, JB Bruzulier (c); Ryan Bower, Jaba Bregvadze, Gareth Milasinovich, Dan Sanderson , Darren O’Shea, Carl Kirwan, Sam Betty, Marco Mama

Replacements: Ben Sowrey, Derrick Appiah, Joe Rees, Darren Barry, Matt Cox, Charlie Mulchrone, Ryan Mills, Tom Biggs.

With thanks to EPCRugby

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