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Zebre are getting there – Manghi

Guinness PRO12 Editor

21 Nov 2012

Zebre sporting director Roberto Manghi insists his players are learning valuable lessons after seeing them pick up their first try-bonus point of the year.

The Italian side slipped to their eighth defeat from as many RaboDirect PRO12 matches this season with a 27-25 reverse on Sunday against Ulster.

However Manghi’s side managed four tries for the first time in their brief history, also picking up a losing bonus point as they now turn their attentions to Sunday’s clash with Cardiff Blues.

He said: “The Zebre are born from a group of youngsters who need experience. They represent the best Italian players that we could put together and grow to be as competitive as possible.

“These youngsters are giving us a lot of satisfaction, improving week on week. Unfortunately the results aren’t coming because there is still something lacking when we come up against squads structured like Ulster who played in the Heineken Cup final last year and is unbeaten this season.

“On the pitch we were pretty even and already this result is important in the perspective of our future. Of course it’s nicer to come off the pitch with a smile after a win rather than having lost in the dying minutes.

“We can’t lie to the players, but we are working to improve the squad. About 80 per cent of these players were in the academies last year and need to work on the physical side of things.

“A lot of them are capable of reaching the highest level, and even the national team, Italy needs them. After a season of suffering like this one, I’m confident that, working on development, something important will be born. Our missed kicks cost us the draw or even the win.”