Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

Match Page 2017-18 - Last Time WP ID: 133

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing WP: 134

Match Page 2017-18 - H2H WP: 136

Match Page 2017-18 - Last 3 Matches WP: 142

Match Page 2017-18 - Season so Far WP:141

Preview: Zebre v Dragons

Will Thompson 13 Apr 2018
Federico Ruzza, Zebre

Zebre host Dragons this weekend and the Italians are hunting for their best ever finish to a Guinness PRO14 campaign.

Dragons will be hoping to improve on their two-point loss to fellow Italians Benetton in the previous round.

What’s at stake?

Zebre share the love this weekend as they move temporarily from their Parma home to the Stadio Fattori L’Aquila, situated 100km from Rome.

In only the second ‘home’ match away from the Lanfranchi Stadium they seek a record fifth win the competition, whilst Dragons are looking for their first win in the league since the end of September.

Team news (Zebre)

Head coach Michael Bradley welcomes back centre Tommaso Castello as one of five changes to the side beaten at Leinster last time out.

Castello suffered a knee injury during the Six Nations Championship, but has been passed fit to return.

Giovanbattista Venditti starts on the left wing, so Mattia Bellini switches to the right.

Luhundre Luus and Eduardo Bello come into the front row with Johan Meyer set to start at openside.

Team news (Dragons)

Following last weekend’s narrow defeat to Benetton, Dragons have spent the week in Italy and made three changes to their starting XV.

Charlie Davies replaces Owain Leonard at scrum-half, whilst Luke Garrett comes into the front row and Joe Davies steps into the boiler room.

Talking points

Dragons No. 8 Lewis Evans said: “It was a rollercoaster of emotions in Treviso last weekend, but our second-half performance in the loss to Benetton does give us the belief that we can end our wait for a long overdue away win in the league.

“It’s still hard to believe that we are still on a losing streak on the road in the Guinness PRO14.

“If we play like we did in the second half then I am sure we can sign off with a win at Zebre before preparing for our last game of the season against the Scarlets at Judgement Day.”

Key battle – Tommaso Castello v Connor Edwards

A mainstay in the Zebre midfield in the first half of the season, Tommaso Castello is back for the first time since January 6 following his Six Nations commitments and a knee injury.

International head coach Conor O’Shea will be in the stand to witness his return as Zebre seek a fourth successive home win against Dragons.

Opposite number Connor Edwards makes only his third start of the season alongside Sam Beard as the Men of Gwent desperately seek to improve their form on the road.

Key fact: Dragons have not won a PRO14 away match since March 2015 when they triumphed against Benetton in Treviso.

Did you know? This game will be played at Stadio Fattori L’Aquila, becoming the 44th different venue to host a PRO14 fixture.

Zebre: Matteo Minozzi, Mattia Bellini, Giulio Bisegni, Tommaso Castello (c), Giovanbattista Venditti, Carlo Canna, Marcello Violi; Andrea Lovotti, Luhandre Luus, Eduardo Bello, Leonard Krumov, George Biagi, Jacopo Sarto, Johan Meyer, David Sisi

Replacements: Tommaso D’Apice, Cruze Ah-Nau, Roberto Tenga, Valerio Bernabo, Andrea De Marchi, Guglielmo Palazzani, Serafin Bordoli, Gabriele Di Giulio

Dragons: Zane Kirchner, Ashton Hewitt, Sam Beard, Connor Edwards, Jared Rosser, Arwel Robson, Charlie Davies; Luke Garrett, Elliot Dee, Lloyd Fairbrother, Joe Davies, Cory Hill (c), Rynard Landman, Aaron Wainwright, Lewis Evans

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Josh Reynolds, Dan Suter, Max Williams, Taine Basham, Owain Leonard, Adam Warren, Joe Goodchild

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU, 101st competition game)

Assistant referees: Nigel Correll (IRFU), Manuel Bottino (FIR)

Citing commissioner: Francesco Grillo (FIR)

TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)

TV: Live on Eurosport

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €35 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s, visithttp://www.dublin7sfestival.ie

Historical Lineup Pre Opta (sfms data) - Preview - v2

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Canna strikes late to see off Dragons

Rich Dore 14 Apr 2018

Carlo Canna scored a late try to break Dragons hearts as Zebre came from behind to win a pulsating contest at Stadio Fattori L’Aquila.

Jared Rosser scored a hat-trick as the Dragons went in search of their first Guinness PRO14 away win since 2015, with the winger grabbing two in a superb first-half display.

He then completed his hat-trick before half time and Charlie Davies confirmed the bonus point on the brink of the interval.

However, Zebre came storming back with three quick-fire tries closing the gap to just two points – Tomasso Castello, Tommaso D’Apice and Johan Meyer all getting on the scoresheet.

An Arwel Robson penalty settled the Dragons’ nerves but Canna converted his own try to win it for the Italians.

The Dragons remain winless in the league since the end of September but their two bonus points puts breathing space between them and the Southern Kings at the bottom of Conference B.

The hosts made a fine start as scrum-half Marcello Violi crossed just six minutes into the match to finish off a stunning team move.

That settled the hosts down at the Stadio Fattori L’Aquila – the 44th venue to host a Guinness PRO14 match.

But the Dragons roared into life with Rosser in particular a major threat.

The wing got his first try just seven minutes after Violi’s opener, strolling in unopposed to get them on the board.

It only got better from there as he got his second shortly after before latching onto the end of a superb grubber kick for his third.

When Davies crossed for Dragons’ fourth on the strike of half time there only looked like being one winner but Zebre stormed back after the break.

Castello, D’Apice and Meyer all crossed to get them within two points but Robson’s penalty settled Dragons’s nerves.

However, Zebre were just too strong going forward and Canna snuck through to score before settling it with his conversion.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €35 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s, visithttp://www.dublin7sfestival.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138