RaboDirect PRO12: Zebre earn stripes with win against Ospreys
Last Updated: 01/05/14 9:16pm
Guglielmo Palazzani: late try earned Zebre's second win in a row
Zebre moved off the bottom of the RaboDirect PRO12 table after Guglielmo Palazzani's last-gasp try helped them to a 30-27 victory over Ospreys.
The scrum-half drove over the line after the 80 minutes were up as Zebre, who had let slip a 16-6 half-time lead to trail 27-16 at one point, earned back-to-back league wins for the first time this season, having beaten Edinburgh in their last outing.
The south Wales outfit, who found themselves 10-0 down inside the opening 15 minutes after Luciano Orquera followed up his penalty by converting Giovanbattista Venditti's try, had only a losing bonus point to show for their efforts.
Zebre were penalised twice and Dan Biggar made no mistake with his kicks, but the home side re-established their 10-point cushion before the end of the half thanks to the boot of Italy fly-half Orquera.
But the Ospreys set the tone for the second half as Justin Tipuric crossed after a great break from Dan Baker with just 34 seconds on the clock, while Ashley Beck grabbed their second try in the 54th minute to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the match.
Biggar converted both tries and added the extras to Alun Wyn-Jones' 67th-minute touchdown to give the Ospreys a 27-16 lead.
Zebre refused to accept defeat, however, and scrum-half Brendon Leonard narrowed the gap to four points with a converted try while both sides finished the match with 14 men after Samuela Vunisa was sin-binned for the hosts, with Wyn-Jones yellow carded shortly afterwards.
With huge pressure on the Ospreys back line, Zebre eventually forced a way over through Palazzani, with fellow replacement Tommaso Iannone adding a second conversion as Zebre moved above Treviso in the standings.
RaboDirect PRO12 2013/14 Round 21
Cardiff won in Ireland for the first time in 16 months as they came from behind to beat Connacht 22-15.
Table-toppers Leinster won 22-20 at Ulster, whose losing bonus point brings them a guaranteed place in the play-offs.
Scarlets earned a place in Europe's top competition next season with a 34-23 win over Newport Gwent Dragons.