sport

Blues slump in Zebre

Cardiff Blues' miserable form in the RaboDirect PRO12 continued on Saturday as they slumped to a 15-10 defeat at the hands of rock-bottom Zebre in Parma.

Cardiff had won just one of their previous eight matches in the tournament heading into the clash at the Stadio XXV Aprile, and it was to be another day of disappointment for the Welsh side as Zebre did the double over them in testing conditions.

The Italians, whose 30-25 win at the Arms Park in round three was one of only two previous victories this season, took the lead after just three minutes when former New Zealand scrum-half Brendon Leonard crossed for a try that was converted by Kelly Haimona.

The Blues quickly responded with a penalty from Gareth Davies but they lost Rory Watts-Jones to the sin-bin after 16 minutes and Zebre made the most of their man advantage with a try from Giulio Toniolatti that extended their lead to 12-3.

That is the way the first half finished, with Cardiff unable to make any impression of their own on the scoreboard after Zebre had Filippo Ferrarini yellow-carded.

The visitors did get back to within two points at the start of the second half, though, when full-back Tom Williams' try was converted by Davies, but Cardiff could not get their noses in front and Zebre made it 15-10 with a Luciano Orquera penalty.

Cardiff pushed hard to try and get something out of the game in the closing stages but saw two great chances ended by an accidental offside and then an obstruction as they crashed to an 11th defeat of the campaign.