Wednesday 21 February 2018

Early look at Euro rivals in Parma

Zebre players celebrate scoring a try during last year's European Rugby Challenge Cup. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Zebre players celebrate scoring a try during last year's European Rugby Challenge Cup. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Declan Rooney

We'll be back here again in a few weeks' time, but this weekend Connacht will have a close look at the Champions Cup rivals Zebre.

It might have been a better trip to Wales for Zebre than their first week's game, but a losing bonus point is all they have after facing Dragons at Rodney Parade last weekend. The game finished 11-6 and was not a classic, but back on their home patch they will look forward to Pat Lam's side visiting.

A month out from their trip to the Sportsground, Toulouse have plenty of work to do as they slipped to ninth place in the Top 14 following a home defeat to Toulon.

Toulon coach and ex-Italian international Diego Dominguez was supposed to be on the verge of the axe four games into his reign, but his side summoned a huge performance to beat their hosts by 32-15.

An trip to Lyon should province some solace for Toulouse this weekend as they seek a third win of the season in their fifth game. Wasps are up to third in the English Premiership table after their 34-22 victory at Leicester Tigers.

Tries from Christian Wade, Guy Thompson and Sam Jones added to Jimmy Gopperth's kicking saw Wasps race into a 27-8 lead early it the second-half.

Ed Slater launched a Leicester comeback with his side's second try - Lachlan McCaffrey scored in the first half - and Freddie Burns found his groove from the tee to close the gap to five.

But after Ellis Genge and Peter Betham were both yellow-carded late on, Gopperth clinched victory for Wasps, who host newly promoted Bristol on Sunday.

Irish Independent

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