Cardiff Blues v Zebre Live

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Cardiff Blues                          Zebre
Sunday 6th September 13:30 GMT


The Cardiff Blues have made a habit of getting off to a winning start in the RaboDirect PRO12 tournament in recent seasons, it is what follows afterwards that has been the problem for a side that has constantly underperformed in the competition. Just two appearances in Grand Finals, in 2006/07 and 2007/08, when they were beaten by the Ospreys and Leinster respectively, are the best the Blues have managed during the history of the tournament.

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On Sunday they begin the new season with a home match against the Italians of Zebre, at The Arms Park in Cardiff. The Blues will be looking for a fifth opening day victory in the past six season, when they play the team who they defeated in the final game of last season, by 29-5 also in Cardiff.

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Zebre have only won on two occasions away from home in their history in any competition. One of those wins was against the Blues, a shock outcome that occurred back in September 2013, and is the only time that the Blues have been beaten on home soil by a side from Italy. Last season, the Blues finished in tenth position in the table, with only the two Italian teams, from Treviso and Zebre below them.

Posted: 16th May 2015


Cardiff Blues have nothing left to pay for except pride on Saturday, when they complete their RaboDirect PRO12 season, with a home match at the Arms Park against the Italians of Zebre. With five successive defeats against their name, the Blues will be desperate to end the season on some sort of high, by avoiding a sixth defeat, an indignity that they last suffered in the Autumn of 2012. They will also be keen to avoid a second consecutive loss to Italian opposition, having lost in Treviso by 24-40 in Round 15, a fate that they have never yet endured.

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Zebre themselves are desperate to provide a shock to their Welsh hosts, as they require a win to have a chance of overhauling their countrymen from Benetton Treviso, and claiming the Italian spot in next season's Champions Cup. Even if they do register a win, they will still require Treviso to slip up at home against the Scarlets.

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Zebre's last success in the PRO12 came in Parma against the Newport Gwent Dragons at the beginning of March. While they have only ever won once away from home in the PRO12 since their formation, when they defeated the Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park back in September 2013.

Tags: Cardiff Blues, RaboDirect PRO12, Arms Park, Zebre
Posted: 6th September 2015

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