Zebre 6-16 Cardiff Blues, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Cardiff Blues successfully overcame a red-card to Josh Turnbull as they went on to beat Zebre 6-16 in the Pro14 opener at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Friday.
With 1,000 fans witnessing the game in the stadium, Zebre started the game with a setback as Federico Mori was sin-binned in the ninth minute for a dangerous tackle on Matthew Morgan.
Jarrod Evans responded immediately with a penalty goal in the 11th minute to score the opening points of the game but Zebre levelled the score with a three-pointer from Carlo Canna in the 21st minute.
Josh Adams continued his impressive try-scoring record as he dotted down in the 26th minute after collecting a kick from Evans, who also kicked the conversion to make the scoreline 3-10 in the opening half.
The start of the second half saw Blues dealt a major blow with Turnbull red-carded for a shoulder to head charge on Zebre flanker Maxime Mbandà and immediately Canna kicked a three-pointer to reduce the gap to six points.
The visitors continued to press on despite the numerical disadvantage as Rey Lee-Lo's try was disallowed for a deliberate knock-on while Evans also missed a long-range penalty goal. Nevertheless, with Zebre failing to capitalise on the numerical advantage, Evans and Josh Tovey with penalties in the 57th and 70th minutes respectively ensured Cardiff Blues completed a 10-point victory.
Zebre: Junior Laloifi; Federico Mori, Giulio Bisegni, Tommaso Boni, Mattia Bellini; Carlo Canna, Marcello Violi; Daniele Rimpelli, Oliviero Fabiani, Eduardo Bello, Mick Kearney, Leonard Krumov, Maxime Mbandà, Jimmy Tuivaiti, Johan Meyer.
Replacements: Massimo Ceciliani, Danilo Fischetti, Giosuè Zilocchi, Cristian Stoian, Lorenzo Masselli, Guglielmo Palazzani, Antonio Rizzi, Jacopo Trulla.
Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Josh Adams, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Hallam Amos; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Cory Hill (capt), Shane Lewis-Hughes, Josh Turnbull, James Botham.
Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Rhys Carré, Dillon Lewis, Ben Murphy, Olly Robinson, Lewis Jones, Jason Tovey, Garyn Smith.