Blues hold off charging Zebre, Connacht lose again


Cardiff Blues survived a late Zebre fightback to maintain their 100 per cent start to the Pro12 season on Saturday, while fellow Welsh side Scarlets got off the mark with a 17-8 triumph over champions Connacht.

Danny Wilson's Cardiff led by 12 points after 45 minutes at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, thanks to tries from Blaine Scully, Matthew Morgan and Tom James, but touchdowns in the final quarter from Giulio Bisegni and Giovanbattista Venditti set up a nervy finale.

Zebre were ultimately left to rue three missed conversions as they went down 23-21, although Blues fly-half Steven Shingler was also errant with the boot in a match that featured four yellow cards.

Connacht's miserable start to their title defence continued as Liam Williams crossed twice to earn Scarlets a welcome home win.

Scarlets trailed 8-7 at the break, Niyi Adeolokun's try and a Jack Carty penalty offsetting Williams' first score, but were much stronger in the second period and gained reward for their efforts.

Saturday's other fixture saw Munster ease to a 28-14 win over Edinburgh, Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray claiming two of the four tries that earned the victors a bonus point.