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Gloucester Rugby travel to Italy to face Zebre Rugby Club on Saturday at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, in search of a win that could take them above Pau in Challenge Cup Pool 3. The West Country side have won all four previous meetings between the clubs, restricting the Italian outfit to 16 points or fewer on each occasion.
· Gloucester have lost two of their last three away games in the Challenge Cup pool stage after winning 12 such matches in a row previously.
· Zebre are one of three clubs to maintain a 100% goalkicking success rate this season, with no side slotting more penalties than the Italian club (5, level with Connacht and Agen).
· Zebre have chosen to kick from hand just 10 times in total in their first two games, every other side has put boot to ball at least 21 times.
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Gloucester Rugby kept their European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign alive on Saturday with a 33-26 bonus-point triumph over Zebre Rugby Club at the Stadio Lanfranci.
- Replacement winger Ollie Thorley chalked up two tries, while Ruan Ackermann's excellent season continued with another score, with Owen Williams and Richard Hibbard also adding tries as Gloucester Rugby moved with three points of Pool 3 leaders Pau, who thrashed Agen on Friday evening.
- It was the hosts, though, who enjoyed the early run of play as Johan Meyer and Renato Giammarioli cross in tries in the first quarter, with Carlo Canna's conversions giving Zebre Rugby Club a 14-point lead.
- Gloucester Rugby's comeback commenced on 26 minutes as No 8 Ackermann, fresh from being named November's Premiership Player of the Month, crashed over a first score for the Cherry and Whites, before Thorley opened his tally 10 minutes later as the visitors drew level.
- However, Zebre Rugby Club seized the advantage back before the break as Tommaso Boni ran in a third try in first-half overtime to give the home side a 19-14 lead.
- Thorley's second try four minutes after the interval drew Gloucester Rugby level once again – and Williams' third conversion gave the tourists the lead.
- Fly-half Williams then crossed in for himself, securing Gloucester's bonus point, and when hooker Hibbard touched down the visitors were assured an important victory, despite Ciaran Gaffney's late consolation try for Zebre.
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