Defeat that day was one of 10 in a disappointing domestic campaign so far this term, with the Blues having only beaten Connacht, Edinburgh, Treviso and Newport Gwent Dragons in 15 fixtures. All four of those successes have come at home and a draw at Treviso is the only time the team have avoided defeat on the road in the PRO12 since they saw off Edinburgh at Murrayfield just over 12 months ago.
They head to Italy on the back of three successive league defeats following their New Year's Day win over the Dragons but they know that a bonus-point success would give their chances of finishing in the top three Welsh regions a huge boost. The ninth-placed Blues are five points below the Dragons in seventh and a further four from the Scarlets in sixth but, with those two teams facing play-off contenders Ulster and Munster on Friday and Saturday respectively, things could be looking far rosier at the end of the weekend.
And, while their loss to Zebre four months ago and their recent form will prevent any sense of complacency ahead of the trip to the league's lowest club, the Blues won't be daunted by Zebre's own performances of late. Andrea Cavinato's men were well beaten by Connacht at the Stadio XXV Aprile last weekend have won just once at the venue in their history, with that solitary success coming against their countrymen Treviso in early January.
The Blues won this fixture 14-7 in November 2012 but no Welsh team has won there this season, though, with the Dragons and Ospreys yet to arrive in Parma and the Scarlets having rescued a 16-16 draw there in October thanks to a late Rhys Priestland penalty.