Lowe stars as Leinster beat Benetton

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 17:43
Large james lowe benetton v leinster 2017 800

PRO14 REPORT: James Lowe's debut double helped power Leinster to an impressive away victory over Benetton, keeping up the pressure on Scarlets at the top of Conference B.

Benetton opened the scoring through the boot of Tommaso Allan but Leinster fired back with a debut try for Lowe, backed up by a score for Jordi Murphy.

The men from Treviso rallied after the break with Ignacio Brex's try, but the visitors immediately responded with an effort from centre Garry Ringrose, making his first appearance of the season following shoulder surgery.

Ringrose's score was a dagger to the Italians' chances, with further tries from captain Luke McGrath and Lowe's second capping off a comprehensive away performance.

Leinster started the game aiming to overtake Ulster Rugby in Conference B and make up some ground on top-of-the-table Scarlets.

But the Italians started with impressive energy and got their reward on seven minutes when Allan kicked a penalty from just to the right of the posts.

The men from Dublin found their feet though and Lowe soon had his first try for the province following a kick to the corner from Byrne – the New Zealander storming over the line at irresistible pace.

Scott Fardy was causing havoc in the line-out and Byrne kicked a three-pointer before Murphy got the visitor's second try on 32 minutes, with a little help from centre Ringrose.

Byrne converted the second score to give the away side a 17-3 half-time lead but Benetton enjoyed a concerted spell of pressure after the interval, bombarding the Leinster line until Brex powered over from three metres out.

The men in blue were in no mood to get into an arm-wrestle though and breaks from Luke McGrath and Lowe created an opportunity for Ringrose to jink his way over in the corner on 61 minutes – Byrne again adding the extras.

Lowe then had a big hand in the bonus-point try, the bulky wing again finding space down the left-hand side before passing inside to skipper McGrath to run in from 40 metres out.

Leinster began to take over the game and Lowe soon had his second try of the night after collecting an excellent pass from Noel Reid, stepping his opposite man to go over in the corner.

The Italian side pressed hard in the final ten minutes to get something out of the game, but the Leinster defence had proved resolute all afternoon, led by the returning Josh van der Flier, and saw out the match with relative comfort.

The scorers:

For Benetton:
Try: Brex
Con: Allan
Pen: Allan

For Leinster:
Tries: Lowe 2, Murphy, Ringrose, McGrath
Cons: Byrne 4
Pen: Byrne

Yellow card: Ignacio Brex (Benetton, 61)


Benetton: 15 Marty Banks, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (captain), 11 Luca Sperandio, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Giorgio Bronzini, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Nasi Manu, 6 Whetu Douglas, 5 Irné Herbst, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Tomas Baravalle, 1 Cherif Traore.
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Alberto De Marchi, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Marco Lazzaroni, 21 Sebastian Negri, 22 Edoardo Gori, 23 Luca Morisi.

Leinster: 15 Jordan Larmour, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Noel Reid, 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Luke McGrath (captain), 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Jordi Murphy, 5 Scott Fardy, 4 Ian Nagle, 3 Andrew Porter, 2 James Tracy, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Seán Cronin, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Vakh Abdaladze, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Fergus McFadden, 23 Rory O’Loughlin.

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Andrea Piardi (Italy), Manuel Bottino (Italy)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)


There are currently no matches being played
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sharks v Waratahs 13h05 Kings Park
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 15h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Gloucester v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Kingsholm
Bulls v Lions 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scarlets v Leinster 15h15 Parc y Scarlets
Zebre v Ospreys 17h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Cheetahs v Connacht 17h35 Bloemfontein
Jaguares v Hurricanes 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 16 10 0 6 53
Cheetahs 16 8 0 8 43
Cardiff Blues 15 7 0 8 33
Connacht 16 6 0 10 32
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 15 4 0 11 21
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 16 13 0 3 61
Scarlets 15 11 0 4 54
Edinburgh 16 11 0 5 51
Ulster 15 9 1 5 46
Treviso 16 8 0 8 39
Dragons 16 2 2 12 17
Kings 16 0 0 16 4