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Benetton seals play-off spot

MATCH REPORT: Benetton booked their place in the United Rugby Championship play-offs after a 31-6 home win over Edinburgh ended the Scottish side’s hopes.


Edinburgh needed to beat the Italians to guarantee extending their season but the Lions’ losing point against the Stormers in Cape Town sealed their fate.

Tries from Ignacio Mendy, Onisi Ratave, Tomas Albornoz, and Alessandro Izekor (2) helped Benetton clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2019.

Benetton overcame an early yellow card for Izekor to take the lead in a fast and frenetic opening.

Albornoz fed Nacho Brex, who made a powerful break before producing a fine offload to allow Mendy to run in, with Rhyno Smith missing the conversion.

A pair of penalties from Ben Healy, the competition’s leading points-scorer, then nudged Edinburgh into a one-point lead but Benetton moved back in front towards the end of the first half.

Ratave capitalised on Matt Currie spilling the ball to sprint over just wide of the posts and Smith made no mistake with the extras to give the home side a 12-6 lead at the break.


Thomas Gallo had a try ruled out for Benetton for a double movement but they did extend their advantage with two quickfire tries, both converted by Smith, either side of the hour mark.

Albornoz spotted a gap in the Edinburgh defense to go in under the posts before Izekor benefitted from sloppy play from the visitors to secure Benetton the bonus point.

Izekor claimed his second four minutes later, Smith this time missing from the tee, as Benetton condemned Edinburgh to a fifth successive defeat.



For Benetton:
Tries: Mendy, Ratave, Albornoz, Izekor 2
Cons: Smith 3

For Edinburgh:
Pens: Healy 2


Benetton: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Ignacio Mendy, 13 Tommaso Menoncello, 12 Ignacio Brex, 11 Onisi Ratave, 10 Tomas Albornoz, 9 Andy Uren, 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 6 Alessandro Izekor, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Giacomo Nicotera, 1 Thomas Gallo
Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Mirco Spagnolo, 18 Giosué Zilocchi, 19 Edoardo Iachizzi, 20 Lorenzo Cannone, 21 Alessandro Garbisi, 22 Jacob Umaga, 23 Marco Zanon

Edinburgh: 15 James Lang, 14 Jake Henry, 13 Matt Currie, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Ali Price, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Luke Crosbie, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist (captain), 4 Sam Skinner, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Dave Cherry, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Marshall Sykes, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Cammy Scott, 23 Mark Bennett

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Filippo Russo (Italy) and Alex Frasson (Italy)
TMO: Aled Griffiths (Wales)

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