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Benetton march into the Round of 16

MATCH REPORT: Benetton scored eight tries as they secured passage to the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 with a 57-18 victory over Newcastle Falcons.


Newcastle Falcons came into the game needing a first win to keep their tournament hopes alive and flyhalf Brett Connon kicked them ahead before tighthead prop Eduardo Bello scored the game’s opening try on 12 minutes.

However, Benetton responded with flyhalf Tomas Albornoz finding a gap and converting his own try, before left-wing Onisi Ratave profited from quick offloads for a second try to take a 12-10 lead.

Connon briefly regained the lead for the hosts with a penalty, before Tommaso Menoncello cut back inside from the left to score his club’s third try of the half.

Ratave put his side out of sight within four minutes of the second half after a dummy drive by inside centre Nacho Brex released the left wing to secure a bonus point fourth score.

Albornoz provided his side with a fifth try when an intricate pass out wide released the right-wing Ignacio Mendy.

Menoncello scored his second of the evening on 56 minutes, driving through several tackles before scoring.


Newcastle Falcons showed fighting spirit and replacement tighthead prop Murray McCallum forced the ball over for the Premiership club’s second score, converted by Connon.

However, Benetton maintained their pressure with replacement openside flank Alessandro Izekor driving over from the back of a ruck, before replacement flyhalf Jacob Umaga scored an eighth try at the death.

Newcastle Falcons will finish their EPCR Challenge Cup campaign at USAP next weekend, while Benetton host Montpellier.

The scorers: 


For Newcastle Falcons:
Tries: Bello, McCallum
Con: Connon
Pens: Connon 2

For Benetton:
Tries: Albornoz, Ratave 2, Menoncello 2, Mendy, Izekor, Umaga Pens: Albornoz
Cons: Albornoz 4, Umaga 3


Newcastle Falcons: 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Cammy Hutchison, 11 Iwan Stephens, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Josh Barton, 8 Callum Chick (captain), 7 Guy Pepper, 6 Pedro Rubiolo, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 John Hawkins, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Jamie Blamire, 1 Adam Brocklebank.
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Phil Brantingham, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Freddie Lockwood, 20 Sam Cross, 21 Hugh O’Sullivan, 22 Louie Johnson, 23 Tom Penny.

Benetton: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Ignacio Mendy, 13 Tommaso Menoncello, 12 Nacho Brex, 11 Onisi Ratave, 10 Tomas Albornoz, 9 Andy Uren, 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Manuel Zuliani, 6 Sebastian Negri da Ollegio, 5 Eli Snyman (captain), 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Giosue Zilocchi, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Thomas Gallo.
Replacements: 16 Bautista Bernasconi, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Alessandro Izekor, 22 Alessandro Garbisi, 23 Jacob Umaga.

Referee: Tual Trainini (France)
Assistant referees: Flavien Hourquet (France), Ludovic Cayre (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

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