Benetton upset Agen to reach quarterfinals
CHALLENGE CUP WRAP: Benetton advanced to the quarterfinals of the European Challenge Cup with a 29-16 win over Top 14 side Agen at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo.
Dewaldt Duvenage, Monty Ioane, Ignacio Brex and Edoardo Padovani all crossed the whitewash for the hosts in the victory – the latter two tries scored after the dismissal of Agen’s Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.
The French outfit had made an electric start to the contest with a try after just two minutes, Dylan Hayes converting from close range. However, that was their only venture over the try line in the entire contest.
Three penalties from Paolo Garbisi completed the scoring for the Italians, while Hugo Verdu contributed with 11 points for the visitors.
Agen was soon into their stride in the contest, taking the lead after just two minutes. Dylan Hayes rumbled over from close range as the French outfit dominated up front early.
After exchanged penalties from Benetton’s Garbisi and Agen’s Verdu the hosts reduced arrears with their opening try.
Scrumhalf Duvenage carried an offload from Ioane all the way from midfield to the try line in a stunning attack. Garbisi added two further penalties before the break to give the Italians a 14-10 lead.
Ioane was in the thick of the action just after the break, his marauding run and finish in the corner opened the scoring in the second period.
Agen was then reduced to 14-men when Jamie-Jerry Taulagi was sent off for a high and dangerous tackle on Marco Zanon. Minutes later centre Ignacio Brex finished off a fast-flowing passing move.
The final try saw replacement Padavoni scamper home as the extra-man advantage took its toll on the visitors as they chased the game.
The result ensures a quarterfinal date with Montpellier on April 9.
* In other Saturday action, Newcastle Falcons advanced to the quarterfinals on the back of 21 unanswered points – either side of the interval – in a 28-24 victory over Ospreys.
* Northampton Saints came back from 19 points down to earn a late 43-39 victory against Dragons at Rodney Parade.
* In a dramatic encounter Leicester Tigers scored seven tries as they defeated Connacht 48-32 to secure a spot in next weekend’s quarterfinals.
Saturday scores and scorers
Benetton 29-16 Agen
Tries: Duvenage, Ioane, Ignacio, Padovani
Pens: Garbisi 3
Pens: Verdu 3
Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Nacho Brex, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage (captain), 8 Riccardo Favretto, 7 Michele Lamaro, 6 Seb Negri Da Oleggio, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Ira Herbst, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Tomas Baravalle, 1 Thomas Augustin Gallo.
Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Ivan Nemer, 19 Niccolò Cannone, 20 Manuel Zuliani, 21 Luca Roberto Xavier Petrozzi, 22 Tommy Allan, 23 Edoardo Padovani.
Agen: 15 Hugo Verdu, 14 Loris Tolot, 13 Jordan Puletua, 12 Sam Vaka, 11 JJ Taulagi, 10 Noel Reid, 9 Yoann Cottin, 8 Dylan Hayes, 7 Jessy Jegerlhener, 6 Romain Briatte (captain), 5 Victor Moreaux, 4 Andrés Zafra Tarazona, 3 Walter Desmaison, 2 Loris Zarantonello, 1 Malino Vanai.
Replacements: 16 Clément Martinez, 17 Giorgi Tetrashvili, 18 Sosefo Falatea, 19 Corentin Vernet, 20 Pierce Phillips, 21 Timilai Rokoduru, 22 Paul Abadie, 23 Fernandez Correa.
Referee: Christophe Ridley (England)
Assistant referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Filippo Russo (Italy)
TMO: Sara Cox (England)
Ospreys 24-28 Newcastle
Tries: Williams, Evans, Botha
Cons: Price 3
For Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Davison, Robinson, van der Walt, Penalty try
Cons: Connon 3, penalty try does not require a conversion
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 George North, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Kieran Williams, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Luke Price, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Justin Tipuric (captain), 6 Will Griffiths, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ifan Phillips, 17 Garyn Phillips, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Rhys Davies, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Josh Thomas, 23 Mat Protheroe.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Penny, 14 George Wacokecoke, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Peter Lucock, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Micky Young, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Mark Wilson (captain), 6 Will Welch, 5 Sean Robinson, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Trevor Davison.
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Darren Barry, 20 Christoffel van der Walt, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Joel Matavesi, 23 Morgan Passman.
Referee: Ludovic Cayre (France)
Assistant referees: Dan Jones (Wales), Gwyn Morris (Wales)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)
Dragons 39-43 Northampton
For the Dragons
Tries: Hewitt 2, Screech, Davies, Brown
Cons: Davies 4
Pens: Davies 2
For Northampton Saints
Tries: Naiyaravoro 2, Sleightholme, Mitchell, Harrison, Collins
Cons: Grayson 5
Dragons: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Jonah Holmes, 13 Aneurin Owen, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Sam Davies , 9 Rhodri Williams (captain), 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Harrison Keddie, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Joe Davies, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Greg Bateman.
Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Joshua Reynolds, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Ben Carter, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Evan Lloyd, 23 Nick Tompkins.
Northampton Saints: 15 Harry Mallinder, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 James Grayson, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Teimana Harrison (captain), 7 Shaun Adendorff, 6 JJ Tonks, 5 Alex Coles, 4 Alex Moon, 3 Ehren Painter, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Oisín Heffernan, 19 Lewis Bean, 20 Sam Matavesi, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Ahsee Tuala, 23 Tom Collins.
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant referees: Craig Evans (Wales), Aled Evans (Wales)
TMO: Patrick Dellac (France)
Leicester 48-32 Connacht
For Leicester Tigers
Tries: Clare 2, Porter, Moroni, Henry, Wells, Wiese
Cons: Henry 2, McPhillips 3
Tries: Marmion, Masterson, Wootton, Boyle
Cons: Carty 3
Pens: Carty 2
Leicester Tigers: 15 Zack Henry, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Guy Porter, 10 Johnny McPhillips, 9 Ben Youngs (captain), 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 George Martin, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Cameron Henderson, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 Luan de Bruin.
Replacements: 16 Nic Dolly, 17 James Whitcombe, 18 Will Hurd, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Tommy Reffell, 21 Ben White, 22 Dan Kelly, 23 Freddie Steward.
Connacht: 15 John Porch, 14 Alex Wootton, 13 Sean O’Brien, 12 Tom Daly, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Paul Boyle (captain), 7 Conor Oliver, 6 Eoghan Masterson, 5 Gavin Thornbury, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 David Heffernan, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Jordan Duggan, 18 Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 19 Oisin Dowling, 20 Abraham Papali’i, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Conor Fitzgerald, 23 Peter Sullivan.
Referee: Adam Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Jack Makepeace (England), Phil Watters (England)
TMO: Sean Brickell (Wales)
Playing Sunday, April 4
Harlequins v Ulster – Kick-off: 18.00 (19.00 GMT)
Results from Friday, April 2
Zebre 27-35 Bath
London Irish 41-35 Cardiff Blues
Montpellier 26-21 Glasgow
Montpellier v Benetton
Northampton Saints v Harlequins/Ulster
Bath v London Irish
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons