Sun 23 Dec 2018 | 04:43

Benetton earn bragging rights in Italy

Benetton earn bragging rights in Italy
Sun 23 Dec 2018 | 04:43
Benetton earn bragging rights in Italy
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PRO14 REPORT: Benetton reigned supreme in a close fought Italian derby as Ratuva Tavuyara’s first-half try sealed a memorable 10-8 away victory in Parma.

Benetton hadn’t won away from home since Round One of the Pro14, but the telling contribution of Ian McKinley was enough to seal the points and earn the bragging rights.

Jamie Elliott replied midway through the second-half, but costly kicking from Carlo Canna ensured that Zebre fell to only their second home defeat since February.

Zebre’s Canna had the perfect chance to open the scoring from the tee, but the flyhalf was denied by the upright after 15 minutes to keep the scores level.

Both defences proved steadfast throughout the opening half, but eventually Italy flyhalf McKinley was able to find the key that unlocked the Zebre defence.

The No.10 grasped the ball 30 metres out and opted to crossfield kick to the wide right where he found the welcoming hands of Tavuyara who burst down the flank and scored.

All it took was a lovely piece of invention from the mercurial flyhalf, but it proved essential to lift the spirits of the travellers and McKinley duly slotted the conversion to go 7-0 up.

The deficit was cut before half-time as Zebre’s top points scorer, Canna, atoned for his earlier miss with a well struck penalty to set up a lively second period.

McKinley brought the men in green into double figures after the restart and they were almost further ahead when captain Marco Barbini was thrown into touch with the whitewash beckoning.

But it was their rivals that hauled themselves back into the game and it came courtesy of a stunning dash from Giulio Bisegni after some stunning fast hands in the build-up.

The ball was offloaded to the left wing and all Jamie Elliott had to do was sprint and dive over the line to score. Canna was unable to convert, so Benetton stayed 10-8 ahead on 54 minutes.

With 12 minutes to go, Ian McKinley fought his way to the try line, but the Dublin-born man couldn’t turn his body and ground the ball as a result of some impressive Zebre defending.

Then when Zebre were handed a penalty 25 metres from goal eight minutes from time, it looked inevitable that Canna would put his side ahead for the first time in the game, but the Italian could only fire a third kick wide.

As the seconds ticked down, Francois Brummer kicked a wayward dropped goal, but Zebre knew they had a penalty advantage. Crucially they were unable to convert as Benetton held out to win.

The scorers:

For Zebre:
Try: Elliott
Pen: Canna

For Benetton:
Try: Tavuyara
Con: McKinley
Pen: McKinley

Teams:

Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Paula Balekana, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello (captain), 11 James Elliott, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Renato Giammarioli, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Giovanni Licata, 5 George Biagi, 4 David Sisi, 3 Giosué Zilocchi, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Luhandre Luus, 17 Daniele Rimpelli, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Apisai Tauyavuca, 20 Maxime Mbandà, 21 Joshua Renton, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Tommaso Boni.

Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Ratuva Tavuyara, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Marco Barbini (captain), 7 Abraham Steyn, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Hame Faiva, 1 Nicola Quaglio.
Replacements: 16 Engjel Makelara, 17 Derrick Appiah, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Giovanni Pettinelli, 21 Michele Lamaro, 22 Tito Tebaldi, 23 Tommaso Allan.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Andrea Piardi (Italy) Manuel Bottino (Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)

@Pro14Official

PV: 456


Benetton Earn Bragging Rights In Italy | Rugby365