Fourteen-man Benetton power past Zebre
PRO14 REPORT: Kieran Crowley’s Benetton fought back from an early red card to Nacho Brex to deliver a compelling six-try (36-25) win over Italian rivals Zebre.
Benetton won narrowly away from home in the first instalment of the derby last week and flexed their muscles further back in Treviso with Hame Faiva’s hat-trick exacting considerable damage on Zebre.
Sporting their exuberant new third kit Benetton started the match effervescently, with a catch-and-drive on two minutes giving hooker Faiva the chance to score his fifth try of the season in all competitions – more would follow.
Zebre responded with a Marcello Violi penalty before the complexion of the game changed with Benetton centre Brex seeing red for lifting in the tackle, immediately capitalised on by Johan Meyer’s score.
Faiva upgraded to a double with the easiest of scores on 24 minutes, picking up and dotting down from a ruck, before Zebre got their second from an overlap out wide – Jamie Elliott on the board.
There was still time before the break for Elliott to see yellow and Monty Ioane to capitalise for a 17-13 half-time lead, and the pace continued after the interval as Maxime Mbanda crossed on 45 minutes.
Ian Keatley got Benetton’s bonus point score and Faiva replicated his first-half effort to complete his hat-trick, before being replaced by Enjel Makalara who continued the try-scoring hooker game.
With 12 minutes left to play Benetton led 36-18 – Zebre taking something from the game with their bonus point try coming from David Sisi on 72 minutes.
Man of the Match
Easy decision this one, if you’re scoring a hat-trick from hooker you are earning man of the match.
Tries one and three came in accustomed style, from the back of mauls, but Faiva’s second displayed his instincts perfectly, the No.2 seeing space where the defence saw none.
Play of the Day
Benetton may well have won the occasion but Zebre earn our play of the day.
Their third try came in that classic use of space on a rugby pitch, the forwards sucking the defence in narrowly before full-back Edoardo Padovani stepped into the line to fling a giant pass out wide to Mbanda.
Tries: Faiva 3, Keatley, Ioane, Makelara
Cons: Keatley 3
Tries: Meyer, Elliott, Mbanda, Sisi
Yellow card: James Elliott (Zebre, 34)
Red card: Ignacio Brex (Benetton, 17)
Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Ratuva Tavuyara, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage (captain), 8 Abraham Steyn, 7 Giovanni Pettinelli, 6 Marco Lazzaroni, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Irné Herbst, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Hame Faiva, 1 Federico Zani.
Replacements: 16 Engjel Makelara, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Cherif Traore, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 Sebastian Negri, 21 Marco Barbini, 22 Tito Tebaldi, 23 Tommaso Allan.
Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Paula Balekana, 13 Giulio Bisegni (captain), 12 Tommaso Boni, 11 James Elliott, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Giovanni Licata, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Maxime Mbandà, 5 Michael Kearney, 4 David Sisi, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Marco Manfredi, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Andrea Lovotti, 18 Alexandru Tarus, 19 Ian Nagle, 20 Jimmy Tuivaiti, 21 Joshua Renton, 22 Junior Laloifi, 23 Charlie Walker.
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Marius Mitrea, Manuel Bottino (both Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)
Report by @PRO14Official