Home French Top 14 News Benetton with a great win over Ospreys

Benetton with a great win over Ospreys


A sublime break from Luca Sperandio helped Francesco Minto over the line to seal a 16-6 victory for Benetton Rugby over Ospreys.

It is the first time the home side have claimed back-to-back wins since February 2016, after defeating Edinburgh in an impressive away showing last week.

The Italians achieved the feat in fine fashion, holding off Ospreys’ repeated advances with a solid defence, though the visitors were accurate from the tee with three points for Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.

Steve Tandy’s men welcomed British & Irish Lions Biggar, Rhys Webb and Alun Wyn Jones back into the matchday 23, but it was not enough to down the valiant Benetton side.

Benetton stunned the home crowds with a try after just one minute of play thanks to a superb step from Sperandio, with the winger finding Minto to claim the first five points of the game.

Minutes later, Dan Biggar was offered an easy three points when the Benetton scrum was penalised under the posts.

But Ian McKinley did not waste his chance to extend the Italians’ lead as he squeezed a challenging long-range kick over the posts shortly after.

On his first start of the season since returning from Lions duty, Biggar was forced to leave the pitch injured early in the first half, making way for Davies to take the field.

It looked as if Minto would cross the whitewash once more as the Italian side repeatedly barrelled towards the Ospreys defence, but Benetton eventually settled for another penalty.

Ospreys gathered momentum towards the end of the second half as they looked to bounce back from two successive PRO14 defeats, but the Treviso team’s defence was impenetrable.

It was Keelan Giles who broke the deadlock, showing his agility as he broke through to take his side up to the 22, where Ospreys were awarded a penalty which Davies duly converted.

Young wingers Sperandio and Giles found themselves in a one-on-one when McKinley sent a cross-field kick as the half-time whistle approached and the Welshman did well to deal with the threat.

After the break, Justin Tipuric showed the talent which had caught Warren Gatland’s eye during Lions selection when he grabbed an interception in the 54th minute, but the ball was eventually spilled forward.

When Dan Evans broke through the wall of green again, it seemed a try was certain and Ospreys made it across the line, but the ball was held up.

The four-time league winners racked up 19 phases as they battled to score a try before the final whistle until Benetton won the turnover.

The hosts swiftly flipped the Ospreys’ attack, with a fleet-footed Angelo Esposito making it within metres of the whitewash.

Benetton had to settle for just one try on this occasion, but replacement Martin Banks added three more points for good measure.

Read more at www.pro14rugby.org

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