Match Review: Benetton v Connacht

01 April 2023

Match Review: Benetton v Connacht

Benetton advanced to the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup as they scored six tries in a deserved win over Connacht in Treviso today.

Connacht opened the scoring when Conor Oliver crossed over the line after some nice build up work which started through a John Porch break. Jack Aungier carried well bringing Connacht within millimetres of the try line before Leva Fifita recycled to Oliver who was never going to be stopped to make it 5-0 after 13 minutes.

Five minutes later Connacht widened their lead when John Porch got their second try of the game. David Hawkshaw added the extra two to make it 12-0 after 18 minutes.

Benetton started to find their groove and brought more intensity to their game after the second Connacht try and it didn’t take them long to respond with a try of their own. Some quick hands created space on the wing for winger Marcus Watson to get the Italians sides first try of the game. Conversion added, Connacht led 12-7 after 20 minutes.

With the home support lifted, Benetton continued to attack with intent and added their second try to lead 14-12 after 28 minutes when full-back Rhyno Smith scored.

After sustained pressure inside the Connacht 22, Edoardo Padovani got the fifth try of the half when he carved an opening and dove over the line which helped Benetton go into the half time break leading 21-12.

Trailing by nine, Connacht needed to come out of the traps quick in the second forty, but it was the hosts who extended their lead when Padovani got his second of the game to make it Benetton 26-12 after 46 minutes.

Benetton stretched their lead seven minutes later when winger Watson spotted a gap and got his second try, Benetton’s fifth. Jacob Umaga added the two to make it Benetton 33-12 up after 53 minutes.

Connacht had a glimmer of hope when Porch crossed for their third try of the game on 57 minutes. Cathal Forde who came on converted to make it 33-19 with a quarter of the match remaining.

Connacht needed to find more scores and looked to play a lot more to create those gaps but unfortunately the home side got their sixth try of the game when Federico Ruzza went over to make it 38-19.

Things didn’t get any better for the men in green when Conor Oliver was shown a yellow card for a high challenge before Umaga finished the scoring with a penalty late on to make it 41-19 and end Connacht’s European journey this season.