Esposito inspires stunning Benetton comeback

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:54
Large benetton v edinburgh action 800

PRO14 REPORT: Benetton came from 0-14 down to record one of their greatest comeback wins in the Pro14 - defeating Edinburgh 20-17 at Myreside.

Angelo Esposito scored a try in each half in an impressive rearguard from the Italian side, who at one stage registered 20 unanswered points to seal their first win this season.

That was largely down to an impressive kicking night with ten points from Ian McKinley, all before delivering a mountainous rearguard to preserve the three-point win – their fifth in 15 encounters against the Scottish side.

Chris Dean had earlier crossed twice for Edinburgh, but it wasn't enough to prevent a first defeat under the tenure of Richard Cockerill.

As has been a theme of their season, Edinburgh started on the front foot, though it took until the 18th minute for Dean to cross for the first time.

A sumptuous inside line off Robbie Fruean saw him sprint to the line from 20 metres out, leaving Weir with no mistake from the tee.

The same combination was to shine and double the lead just five minutes later, Dean this time cantering over after the home side had put plenty of pressure on the Benetton line.

But from there the rest of the half belonged to the Italians with their own spell of form, Esposito the first to cross after some incisive work on the try line.

McKinley's 40th-minute penalty ensured the gap was narrowed to 14-10, but then it became just one soon after with another effort from the tee.

And Benetton's comeback was complete 12 minutes into the half, coming in similar style to their first as wing Esposito burrowed his way over after some strong pressure.

That gave his side a six-point lead with McKinley's conversion, the 20th unanswered point for the visitors until Weir's first penalty of the night set up an enthralling last 20 minutes.

Though the deficit was only three, Edinburgh elected to kick a brace of penalties into the corner, far from content to end their winning start to the Pro14 season with a draw.

With just five minutes to go, Benetton saw Cherif Traore sent to the sin-bin, ensuring they would finish the game with 14 men under a wave of Scottish pressure.

That ensured the last two minutes were to be spent in the visiting 22, and with scrum after scrum coming Edinburgh's way, Alberto de Marchi was also sent to the touchline for ten minutes.

But despite the numerical inferiority, Benetton held on to record their first Pro14 win of the year, ending their hosts' four-game unbeaten run in the process.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Dean 2
Cons: Weir 2
Pen: Weir

For Benetton Treviso:
Esposito 2
Cons: McKinley 2
Pens: McKinley 2


Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Chris Dean, 12 Robbie Fruean, 11 Jason Harries, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 John Hardie, 6 Magnus Bradbury (captain), 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Simon Berghan, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 WP Nel, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Junior Rasolea.

Benetton Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Alberto Sgarbi, 12 Tommaso Allan, 11 Tommaso Benvenuti, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Dean Budd (captain), 7 Abraham Steyn, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Engjel Makelara, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Marco Barbini, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Luca Sperandio, 23 Marco Zanon.

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Lloyd Linton (Scotland), Dunx McClement (Scotland)

Source: @PRO14Official

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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 17 10 0 7 54
Cheetahs 17 9 0 8 47
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Connacht 17 6 0 11 33
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 16 4 0 12 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
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Edinburgh 17 12 0 5 55
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Treviso 17 8 0 9 40
Dragons 17 2 2 13 17
Kings 17 1 0 16 9