Ioane stars in Benetton win over Scarlets
PRO14 MATCH REPORT: Monty Ioane scored a sensational hat-trick as Benetton Rugby earned a bonus point 22-12 over reigning PRO14 champions Scarlets.
Marco Zanon got the Italians fourth try as Benetton equalled their best ever-run in the league with their fourth straight success.
The Scarlets, who saw Corey Baldwin and Tadhg Beirne get consolation scores, lost to an Italian opponent for the first time since Benetton visited Parc y Scarlets in May 2013.
The West Walians thought they had the first score of the match after just eight minutes when Paul Asquith intercepted a quickly tapped penalty and run beneath the posts.
But the referee, in consultation with the TMO, agreed the Scarlets were not ten metres back at the penalty and the score wouldn’t stand.
And Ioane capitalised when Marty Banks’ Crossfield kick wasn’t collected by Johnny McNicholl and the winger touched down the loose ball to move 5-0 ahead.
The second try was a near duplicate as Banks once again spotted the space out wide and put boot to ball with Ioane taking the ball on the run and diving over the tryline.
The wing sealed his hat-trick on 50 minutes with a fine finish after Luca Morisi made a half-break from Benetton’s first phase ball and the Italians led 17-0.
A grubber kick from McNicholl then sent Wales Under-20 international Baldwin clear and the replacement finished well to get Scarlets on the scoreboard.
The Italians sealed the bonus point score as Morisi broke before finding Tommaso Iannone in support who shipped the ball wide to Zanon to dive over in the corner.
Scarlets had the final say as they went in search of a losing bonus point with Asquith spotting a gap before Beirne went over but it proved to be too little too late for the champions.
Failure to pick up any points leaves Scarlets second, level on points with Leinster, in Conference B.
Tries: Ioane 3, Zanon
Tries: Baldwin, Beirne
Benetton: 15 Luca Sperandio, 14 Andrea Bronzini, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Marco Barbini, 6 Alberto Sgarbi (captain), 5 Irné Hebst, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Matteo Zanusso, 2 Tomas Baravalle, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Marco Zanon, 23 Simone Rossi
Scarlets: 15 Johnny Mcnicholl, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Paul Asquith, 12 Steff Hughes (captain), 11 Ioan Nicholas, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Will Boyde, 7 James Davies, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Lewis Rawlins, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Dylan Evans.
Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Rhys Fawcett, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Steve Cummins, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Declan Smith, 22 Corey Baldwin, 23 Tom Williams.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton (Ireland), Andrea Piardi (Italy)
TMO: Leo Colgan (Ireland)