Lions suffer third successive URC defeat at Benetton
Benetton secure 15-10 win to remain unbeaten after three rounds into the new season
A late strong push from the Lions was not enough to help the Joburg franchise avoid defeat to Benetton in a lackadaisical United Rugby Championship (URC) match at Stadio Comunale di Monigo in Italy on Sunday.
Benetton beat the Lions 15-10 to remain unbeaten after three rounds into the new season.
Before the Lions game, the Italians had beaten Cardiff and drew with defending champions Munster.
Their game against the Lions was a dull affair with a few good moments, especially in the last minutes when the visitors did everything to get something from the clash.
There were three tries in the match, with Malakai Fekitoa and Edoardo Padovani scoring for the hosts.
Replacement prop Asenathi Ntlabakanye scored the only try for the Lions, who remain winless after three games.
The opening half performance was sloppy from both sides, producing just a single try scored by centre Fekitoa after four minutes.
Benetton flyhalf Tomás Albornoz added the extras to give the hosts the 7-0 early lead in Treviso.
The only response, in terms of points scoring, the Lions could make in the first stanza was a penalty by Jordan Hendrikse on 17 minutes.
Other than that, the visitors failed to put together a convincing performance that could have led to them getting more points.
Their play was riddled with errors and did not give any hope of them having a decent game.
Benetton created a few scoring opportunities, but they lacked the killer touch inside the opponent’s 22.
The Italians could have scored at least two tries if it wasn’t for some reckless play from their blindside flank, Alessandro Izekor, who robbed his side of a chance to increase their lead five minutes before the halftime break.
Izekor was in possession a few metres from the Lions’ try-line but failed to pass the ball to a couple of his teammates who were in a better position to score and tried to take on a few defenders and failed.
The hosts continued to dominate in the second half and the Lions cracked under pressure and conceded a few penalties, one of which was converted by Jacob Umaga after 15 minutes into the half.
However, the introduction of players such as Ntlabakanye, Jaco Visagie, Willem Alberts and Morne van den Berg seem to give the Lions a bit of energy in their attack.
They were able to get over the gainline more and their hard work paid off when Ntlabakanye scored their try on 62 minutes and Sanele Nohamba’s kick for extras levelled the score at 10-10.
However, Benetton’s strong push in the final 10 minutes saw them score another try through Padovani
The Lions pushed the game to 84 minutes to search for a try that would see them end their losing streak.
Benetton (7) 15 Tries: Malakai Fekitoa, Edoardo Padovani Conversion: Tomas Albornoz Penalty: Jacob Umaga
Lions (3) 10 Try: Asenathi Ntlabakanye Conversion: Sanele Nohamba Penalty: Jordan Hendrikse
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.