Benetton got their season off to an ideal start with a dominating 33-11 triumph over Glasgow Warriors at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo on Friday.
Franco Smith was taking charge of his first competitive Warriors game – coincidentally against his former club – but the Italians proved far too strong for the Scots.
After an error-strewn start, which saw Rhyno Smith and George Horne trade penalties, Edoardo Padovani and Gianmarco Lucchesi touched down to give the hosts a 13-6 lead at the break.
Marco Bortolami’s men would then pick up that momentum in the second half and Ignacio Mendy would cross the whitewash to add to from Glasgow misfortunes.
More three-pointers from Smith further increased that advantage and effectively ended the game as a contest, despite Zander Fagerson’s consolation score.
benetton then deservedly had the last laugh when Mendy completed his brace and the team bonus point with an opportunistic try.
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Full-back Smith put the home side in front from the tee in the 13th minute.
Horne leveled things with a penalty shortly after, but Padovani crossed for the first try of the RCU season as the game entered the second quarter.
Manuel Zuliani’s flight deep into Glasgow territory prompted Benetton to put pressure on the Warriors’ five-yard line, and Giacomo Da Re’s superb floating pass found Padovani in space on the right wing.
Lucchesi then hit the ground from a drive line in the 37th minute and, although Benetton failed to add the extras to one of their first-half touchdowns, they took a lead seven points into the break, Horne dispatching a routine penalty. for the Warriors in the final act of the opening period.
Benetton scored his third try three minutes into the second half, when Mendy came off his wing and rushed between two Glasgow defenders, with Smith scoring the conversion.
Ignacio Mendy is exceptional ?#BKTURK #URC | #BENvGLA | @BenettonRugby pic.twitter.com/Hrze1v9Hgh
— BKT United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) September 16, 2022
Smith added three more points to the home side’s tally and Glasgow were pardoned when Benetton saw a potential bonus points try ruled out for a forward.
The gap was 20 points when Smith added another penalty, but there was a glimmer of hope for Glasgow when Fagerson broke in on the hour mark.
Tom Jordan’s failure from the tee limited that breakthrough’s impact on the deficit and Mendy snatched the bonus point on the kill, with Smith back on target with the conversion.
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