Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

Match Page 2017-18 - Last Time WP ID: 133

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing WP: 134

Match Page 2017-18 - H2H WP: 136

Match Page 2017-18 - Last 3 Matches WP: 142

Match Page 2017-18 - Season so Far WP:141

Preview: Edinburgh v Benetton Rugby

Paul Eddison 14 Sep 2017

Edinburgh have made the perfect start to life under Richard Cockerill, with victories over Cardiff Blues and the Dragons. At Myreside on Friday night at 7.30pm they will look to make it three from three when they play host to Benetton Rugby.

What’s at stake? Cockerill was very honest about where he thought his side stood coming into the season, but they have got off to a flying start with nine points from two games before hosting Benetton. The Italian side were well-beaten at Munster on the opening weekend, but pushed Ulster all the way in round two, eventually having to settle for a losing bonus point.

Team news (Edinburgh): Edinburgh have made six changes to the side that beat the Dragons with Nathan Fowles the only change to the backs at scrum-half. In the front row Ross Ford and Simon Berghan both come in for their first starts of the season, while in the back row, skipper Magnus Bradbury shifts to blindside flanker. That opens a spot for Cornell du Preez to play at No.8, while John Hardie gets the nod at openside. In the second row Anton Bresler partners Ben Toolis.

Team news (Benetton Rugby): Benetton have also rung the changes, with Edoardo Gori coming in a scrum-half for Tito Tebaldi. In the front row Alberto de Marchi, Engjel Makelara and Tiziano Pasquali all come in, while Abraham Steyn and Dean Budd get the nod in the back row.

Talking points: Edinburgh have now won four in a row in the Guinness PRO14, dating back to last season. They have not won five straight in the competition since 2009 but under Cockerill, they look to be hitting some form. Benetton, for their part, have struggled on the road in recent seasons, but did win the last time these teams met.

Key Battle: In Ben Toolis, Edinburgh have one of the most dominant lineout jumpers in the competition, and last season’s top target. On Friday night he will go up against Federico Ruzza, who joined Benetton from Zebre over the summer. Capable of playing in the second row or the back row, the young Italian international should have the athleticism to challenge Toolis at the set-piece.

Key stat: Benetton Rugby have won five of their 14 encounters with Edinburgh, including the last time the sides met in Treviso last season. Their last win away to Edinburgh came back in 2012.

Did you know? Edinburgh winger Damien Hoyland will be making his 50th appearance for the side after being named on the right wing. He has scored 17 tries to date for the side.

Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; D Hoyland, C Dean, R Fruean, J Harries; D Weir, N Fowles; M Rizzo, R Ford, S Berghan; A Bresler, B Toolis; M Bradbury, J Hardie, C du Preez.

Replacements: N Cochrane, D Marfo, WP Nel, F McKenzie, H Watson, S Hidalgo-Clyne, J Tovey, J Rasolea.

Benetton Rugby: J Hayward; A Esposito, A Sgarbi, T Allan, T Benvenuti; I McKinley, E Gori; A de Marchi, E Makelara, T Pasquali; M Lazzaroni, F Ruzza; F Minto, A Steyn, D Budd.

Replacements: F Zani, C Traore, S Ferrari, M Fuser, M Barbini, G Bronzini, L Sperandio, M Zanon.

Match officials – Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU). Assistant Referee 1: Lloyd Linton (SRU). AR2: Mark Patton (SRU).

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU, 53rd competition game)
AR1:
 Lloyd Linton (SRU). AR2: Dunx McClement (SRU)

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Historical Lineup Pre Opta (sfms data) - Preview - v2

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Esposito inspires stunning Benetton comeback as Cockerill’s Edinburgh suffer defeat

Ross Lawson 15 Sep 2017

Benetton Rugby came from 14-0 down to record one of their greatest comeback wins in the Guinness PRO14 after defeating Edinburgh Rugby 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 Guinness 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 Guinness PRO14 win of the year, ending their hosts’ four-game unbeaten run in the process.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138