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

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

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

Preview: Benetton Rugby v Toyota Cheetahs

Paul Eddison 5 Jan 2018

Benetton welcome the Toyota Cheetahs to Treviso looking to build on a strong derby season in which they swept their two encounters with Zebre.

The Cheetahs have had Christmas off but will be raring to make up for lost time ahead of their own derbies against the Southern Kings.

What’s at stake? 

Two wins over Zebre have pushed Benetton right back into the hunt for a European play-off spot in Conference B, they currently sit eight points behind Edinburgh in fifth. Meanwhile the Cheetahs have seen their own hold on a play-off spot in Conference A come under pressure. Now just four points clear of Cardiff Blues and Connacht, they will need to maintain the form that saw them into such a strong position at the tail-end of last year. With two games in hand, they are still well-placed, and could also put the pressure on Munster in second with a good run of wins.

Team news (Benetton): Kieran Crowley clearly liked what he saw from his team against Zebre, naming an unchanged backline from the side that won in Parma. Up front Crowley has made two changes with Irné Herbst coming into the second row and Marco Barbini getting the nod at No.8.

Team news (Toyota Cheetahs): Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan has been able to call on a trio of South African internationals who return to the side with Francois Venter captaining the side in the centres. In the back row, Oupa Mohoje and Uzair Cassiem are both back available again and return to the starting line-up.

Talking points:

Benetton director of rugby Marius Goosen said: “The Cheetahs have skilled players and they are very strong in the tackles. To contain them it will be necessary to defend well and slow down their game.”

Benetton back rower Abraham Steyn added: “It will be a tough game, the South African teams have started with some difficulties this competition but as we have seen the Cheetahs were good to adapt quickly. It will be important to be superior in the static phases.

“For me it will be a special match because I will meet guys with whom I went to school together and with whom I was teammate I cannot wait to take the field

“We will try to bring home the result showing that Monigo is our strength, to do so we will need the support of our fans.”

Key battle: Abraham Steyn v Oupa Mohoje

South African-born back row Abraham Steyn has been a key figure for Benetton this season and will go up against his compatriots on Saturday. In Oupa Mohoje he will face a current Springbok international, and given the way the Cheetahs back row has functioned this year, he will need to be at his best.

Key stat: Benetton have won their last two games in the Guinness PRO14, but have not won three in a row since December 2012.

Did you know? On their one previous encounter in Italy, the Cheetahs came away with a 24-23 victory over Zebre in Round 7

Benetton: Jayden Hayward, Luca Sperandio, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi, Monty Ioane, Marty Banks, Tito Tebaldi, Nicola Quaglio, Luca Bigi, Tiziano Pasquali, Irné Herbst, Dean Budd (c), Whetu Douglas, Abraham Steyn, Marco Barbini

Replacements: Hame Faiva, Federico Zani, Cherif Traore, Federico Ruzza, Marco Fuser, Sebastian Negri, Edoardo Gori, Ian McKinley

Toyota Cheetahs: Craig Barry; William Small-Smith, Francois Venter (c), Nico Lee, Makazole Mapimpi; Fred Zeilinga, Shaun Venter; Charles Marais, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Johan Coetzee; Carl Wegner, Hugo Reniel; Paul Schoeman, Oupa Mohoje, Uzair Cassiem

Replacements: Jacques du Toit, Ox Nche, Tom Botha, Rynier Bernardo, Junior Pokomela, Zee Mkhabela, Niel Marais, AJ Coertzen

Match officials – Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU), AR1: Stuart Gaffikin (IRFU), AR2: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR), TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)

TV: Eurosport Italia 2 (KO – 14:10), SuperSport 1: (KO – 15:10 SA)

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 11th competition game)
AR1:
 Stuart Gaffikin (IRFU). AR2: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR)
TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)
Eurosport Italia 2: 14:10
SportSport 1: 15:10

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 can 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

Faiva double helps Benetton Rugby outpace Toyota Cheetahs

Rich Dore 6 Jan 2018

Epalahame Faiva came on to score a double for Benetton Rugby to help his side to a bonus-point victory over Toyota Cheetahs and secure a third Guinness PRO14 win in a row.

The first half was a tense affair, punctuated by three penalties from Cheetahs fly-half Fred Zeilinga and lit up by Monty Ioane’s score just before the break.

After the interval Benetton were momentarily pegged back by Teboho Mohoje’s try, but then stormed into the lead thanks to a double from Faiva and one try for Federico Ruzza – the Cheetahs’ reduction to 13 men proving crucial.

When back to their full complement the South Africans attempted to even things up but a late try for Mohoje wasn’t enough to prevent defeat in Italy.

As both sides tried to feel the way into the match the first chance fell to the visitors, with Zeilinga making no mistake with the boot from 40 metres to open the scoring.

The Italian outfit tried to exert their influence but several handling errors prevented any real ground being made, and soon found themselves 9-0 down with Zeilinga again keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

But Benetton got their first score in style, building an attack through multiple phases before Banks made the crucial break just past the halfway line, passing inside to Ioane who had an unopposed run to the line.

Banks hit the post with the tricky conversion to leave the score 9-5 at the interval, but did find his range immediately after the break with a shot right in front of the posts.

The South African side responded immediately with their first five-pointer of the afternoon, Mohoje getting the crucial touch and Zeilinga again displaying laser-guided kicking ability with the conversion from the touchline.

Benetton fought their way back downfield and to within metres of the Cheetahs line when Torsten Van Jaarsveld saw yellow for cynical play at the breakdown.

The men from Treviso pummelled into the opposition line and couldn’t find the breakthrough, but their task was made simpler when Cheetahs scrum-half Shaun Venter followed Van Jaarsveld into the bin, also seeing yellow.

The inevitable try was touched down in the corner by replacement Faiva in the 59th minute, with Banks missing the conversion to leave the score at 16-13 to the visitors on the hour.

Benetton sensed blood and marched back down the field from the restart, with Ruzza grabbing their third try next to the posts and Faiva completing his double, burrowing over at the back of a forward drive.

When back to up to 15 the Cheetahs rallied, but Mohoje’s second score of the afternoon came too late to affect the result.

 

Lauren Hemp struck in each half to give Bristol City a winning start to 2018 with their second FA Women’s Super League 1 of the season.

Though Georgia Brougham nodded the Merseysiders back into contention 17 minutes from the end, they were unable to conjure up a leveller as Bristol leapfrogged them in the table.

The home side had an early chance to take the lead in the sixth minute, but Chloe Arthur could only fire her right-footed shot from 14 yards straight at Everton keeper Lizzie Durack.

But four minutes later they made their breakthrough. Yana Daniels advanced down the left and provided a square ball into the box which was lashed home by England youth international Hemp.

Everton’s only clear chance of the opening period came just after the half-hour when Bristol somehow survived a goalmouth scramble, Everton striker Sophie Sweetman-Kirk unable to force the ball home from point-blank range as it struck keeper Sophuie Baggaley and then the post before being scramble away.

But the Vixens were only inches away from doubling their lead just before the break when Hemp’s free kick from the right was flicked just over the bar by Millie Turner.

Hemp had two more chances soon after the interval. Eight minutes after the break, a well-worked corner found her in space eight yards out, but she blazed her shot off target.

Then a poor clearance by Durack saw Chloe Arthur send her clear, the Everton keeper making amends by pulling off a diving stop.

Hemp’s second goal finally arrived from the penalty sport in the 57th minute after Daniels was brought down, the striker leaving Durack rooted to the spot as she fired her attempt firmly to the keeper’s right.

But Everton refused to lie down and pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute, defender Georgia Brougham credited with the final touch as a sea of heads rose to meet a flighted ball into Bristol’s box.

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 can 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