Pro14: Benetton Rugby 16-6 Ospreys

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Pro14 highlights: Benetton Rugby 16-6 Ospreys
Guinness Pro14
Benetton Rugby (13) 16
Tries: Minto. Cons: McKinley Pens: McKinley 2, Banks
Ospreys (6) 6
Pens: Biggar, Davies

Ospreys suffered a third consecutive Pro14 defeat as Benetton Rugby registered their second win in a week.

Francesco Minto's second-minute try and three successful kicks by Ian McKinley gave the Italian side a seven-point interval lead.

They backed that with a huge defensive effort after the break as Ospreys failed to turn possession into points.

And after tackling all attackers, the Italians broke out to clinch the win with Martin Banks' 78th-minute penalty.

Ospreys welcomed back British and Irish Lions Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar for their first starts of the season, and Alun Wyn Jones came off the bench after 54 minutes.

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Biggar's return lasted only 15 minutes before he left the field with a back spasm, and his team-mates will also be counting their bruises after a ferocious display by Benetton who made 176 tackles.

Their reward was a second successive home win over Ospreys, who have now lost eight of their last 10 league matches.

It was also a perfect way for Benetton to follow up their 20-17 win in Edinburgh the week before.

Ospreys now travel to face Cheetahs in Bloemfontein after the South African side picked up a bonus point in their 38-19 win against Leinster on Friday night.

Ospreys were caught napping in the opening two minutes, with Benetton wing Luca Sperandio dragged down just short after a clever switch from a lineout.

Dan Biggar leaves the field after quarter of an hour in Treviso
Dan Biggar limps off after quarter of an hour in Treviso

The supporting Dean Budd was held up over the line, but Minto dived over from close range.

The departure of Biggar quarter of an hour into his first start of the season did not help the Welsh team's cause as they struggled to break down a well-organised and determined Italian outfit.

McKinley's boot maintained Benetton's seven-point advantage until the interval.

Ospreys dominated after the break, and thought they had got back on terms when Jones dived over by the posts, only for the try to be ruled out by television match official Kevin Beggs.

Their night was summed up when a sustained attack went through 24 phases before a loose kick allowed Benetton to raise the siege and open a decisive two-score lead.

Benetton Rugby: Jayden Hayward; Angelo Esposito, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi, Luca Sperandio; Ian McKinley, Tito Tebaldi; Federico Zani, Luca Bigi, Simone Ferrari, Filippo Gerosa, Marco Fuser, Francesco Minto, Abraham Steyn, Dean Budd (capt)

Replacements: Federico Zani, Cherif Traore, Tiziano Pasquali, Robert Barbieri, Marco Barbini, Tito Tebaldi, Martin Banks, Ignacio Brex

Ospreys: Dan Evans, Keelan Giles, Ben John, James Hook, Jeff Hassler; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Ma'afu Fia, Bradley Davies, Adam Beard, Olly Cracknell, Justin Tipuric (Capt), Dan Baker

Replacements: Scott Otten, Gareth Thomas, Rhodri Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, James King, Tom Habberfield, Sam Davies, Kieron Fonotia

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Assistant referees: Joy Neville (Ireland), Claudio Blessano (Italy)

Citing Commissioner: Maurizio Vancini (Italy)

TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

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