Pro14: Benetton 28-31 Cardiff Blues
|Pro14: Benetton Rugby v Cardiff Blues|
|Benetton (15) 28|
|Tries: Riccioni, Ratuva, Ioane, Zani Con: Allan Pens: Allan 2|
|Cardiff Blues (10) 31|
|Tries: Botham, L Williams, Lawrence, Harries Cons: Tovey 4 Pens: Tovey|
Jason Harries struck at the death as Cardiff Blues fought back from 28-17 down to win at Benetton in the Pro14.
Tomasso Allen's penalty put the hosts ahead and after Blues' James Botham scored the first try, Marco Riccioni went over to edge Benetton in front.
Jason Tovey kicked Blues level and after Iliesa Ratuva broke clear Lloyd Williams hit back.
Monty Ioane and Federico Zani stretched the home lead, but Alun Lawrence crossed before Harries' dramatic try.
The visitors made eight changes and like their fellow Welsh regions have been hit by injuries, post-World Cup recoveries and those involved in Wayne Pivac's Wales XV as they took on Warren Gatland's Barbarians in Cardiff.
Matthew Morgan returned at full-back and Hallam Amos switched to the wing, after been released from the Wales squad to face the Barbarians on Saturday.
Garyn Smith replaced knee-injury victim Willis Halaholo at centre, while Jason Tovey took over from Wales call-up Jarrod Evans at fly-half.
Botham was making his first Pro14 start at open-side and made his presence felt as he went over.
Prop Riccioni showed a forward's way to the line while Ratuva and Ioane's pace proved decisive as they beat Blues' defence.
Scrum-half Williams made the most of his chance on the blind-side of a scrum, but Blues trailed Benetton by 11 points after Zani crashed over.
The visitors fought back through replacement Lawrence and after the clock turned red, centre Rey Lee-lo finished off a fine break with a well-timed pass to send Harries over for a memorable 30th birthday present.
Tovey converted as Blues gave John Mulvihill's side a third win in seven Pro14 games to rise above Benetton to fifth in Conference B.
Benetton: Jayden Hayward; Ratuva Tavuyara, Ignacio Brex, Alberto Sgarbi (capt), Monty Ioane; Tommaso Allan, Dewaldt Duvenage; Nicola Quaglio, Hame Faiva, Marco Riccioni, Irné Herbst, Eli Snyman, Marco Lazzaroni, Abraham Steyn, Toa Halafihi.
Replacements: Federico Zani, Cherif Traore, Tiziano Pasquali, Niccolò Cannone, Federico Ruzza, Tito Tebaldi, Ian Keatley, Luca Sperandio.
Blues: Matthew Morgan; Aled Summerhill, Rey Lee-Lo, Garyn Smith, Hallam Amos; Jason Tovey, Lloyd Williams (capt); Brad Thyer, Kirby Myhill, Scott Andrews, James Ratti, Macauley Cook, Josh Turnbull, James Botham, Will Boyde.
Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Rhys Gill, Keiron Assiratti, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Alun Lawrence, Lewis Jones, Ben Thomas, Jason Harries.
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
Assistant referees: Andrea Piardi (FIR), Paul Haycock (IRFU)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)