United Rugby Championship: Benetton run in 10 tries against woeful Cardiff

URC: Benetton v Cardiff Rugby
Benetton (31) 69
Tries: L Cannone, Albornoz 2, Lamaro, Braley 2, Smith 2, Pettinelli, Ruzza Cons: Smith 8 Pen: Smith
Cardiff (7) 21
Tries: Carre 2, Llewellyn Cons: Priestland 3

Benetton finished their season in spectacular style as they ran in 10 tries against a woeful Cardiff.

Dai Young's side headed to Treviso looking for a third win on the bounce, but were off the pace from start to finish.

Full-back Rhyno Smith matched his 29-point haul against Zebre last weekend as he ran in two of the host's tries.

There were also braces for half-backs Tomas Albornoz and Callum Braley, while Rhys Carre crossed twice for Cardiff.

The result sees Benetton leapfrog Cardiff into a 13th place finish with only Dragons and Zebre finishing below Dai Young's side.

The hosts dominated from the first whistle, showing a greater hunger for the ball, while Cardiff coughed up cheap turnovers as they struggled to live with Benetton's tempo and offload game.

After squandering a couple of early chances, Benetton's first score came after 10 minutes with the floodgates opening with three tries inside five minutes.

The first came from a typical driving lineout, with number eight Lorenzo Cannone peeling away from the pack to cross.

The lead was extended when Argentinian Ignacio Brex combined with fellow countryman Albornoz, before a lovely offload from Irne Herbst set up the skipper Michele Lamoro.

Benetton could have wrapped up the bonus point inside the half as Mattia Bellini gathered a cross-field kick on his wing, only for his toe to clip the touchline.

But they did not have to wait long for the fourth after prop Thomas Gallo shrugged off a weak tackle from Carre to make a clean break before some great interplay saw Braley go under the sticks.

Carre made amends just before the break, as Cardiff executed a training ground lineout move, the ball coming off the top to Lloyd Williams who popped the ball to his prop to crash over.

Lloyd Williams
Lloyd Williams gets the ball away for Cardiff

Carre was back on the scoresheet again at the start of the second half, using his size and power to crash over from close-range, but any Cardiff comeback was halted as Benetton worked the ball out to Edoardo Padovani on the wing who fed inside to Albornoz for his second.

Braley celebrated his second shortly after, with Benetton once again showing a willingness to keep the ball alive.

Cardiff kept the score line ticking over when Ben Thomas created a gap to put centre Max Llewellyn over the whitewash.

But as Cardiff tired, Benetton proved they were still full of running and scored four tries in the final 10 minutes.

There were two for points machine Smith, the first from a floated ball out wide and the second after some good work from flanker Gionvanni Pettinelli.

Pettinelli crossed himself as Cardiff struggled to live with the speed of ball, while Federico Ruzza's try summed up their entire effort.

The lock was allowed to gather from the restart, stretch his legs and run in a try from inside his own half to compound Cardiff's humiliation.

Cardiff director of rugby Dai Young told S4C: "I think we've just got to take it on the chin tonight. We were not good enough first half.

"I thought we were really really poor first half... it was a game one too far for us really.

"Mentally and physically we just looked like we didn't have nothing in the tank and second best to everything.

"We were slow to regenerate, lost the collisions, made it far too easy.

"It's been a difficult season for us. People ask me is there any positives? Not really. Only positive is I suppose, this is our last game.

"We can work hard pre-season, and we have to come better than that, because that wasn't good enough for the jersey tonight."

Benetton: Rhyno Smith; Edoardo Padovani, Ignacio Brex, Filippo Drago, Mattia Bellini; Tomas Albornoz, Callum Braley; Thomas Gallo, Giacomo Nicotera, Simone Ferrari, Irne Herbst, Federico Ruzza, Gionvanni Pettinelli, Michele Lamoro (capt), Lorenzo Cannone.

Replacements: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Ivan Nemer, Nahuel Tetaz, Niccolo Cannone, Toa Halafihi, Dewaldt Duvenage, Joaquin Riera, Leonardo Marin.

Cardiff: Cameron Winnett; Owen Lane, Mason Grady, Max Llewellyn, Theo Cabango; Rhys Priestland, Lloyd Williams; Rhys Carre, Kristian Dacey, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Matthew Screech, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Ellis Jenkins, James Ratti.

Replacements: Efan Daniel, Corey Domachowski, Dillon Lewis, Teddy Williams, Josh Turnbull, Ellis Bevan, Ben Thomas, Jason Harries.

Referee: Eoghan Cross (IRFU)

Assistant referees: Andrew Cole (IRFU) & Alberto Favaro (FIR)

TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)

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