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Benetton continue to set the pace in the Rainbow Cup

By PA
(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

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Benetton enhanced their status as the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup’s unlikely pace-setters with a 34-27 victory over Zebre in Treviso.

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Having not won a single game during the regular PRO14 season, Benetton are now the only team who can boast a 100 per cent winning record following Munster’s defeat to Connacht on Friday.

This bonus-point win, which came courtesy of tries from Toa Halafihi, Monty Ioane, Gianmarco Lucchesi and Edoardo Padovani, sends Kieran Crowley’s men four points clear at the top of the table, with the eventual victors set to meet their South African counterparts in a north-versus-south final on June 19.

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Hanging on to top spot may be a tough ask for Benetton, who host Connacht next before travelling to face the Ospreys in their final fixture, but their back-to-back victories over Zebre and a shock opening win against Glasgow Warriors have given them a platform they could only have dreamed of at the start of the tournament.

Winless Zebre made it a tense finish by reducing the lead from 18 points to four with a pair of late tries from Michelangelo Biondelli and Marcello Violi, but Paolo Garbisi wrapped up the win from the tee. Giovanni D’Onofrio scored Zebre’s other try.

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