Glasgow suffered a heavy defeat to Benetton in their opening match of the Rainbow Cup, beaten 46-19 by a team who failed to win a single match in the regular Guinness PRO14 season. The Italians built on a pair of encouraging displays in the European Challenge Cup by totally dominating the first half as a Monty Ioane try and two from Niccolo Cannone steered them to a 21-0 lead at the interval.
Glasgow were wasteful and had a Cole Forbes try disallowed around the hour mark following a successful captain’s challenge – one of the new laws introduced for this competition. Toa Halafihi and Michele Lamaro went over before Forbes finally got the visitors on the board after running the length of the pitch following a goal-line dropout.
Gianmarco Lucchesi got the home side’s sixth try of the afternoon before Ian Keatley and Nick Grigg crossed for consolations. Danny Wilson’s men must now lift themselves ahead of home and away fixtures against Edinburgh, while Benetton face a pair of derby clashes of their own against Zebre.
Glasgow applied the pressure from kick-off but a loose Sam Johnson grubber kick was pounced on by Marco Zanon, who darted down the left flank before offloading inside to Ioane. The Italy winger fended off the challenge of Forbes to touch down under the posts before Cannone showed tremendous footwork for a second-row when he evaded George Horne’s attempted tackle to stretch the Benetton advantage.
Paolo Garbisi converted both early tries to give the hosts a 14-0 lead after only six minutes. Cannone then found the gap once again to charge for the line, surviving a captain’s challenge after Glasgow felt Zander Fagerson had been held back in the build-up.
The stuff of second row dreams from Niccolo Cannone ?@BenettonRugby off to a flyer! ?
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) April 24, 2021
Garbisi added the extras before Halafihi forced a penalty with the clock in the red to send Benetton in at the break with a 21-0 lead despite some late pressure from Glasgow. Keatley, who swapped Benetton for Glasgow in January, was brought on for Ross Thompson 10 minutes into the second half, but it was home fly-half Garbisi who was next to add to the scoreboard, extending the advantage by a further three points from the tee.
Even when Glasgow did finally touch down through Forbes as the match approached the hour, the score was eventually chalked off after Benetton successfully challenged for a high tackle by Johnson on former Warrior Leonardo Sarto. A clever line-out move saw Halafihi go over for the bonus point soon after and Lamaro then put the result beyond any doubt, with Garbisi converting both before Forbes’ try and Keatley’s two-point kick.
Lucchesi then touched down from a Benetton maul and, although Keatley and Grigg added two more tries for the Warriors, the damage had already been done, and Edoardo Padovani – on for the sin-binned Garbisi – rounded off a pleasing afternoon for Benetton from the tee.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 22, 2021
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