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Italian double: Benetton remain unbeaten after sinking Stormers

By PA
Benetton head coach Marco Bortolami before the United Rugby Championship match between Connacht and Benetton at The Sportsground in Galway. (Photo By Ben McShane/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Benetton maintained their unbeaten start to the United Rugby Championship season with a hard-fought 20-17 victory over DHL Stormers at Stadio Monigo.

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Marco Zanon and Alessandro Izekor went in for tries with Tomas Albornoz adding a conversion and penalty and Jacob Umaga converting Izekor’s second-half score. Rhyno Smith also sent over a drop-goal.

Warrick Gelant, Scarra Ntubeni and Courtnall Skosan went in for the South Africans, with Jean-Luc du Plessis adding a conversion.

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Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White previews his team’s URC Round Four encounter with Cardiff

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Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White previews his team’s URC Round Four encounter with Cardiff

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Jon 22 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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