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Brex's early red card can't stop Benetton Treviso beating Zebre

Juan Ignacio Brex

Hooker Hame Faiva scored a hat-trick of tries as Benetton Treviso overcame the early dismissal of Juan Ignacio Brex to gain a 36-25 win over Zebre in the Guinness Pro14 clash at Stadio Monigo.

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Benetton were forced to play all but the first 17 minutes of the Italian derby with 14 men after the Argentinian centre was shown a red card card for a dangerous tackle on his opposite number Tommaso Boni.

Zebre looked capable of taking advantage of the extra man as they hit the front three times but were eventually overpowered and were condemned to a second defeat by their locals in seven days.

It took Faiva under two minutes to open the scoring when he was driven over from a rolling maul but Marcello Violi hit back with a penalty for the visitors, who took the lead on 18 minutes with a try from flanker Johan Meyer.

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Faiva burrowed his way over for his second try to restore Benetton’s lead but it was short-lived as Zebre moved the ball out wide for left winger James Elliott to score their second try.

The visitors were then temporarily reduced to 14 men when Elliott was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on and winger Monty Ioane used the extra space to cross for a try that edged Benetton 17-13 in front at half-time.

The lead changed hands again four minutes into the second half when flanker Maxime Mbanda found space on the left wing to cross for Zebre’s third try to raise hopes of a second win of the season.

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However, the Treviso side clinched a bonus point on 50 minutes when Ireland fly-half Ian Keatley broke through the first line of defence to score his side’s fourth try and the former Munster man added the conversion to make it 24-18.

Faiva was driven over for his third try on 57 minutes before making way for Enjel Makelara and his replacement scored his side’s sixth try after getting on the end of another dominant maul.

Keatley kicked a third conversion but Zebre secured a bonus point nine minutes from the end when lock Dave Sisi pounced on a loose ball on the Benetton line for his side’s fourth try.

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Jon 7 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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