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'Let's return to reality - Ireland must exercise caution'

Irish expectation soars as Andy Farrell's team sweeps all in its path, but cool heads are needed if they are to heed mistakes of the past

Federico Ruzza hat-trick helps Benetton to comfortable victory

GENOA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 18: Federico Ruzza during Italy's Captain's Run at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on November 18, 2022 in Genoa, Italy. (Photo by Federugby/Federugby via Getty Images)

Benetton completed a quickfire United Rugby Championship double against their Italian rivals Zebre Parma by winning 40-17 at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.


But Zebre, beaten 38-5 by Benetton on Christmas Eve, gave their opponents a fright before slipping to an 11th successive league defeat of the season.

Zebre had full-back Lorenzo Pani sent off seven minutes before half-time for a dangerous tackle on his opposite number Matteo Minozzi.

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Being Barbarians | Trailer
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And although Benetton ultimately wiped out a 10-point interval advantage, they were made to work hard for a victory that took them into the URC’s top-eight.

Captain Federico Ruzza led the way by scoring a hat-trick of tries, while there were also touchdowns for flanker Manuel Zuliani, centre Tommaso Menoncello and replacement prop Federico Zani, with Benetton’s former Wasps fly-half Jacob Umaga adding three conversions and Tomas Albornoz two.

Zebre led through early scores by centre Erich Cronje and wing Jacopo Trulla, while fly-half Tiff Eden kicked two conversions and a penalty, but Benetton had enough firepower to claim a sixth successive win in the fixture after scoring 33 unanswered second-half points.


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FEATURE 'Let's return to reality - Ireland must exercise caution' 'Let's return to reality - Ireland must exercise caution'