Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World

Sharks show teeth in Italy in first meeting with Benetton

Sbu Nkosi /Getty

Trending on RugbyPass

More News More News

The Sharks claimed a bonus-point 29-7 victory over Benetton in the first meeting between the two sides.


Ruben van Heerden, Aphelele Fassi, Phepsi Buthelezi and Sbu Nkosi scored tries as the Sharks replaced the Bulls as the top South African side in the United Rugby Championship.

Carl Wegner claimed a consolation try for Benetton, who remain without a win since beating Zebre on Christmas Eve.

Video Spacer

Facing Goliath | A story following Italy as they take on the mighty All Blacks | A Rugby Originals Documentary
Video Spacer
Facing Goliath | A story following Italy as they take on the mighty All Blacks | A Rugby Originals Documentary

Early Sharks pressure was rewarded in the seventh minute as Van Heerden drove over and Curwin Bosch converted.

The two sides were involved in a real arm wrestle before Benetton wing Rhyno Smith broke clear.

However, the Sharks’ scramble defence did their job and the Italians were shut out.

Benetton prop Simone Ferrari was making his return after a year out but he had to leave the action after 21 minutes.


The visitors were looking increasingly dangerous with ball in hand and manufactured a superb score after 26 minutes.

Flanker Siya Kolisi appeared in the wide channel at the end of a free-flowing move and found Fassi, who beat the final home defender to make the corner in style.

Bosch successfully converted off the upright before Benetton were reduced to 14 men for constant infringement.

Alessandro Izekor was sin-binned in the final play of the half and the Sharks chose to go for the corner rather than the posts.


The move paid off as Buthelezi benefited from a driving maul and Bosch converted for a 21-0 interval lead.

The Sharks were within inches of a bonus-point try when prop Ox Nche got over the line but was unable to ground the ball.

Benetton breathed new life into the contest with concerted pressure that ended with Sharks skipper Lukhanyo Am yellow carded.

Wegner immediately crashed over and Tomas Albornoz added the extras.

But the Sharks finished strongly and Bosch landed a penalty before Nkosi secured the bonus point in the final minute by darting into the corner.


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
RUGBYPASS+ Time gentlemen, please Time gentlemen, please