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Benetton eye top spot in Pool B

Thursday 19th January 2023

11:54 am (GMT)

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Benetton eye top spot in Pool B

Benetton Rugby lock Federico Ruzza

Although Benetton Rugby have already qualified for the knockout stages of the EPCR Challenge Cup, they will be looking to close in on top spot in Pool B on Saturday, when they entertain Stade Français Paris in Round 4.

The Italian side’s only defeat in the competition so far came in the opening round – when they lost 24-14 in the reverse fixture in Paris – but since then they have completed the double over Aviron Bayonnais to rise to second place on 10 points, four behind leaders Scarlets.

Stade will also go into the match with some confidence, though, having beaten Emirates Lions 17-7 at home last week to climb into fourth place.

The match kicks off at 4.15pm local time at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo in Treviso and can be watched on epcrugby.tv and FloRugby.

Benetton Rugby

  • Michele Lamaro has made the joint-most tackles in the EPCR Challenge Cup with 41. He has also won three turnovers so far.
  • Federico Ruzza has won more lineouts in the competition than any other player, with 24, 17 of which have been won in the middle. All but one has been cleanly caught.
  • Benetton have the lowest rate of ball retention at the ruck in this season’s competition.

Stade Français Paris

  • Nadir Megdoud has thrown more offloads than any other player, with six. Four of these came against the Emirates Lions in Round 2. He has also beaten 14 defenders – the most of any player in the competition.
  • Just four players in the competition have made chargedowns, Paolo Odogwu and James Hall being two of them.
  • Stade have made the fewest tackles in the competition.
  • However, they have made the most maul metres in the competition (107) and have had three mauls which have travelled more than 10 metres, more than any other side.

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Benetton edge Stade Français

Saturday 21st January 2023

5:29 pm (GMT)

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Benetton edge Stade Français

Benetton's Rhyno Smith

Benetton Rugby couldn’t quite make it to the top of Pool B in the EPCR Challenge Cup – but they put in a determined display to edge Stade Français Paris 35-32 on Saturday.

Scarlets finish top of the pool with four wins out of four – but the Italian side are not far behind with three wins, and their bonus-point victory at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo means they have a home tie in the Round of 16.

Tries came courtesy of a brace from Mattia Bellini, Tommaso Menoncello and Rhyno Smith, who also slotted a drop-goal. Tomas Albornoz added three conversions and two penalties.

Stade Français, on the other hand, got five tries, with Kylan Hamdaoui, Sekou Macalou, Sione Tui, Giorgi Tsutskiridze and Peniasi Dakuwaqa all going over – but it was the lack of extras that made the difference, with just two conversions and one penalty bolstering their score.

They won’t be too disheartened, though, because their two losing bonus points saw them through to the knockout stage.

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