A hat-trick of tries from winger Monty Ioane helped Benetton shock reigning Pro14 champions Scarlets with a 22-12 bonus-point win at the Stadio Monigo on Sunday (Feb 11).
With both sides missing a large portion of their squad to international duty and injury, it was the home side who outmuscled and outperformed the Welsh, with Ioane tapping down after a cross field kick by Marty Banks in the 24th minute. Banks missed the conversion.
In the 37th minute, Ioane scored his second try after another cross field kick, Banks again missed the conversion giving the home side a 10-0 lead at half-time.
The second-half was no different, with the Italians continuing to put pressure on the Scarlets and were rewarded when Ioane went over for his hat-trick after 50 minutes. Tito Tebaldi was successful with the conversion.
The visitors did manage to get on the scoreboard in the 62nd minute with a try from Corey Baldwin, converted by fly-half Dan Jones.
But Benetton hit back just two minutes later with Marco Zanon going over for the bonus-point try.
Tadgh Beirne raced over for the visitors’ 2nd try with minutes remaining but were unable to score again for the losing bonus point.
Final score: Benetton 22 – 12 Scarlets
Up next for the Scarlets, they travel to Dublin for a top of conference B clash against Leinster on Saturday (Feb 17).