Giacomo Da Re scores late try as Benetton fight back to beat Ospreys
Benetton produced a late scoring burst to defeat the Ospreys 18-13 at Stadio di Monigo.
Substitute Giacomo Da Re’s 77th-minute try secured a fifth league win of the season for Benetton to defeat a resilient Ospreys side without several Wales internationals, including Jac Morgan, George North, Dewi Lake and Adam Beard.
The visitors led 13-7 with 15 minutes remaining after tries from full-back Max Nagy and scrum-half Luke Davies, while Dan Edwards kicked a penalty.
But hooker Bautista Bernasconi’s early touchdown – converted by Jacob Umaga – meant Benetton remained in the hunt before their impressive finale.
Edwards kicked the Ospreys into a 13th-minute lead, yet Benetton responded just four minutes later by scoring a try from their first sustained attack.
Wing Paolo Odogwu ran into the heart of Ospreys’ defence and Benetton’s forwards then took charge as Bernasconi crashed over from close range for a try that Umaga converted.
Both teams were keen to put pace on the ball and Ospreys went close to claiming an outstanding try after flanker Harri Deaves and captain Morgan Morris linked impressively, but a final pass eluded wing Luke Morgan.
Benetton full-back Rhyno Smith then almost unlocked Ospreys’ defence before being tackled into touch and – together with Odogwu – he posed a major threat in wide attacking areas.
Ospreys showed plenty of defensive resilience, though, and they ended the first-half just 7-3 adrift.
The Welsh side needed just two minutes of the second period to move in front as Benetton had no answer to the power and pace of Nagy.
He received the ball just inside Benetton’s half, brushed aside an attempted tackle by Umaga, then sprinted to the corner and eluded Smith’s challenge for an outstanding solo score.
Nagy, though, then appeared to suffer a serious ankle injury when he caught possession behind his own line and was carried off.
But the Ospreys dug deep after that setback and they extended their lead with 20 minutes left after a powerful lineout drive saw Deaves work space well to send Davies over in the corner.
Owen Williams missed a second-successive conversion attempt, meaning Benetton faced a six-point deficit entering the final quarter that Umaga quickly halved when he kicked a short-range penalty.
He repeated the feat five minutes later, tying things up at 13-13, before Da Re produced the final scoring act and Ospreys were sunk.
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