Wednesday 11 December 2019

Inconsistent Benetton hoping to 'rain' supreme at the RDS

So far this year, Kieran Crowley's Benetton charges have had a mixed campaign. (stock photo)
So far this year, Kieran Crowley's Benetton charges have had a mixed campaign. (stock photo)

So far this year, Kieran Crowley's Benetton charges have had a mixed campaign. Since losing to Leinster in Treviso on the opening weekend in a closely-fought contest, despite the Italians being reduced to 14, they have won two and lost two.

However, that is all being cast to one side as they prepare for the opening round of the Heineken Champions Cup and a fresh start of sorts.

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Winning for the first time in the RDS two seasons ago, backed up by their last-gasp draw thanks to Iliesa Ratuva's try in April this year, will inspire confidence. After a rain-soaked training session, scrum-half Tito Tebaldi joked it would be the ideal preparation for the Irish weather.

"We know Leinster well," he said. "We have been facing each other for several years in the PRO14.

"They are top class and we cannot leave anything to chance. We'll have to keep our positives from the first-half against Scarlets and improve on things that were not too successful."

Tebaldi and Tommaso Allan were named in the half-back slots for the first time together this year against Scarlets, showing what they missed while both were on international duty.

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