Benetton Rugby proved they will be tough adversaries in this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup as they beat Edinburgh Rugby 24-17 in the United Rugby Championship (URC) on Saturday, despite being reduced to 14 men early on.

Debutant Matteo Minozzi was sent off on 10 minutes for the Treviso-based side, but the hosts would notch two tries in either half.

Efforts from Marcus Watson and Sebastian Negri saw Benetton lead 10-3 at the break, and although Edinburgh levelled twice in the second half, Niccolo Cannone and Rhyno Smith went over to seal an impressive win.

Elsewhere on Saturday, RC Toulon claimed a 17-12 victory at fellow EPCR Challenge Cup contenders Stade Français Paris.

Beka Gigashvili and Facundo Isa grabbed the visitors’ tries, with four Joris Segonds penalties providing Stade Français’ points.

Section Paloise beat CA Brive 22-6 in another all-EPCR Challenge Cup encounter, with Émilien Gailleton, Thibault Daubagna and Jack Maddocks crossing for the victorious hosts.

USAP were the other EPCR Challenge Cup team to pick up a win on Saturday, overcoming Heineken Champions Cup counterparts Union Bordeaux-Bègles 23-20 at Stade Aimé Giral.

Tristan Tedder crossed and kicked eight points for the hosts, with Afusipa Taumoepeau scoring their first try and George Tilsley’s late effort securing their victory.