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Aviron Bayonnais look for their first EPCR Challenge Cup points of the season as they travel to Benetton Rugby on Saturday.
The French side were trounced 45-7 at home by the Italian side last month, and were thrashed 39-7 at Scarlets in Round 1, leaving them bottom of Pool B.
Benetton, on the other hand, currently sit third thanks to that bonus-point win over Bayonne, which was a strong response from their 24-14 defeat at Stade Français Paris in Round 1
Since Round 2, Benetton have won three from three in the United Rugby Championship, while Bayonne have picked up a draw and a win in three TOP 14 contests.
The Pool B match kicks off at 13:00 (UK & Irish time) at Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso, and is available to watch on epcrugby.tv or FloRugby.
BACK AGAIN 🕺
Who are you backing to get the W in #ChallengeCupRugby Round 3? pic.twitter.com/FMIUjUbLwR
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) January 9, 2023
- Lorenzo Cannone has made the most tackles in the tournament so far – 35.
- Benetton have conceded only 15 penalties in the competition so far – the fewest of any team.
- Onsi Ratave has beaten the most defenders in the competition (eight), and has also scored two tries so far (as have Lorenzo Cannone and Rhyno Smith).
- Thomas Acquier has been more accurate with his lineout throws than any other player who has made more than 10 – boasting a success rate of 95 per cent.
- Aviron Bayonnais have dropped 19 balls unforced so far – more than any other team – with Aitor Hourcade, Geoff Cridge, Bastion Pourailly and Martin Bogado making three unforced errors each.
- They also have the lowest rate of gainline success in the competition, with 37 per cent. Only nine per cent of their carries have been dominant contacts
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Benetton Rugby ensured their qualification for the knockout stage of the EPCR Challenge Cup on Saturday with a comfortable 26-7 home victory over rock-bottom Aviron Bayonnais in Pool B.
The Italian side jumped into second place thanks to three tries in seven first-half minutes, including a double from lock Niccolò Cannone, to open up a 19-7 half-time lead before taking their foot off the pedal in the second period.
Bayonne, without a point at the bottom of Pool B before the match and four points adrift, took a shock lead in the 17th minute with a try from full-back Yohan Orabe, which was converted by captain Maxime Machenaud.
However, Benetton then took command with those three tries, the last two of which were converted by Tomas Albornoz.
0️⃣ – 7️⃣
ᴛᴇɴ ᴍɪɴᴜᴛᴇꜱ ʟᴀᴛᴇʀ…
1️⃣9️⃣ – 7️⃣@BenettonRugby have come back in STYLE 🔥#ChallengeCupRugby pic.twitter.com/NJz9N2FZEh
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) January 14, 2023
Wing Ignacio Mendy struck first on the half hour and his effort was followed rapidly by Cannone’s brace in the 33rd and 37th minutes.
The second half was pointless, until wing Onisi Ratave scored a 77th minute try, which was converted by replacement Jacob Umaga.
Benetton now host Stade Français Paris in their final pool match next Saturday, while Bayonne entertain leaders Scarlets.
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