South Africa-born Benetton captain Dewaldt Duvenage hailed a stunning 35-8 triumph for the Italian club over Pretoria outfit the Bulls on Saturday in the Pro14 Rainbow Cup final as an “amazing achievement”. “What a super result,” said scrum-half Duvenage, who moved to Italy in 2018 from the Cape Town-based Stormers. “I am so proud of the boys. Tactically we got it spot on. When the Bulls applied pressure, our defending was magnificent. Everything went right for us.”
The home side got off to the perfect start with winger Monty Ioane crossing the line inside the first 5 minutes of play. Jake White’s men hit back when Madosh Tambwe dotted down after a strong lineout drive, but two more first-half tries, by former Junior Springbok hooker Corniel Els and a penalty try on the stroke of half-time, gave the home team a 12-point lead at the break.
Benetton showed great composure in the second half, adding two more tries to their tally. The first of which came from flanker Michele Lamaro. Winger, Edoardo Padovani put the icing on the Benetton cake with a 5 pointer in the 57th minute as the Italians secured a memorable win.
Bulls skipper and loose forward Marcell Coetzee offered no excuses despite the absence of three stars, including fly-half Morne Steyn, at a Springbok camp and injured captain Duane Vermeulen. The players are hurting and feel sorry for our supporters back home. We have to take this loss on the chin and regroup.”Benetton outscored the Bulls by five tries to one and gave a perfect send-off to New Zealand coach Kieran Crowley, who will take charge of Italy next season. The Italian club lost 15 matches and drew the other in the regular Pro14 season, making their turnaround in the Rainbow Cup remarkable.