Benetton Treviso 35-8 Vodacom Bulls, Stadio Comunale Di Mongio
Benetton Treviso went on to win their first major title as they trounced Vodacom Bulls 35-8 in the final at Stadio Comunale Di Mongio to win the Rainbow Cup.
This has been a big turnaround for the Italian side after failing to win a single game in this season's Pro14 with 14 defeats and a draw and now will head into next season's United Rugby Championship brimming with confidence.
Benetton started the game positively in front of 1,250 fans as they put Bulls under pressure and a space was created on wide for Monty Ioane to touchdown in the fifth minute but Pablo Garbisi missed out on the conversion but he made amends with a penalty kick in the 19th minute to make it 8-0.
The response from Bulls came early in the second quarter as Johan Grobbelaar was stopped just short before the ball was recycled and eventually Madosh Tambwe went over in the 26th minute. Chris Smith, whose conversion went wide managed to slot a penalty goal as the scores were levelled in the first half-hour.
Benetton managed to seized the lead when Corniel Els dotted down in the 31st minute but once again Garbisi missed out on the extras before Stravino Jacobs' tackle went wrong for the South African side that saw him sin-binned while also resulting in a penalty try for the hosts making it 20-8.
Benetton stepped up the gears as they looked relentless at the start of the second half with Garbisi kicking to Ioane, who offloaded to Michele Lamaro as he dived over. Garbisi got the conversion right this time and also followed with his second penalty kick making it 30-8.
The fifth and final try came in the 57th minute Garbisi provided assist for Edoardo Padovani as he dotted down as they increased their lead to 35-8 which proved enough as Bulls had two late tries disallowed.
Team line up:
Benetton: Jayden Hayward; Edoardo Padovani, Ignacio Brex, Marco Zanon, Monty Ioane; Paolo Garbisi, Dewaldt Duvenage; Thomas Gallo, Corniel Els, Marco Riccioni, Niccolò Cannone, Federico Ruzza, Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro, Toa Halafihi.
Reserves: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Ivan Nemer, Filippo Alongi, Irné Herbst, Manuel Zuliani, Marco Barbini, Callum Braley, Ratuva Tavuyara.
Bulls: David Kriel; Madosh Tambwe, Marco jv Vuuren, Cornal Henricks, Stravino Jacobs; Chris Smith, Ivan van Zyl; Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobelaar, Mornay Smith, Walkt Steenkamp, Jan Uys, Nizaam Carr, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee
Reserves: Schalk Erasmus, Jacques van Rooyen, Lizo Gqoboka, Janco Swanepoel, Muller Uys, Zack Burger, Clinton Swart, Glo Aplon.