Benetton hold off Harlequins in 26-21 win

Marcus Smith finished on the losing side
Marcus Smith finished on the losing side

Benetton Treviso 26-21 Harlequins, Stadio Comunale di Monigo

Winger Monty Ioane scored the decisive try in the closing stage as Benetton Treviso defeated Harlequins 26-21 in their European Rugby Challenge Cup clash at Stadio Comunale di Monigo on Saturday.

The win has taken the Benetton to the top of Pool 5 while Harlequins are positioned third.

Alex Dombrandt gave a head start for the Quins with the first of his two tries coming in the second minute but James Lang missed out on the conversion. Benetton responded back with Luca Sperandio going over the line in the 6th minute and Ian McKinley kicked a conversion and a penalty goal to make the scoreline 10-5.

Dombrandt helped the visitors doubled their tally with a 24th minute touchdown and Lang improved it but it was the Italian side that ended the first half with a six point lead with Sperandio's second touchdown that came before McKinley's penalty goal.

The third quarter saw Smith kicked two penalties with McKinley pulling one back as the scoreline was 21-18 heading into the final 10 minutes.

The momentum shifted a bit when Benetton was reduced to 14-men with Sebastian Negri sin-binned in the 72nd minute and Smith's penalty drew the scores level at 21-21 before Ioane with his 80th minute heroics helped the hosts completed a 26-21 win.