Match Centre: Challenge Cup: Newcastle Falcons 18-57 Benetton

Jacob Umaga was one of the try scorer for Benetton
Jacob Umaga was one of the try scorer for Benetton

Newcastle 18-57 Benetton, Kingston Park

Benetton progressed to the round of 16 in the ongoing European Challenge Cup as they defeated Newcastle Falcons 57-18 in their latest clash at Kingston Park on Friday.

The result meant Newcastle's losing streak this season has extended to 14 games as they are at fifth in Pool 2 while Benetton are at top with 11 points.

The Falcons were given a great opportunity early in the game as Benetton's Ignacio Mendy was sin-binned for an infringement and Brett Connon kicked a penalty goal to start the proceedings for the host.

The home side extended the lead further as Argentina tight-head Eduardo Bello dived from close range for the opening try in the 12th minute and Connon kicked the extras to make it 12-0.

The first response from Benetton came in the 16th minute as fly-half Tomas Albornoz touched down from a 10 m line out and Onisi Ratave followed the suit to make it 10-12.

Connon with his second penalty goal seized the lead for the Falcons but it was short lived as Tommaso Menoncello cut infield to score their third try and Albornoz followed with a conversion and a penalty goal as Benetton completed the opening half with a 13-22 lead.

Benetton extended the momentum into the second half as Onisi Ratave came from infield to dot down and shortly Ignacio Mendy also went over. With Albornoz kicking both the conversions, Benetton extended their lead to 13-36.

The end of the third quarter saw Tommaso Menoncello and Murray McCallum trade tries making it 18-43 but any chances of a Newcastle comeback was put off with replacement Alessandro Izekor drove over from a close-range ruck in the 73rd minute and Jacob Umaga with a converted try in the final minute ensured Benetton completed a dominating 39 point victory.

Team line up:

Newcastle: Obatoyinbo; Radwan, Wacokecoke, Hutchison, Stephens; Connon, Barton; Brocklebank, Blamire, Bello, Hawkins, De Chaves, Rubiolo, Pepper, Chick (capt).

Reserves: Byrne, Brantingham, McCallum, Lockwood, Cross, O'Sullivan, Johnson, Penny.

Benetton: Smith; Mendy, Menoncello, Brex, Ratave; Albornoz, Uren; Gallo, Lucchesi, Zilocchi, N Cannone, Snyman (capt), Negri, Zuliani, L Cannone.

Reserves: Bernasconi, Zani, Pasquali, Koegelenberg, Ruzza, Izekor, Garbisi, Umaga.