Triumphant Benetton skipper Dewaldt Duvenhage, a former Stormers scrumhalf, indicated that his side was fairly confident going into the historic cup final match.
The Italians won by 35-8 after taking a commanding 20-8 lead at the break, and never surrendered their supremacy in a dominant and clinical display of finals rugby. The Italian side made a great start by scoring their first of five tries within five minutes of the kick-off, by Monty Ioane (wing), controlling most of the play by putting the Bulls under pressure with a clever kicking game and forcing their opponents to commit several penalties at the breakdown.
The visitors hit back when Madosh Tambwe (wing) crossed 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 followed that up with a very composed second half, adding two more tries to their tally, by Michele Lamaro (flank) shortly after the break with Vodacom Bulls wing Stravino Jacobs in the sin-bin, and Edoardo Padovani (wing), to all but seal a memorable win.
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“We were tactically good with ball in hand, while we also managed to keep on the pressure throughout the match,” said captain Duvenhage.
“The team played well on attack, while we must also give credit to defence coach Marius Goosen, who prepared us very well in that department.”
Benetton 35 (20) – Tries: Monty Ioane, Corniel Els, Michele Lamaro, Edoardo Padovani, Penalty try. Conversion: Paolo Garbisi. Penalty goals: Garbisi (2).
Bulls 8 (8) – Try: Madosh Tambwe. Penalty goal: Chris Smith.
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