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Brilliant Benetton make history as first Italian team to qualify for Pro14 play-offs

A bonus-point victory over Zebre secures a top-three finish for Kieran Crowley’s men.

Benetton will also play Champions Cup rugby next season.
Benetton will also play Champions Cup rugby next season.
Image: Giuseppe Fama/INPHO

BENETTON’S BRILLIANT SEASON will extend into next week at the very least after Kieran Crowley’s side made history by becoming the first Italian team to qualify for the Guinness Pro14 play-offs.

A bonus-point victory over Zebre in Parma this afternoon moved Benetton to 56 points in Conference B, enough to ensure them of a third-place finish and a passage through to the quarter-finals.

It also means Benetton will be back in the Heineken Champions Cup next season after a superb campaign under Kiwi Crowley, with the Treviso-based side winning 10 league matches this term. 

First-half tries from Luca Morisi and Toa Halafihi set Benetton on their way before further scores through Sebastian Negri Monty Ioane sealed the deal for the visitors, who will now face the side that finishes second in Conference A — either Glasgow Warriors or Munster — in the quarter-finals next weekend. 

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