Benetton Treviso made the most of their chance to return to Pro14 action as they ran out 37-25 winners against the Dragons.

Last weekend's home game against Ulster was postponed when the Treviso side were prevented from playing in Italy due to concerns over the coronavirus.

For Friday's match in Newport, Benetton provided assurances to competition organisers that no members of their squad or travelling party had shown any COVID-19 symptoms, had knowingly been in contact with any carriers, or had recently spent time in the parts of northern Italy which have been locked down to avoid the spread of the virus.

On a Rodney Parade pitch that cut up badly, Benetton were the superior side and surged 14-0 ahead after just 14 minutes through tries from full-back Luca Sperandio, a dazzling score from a lightning move, and hooker Tomas Baravalle.

Both were converted by Ian Keatley, who was later named man of the match for a 17-point performance, before a pair of Jacob Botica penalties gave the home side a foothold.

A Keatley penalty nudged Benetton 17-6 ahead but a Rhodri Williams try, with Botica adding the extras, came just before the break and gave hope to the Dragons.

Angelo Esposito put Benetton back in charge when dotting down just a minute into the second half, with Keating converting and adding a pair of three-pointers off the tee to put the Italians firmly in control.

Will Talbot-Davies trimmed the deficit, Arwel Robson this time adding the conversion, as the Dragons got back to 30-20 adrift with 10 minutes remaining.

However, Epalahame Faiva went over for Benetton to make sure of the win, with Elliot Dee's late response for the hosts a small consolation.

The match was a rearranged fixture, having been postponed last month due to safety fears as Storm Dennis swept through Wales.

Zebre and Benetton Treviso have each had their Pro14 fixtures for this weekend postponed due to the threat posed by the coronavirus.

Parma-based club Zebre were due to face Ospreys while Treviso were set to host Ulster.

However, both fixtures will now have to be rearranged, with restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, known officially as Covid-19, forcing the games to be called off.

There have been 209 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy, with the death toll officially rising to five on Monday.

A Pro14 statement read: "Both Guinness PRO14 fixtures set to take place in Italy this weekend have been postponed due to the restrictions enforced by national and local authorities dealing with the threat posed by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

"The current restrictions are in place until Sunday, March 1, 2020 and PRO14 Rugby will remain in contact with the FIR [Italian Union], Zebre Rugby Club, Benetton Rugby and World Rugby to monitor situation on a daily basis."

Four Serie A football matches were postponed on Sunday, including Inter's clash with Sampdoria.

Saturday's scheduled Serie B match between Ascoli and Cremonese was postponed and up to 88 amateur football games were also called off.

Scarlets turned on the style in the final half hour to avoid an upset against Southern Kings, while Cardiff Blues fought back to defeat Benetton Treviso 34-24 in Pro14 on Sunday.

After being edged out by Edinburgh last time out, Scarlets found themselves trailing 17-12 to a Kings side with just one win to their name this season.

However, Ryan Conbeer converted his own try in the 51st minute and further scores from Uzair Cassiem, Dan Jones and Tom Rogers – on his first Pro14 home start – earned a 36-17 win at Parc y Scarlets.

The Blues were in a perilous position at half-time as tries from Ian Keatley, Irne Herbst and Toa Halafihi helped Treviso into a 19-7 lead – Jason Harries' providing the sole reply from Cardiff.

Garyn Smith and Ryan Edwards tries – the second of which was converted – levelled things up and, although Halafihi's second briefly put Treviso back ahead, Seb Davies and Lewis Jones crossed and Jason Tovey kicked five more points to seal the points for the Blues.

Luke Price booted the Ospreys to a stunning 26-24 victory over Ulster and Leinster maintained their 100 per cent Pro14 record by defeating the Cheetahs on Saturday.

The Ospreys had only one Pro14 victory to their name in the competition against Benetton Treviso back in October, but doubled their tally with a shock success as Storm Dennis battered Swansea.

Ulster, second in Conference A behind Leinster, came from 23-10 down to take a one-point lead courtesy of tries from Matt Faddes and Stuart McCloskey, Bill Johnston converting both scores in the space of nine minutes.

Scott Otten had scored a try in each half for the home side after Owen Watkin's five-pointer, but they looked set for more agony until Price split the posts with his third penalty of the match five minutes from time to lift the gloom.

The Leinster juggernaut rolled on at the RDS Arena, where Will Connors grabbed a double and there were also tries for Michael Bent, Ronan Kelleher and Rhys Ruddock in a commanding 36-12 victory.

Luan de Bruin and Aidon Davis crossed for the Cheetahs, third in Conference A, but they were soundly beaten by the defending champions.

Edinburgh completed a double over the Scarlets with a 14-9 win in Llanelli to return to the summit of Conference B, Duhan van der Merwe and Matt Scott scoring the only tries.

Connacht thumped Cardiff Blues 29-0, while the encounter between the Dragons and Treviso, due to be played at Rodney Parade, was called off due to the extreme weather conditions. 

Ulster secured a European Champions Cup quarter-final spot with a 22-15 defeat of Bath, while Northampton Saints and Glasgow Warriors stayed in the hunt for qualification on Saturday.

Clermont Auvergne sealed top spot in Pool 3 with a 26-19 victory at Harlequins, but Ulster knew a defeat of Bath would see them through as one of three best-placed runners-up.

The Pro14 side got the job done in the second half after the two sides were level at 7-7 at the break, Robert Baloucoune and Will Addison going over to add to a first-half try from Marcell Coetzee before Billy Burns was on target with a penalty.

Tries from Ruaridh McConnochie and Ross Batty, who was later red-carded for a no-arms tackle on John Cooney, were not enough for Bath to end the competition on a high note.

Northampton did all they could to advance as runners-up with a 36-24 victory at Top 14 high-flyers Lyon in Pool 1.

The Saints will go progress if either Saracens or Gloucester fail to pick up maximum points wins on Sunday after Mike Haywood, Teimana Harrison, Cobus Reinach, George Furbank and James Fish touched down in a bonus-point triumph at Matmut Stade de Gerland.

Glasgow must hope defending champions Sarries, whose relegation from the Premiership at the of the season for persistent salary-cap breaches was announced on Saturday, and Gloucester slip up after demolishing Sale Sharks 45-7 in Pool 2.

Leone Nakarawa set the tone early on with one of six Glasgow tries at the AJ Bell Stadium, where Adam Hastings scored 15 points from the tee.

Leinster made it six victories out of six in Pool 1 with an 18-0 defeat of Benetton Treviso, while Sam Simmonds grabbed a double as Pool 2 winners Exeter Chiefs saw off La Rochelle 33-14 at Sandy Park.

Beleaguered Sarries host Racing 92 on the final day of pool matches reeling from the announcement that they will drop of out of the Premiership, while Gloucester travel to Toulouse.

Leinster maintained their 100 per cent European Champions Cup record with a 42-14 thrashing of Lyon, while Racing 92 left it late to beat Munster and reach the quarter-finals on Sunday.

Last year's runners-up Leinster cemented their spot at the top of Pool 1 with a bonus-point triumph on a day which saw second-placed Northampton Saints produce a comeback to beat Benetton Treviso.

Leinster struggled to shake off Lyon in the first half and only led by seven points at the break, but the Pro14 champions scored 21 points without reply in the second half at the RDS Arena.

Dave Kearney touched down twice, with Josh van der Flier, Max Deegan, Sean Cronin and Andrew Porter getting in on the act in a six-try hammering from Leo Cullen's men.

Leinster have now won nine consecutive pool games for the first time in the competition.

Saints made far harder work of a vital 33-20 bonus-point victory over Treviso, the Premiership side having fallen 17-12 behind heading into the final 25 minutes.

The returning Harry Mallinder, back after more than a year out with a knee injury, got the home side up and running with a try inside five minutes.

However, the rest of the first half belonged to the Italians, who were ahead courtesy of Tommaso Benvenuti's smart score following an interception.

Needing a win to keep their visitors at bay in the race for second spot, Northampton finally sprung to life after the interval as Henry Taylor, Francois van Wyk, Fraser Dingwall and Andy Symons all crossed.

Teddy Iribaren's inventive long-range pass to set up a try for Teddy Thomas was an eye-catching highlight from Racing's dramatic 39-22 Pool 4 home win against Munster.

A second try for recalled France wing Thomas late on was followed by scores from the brilliant Virimi Vakatawa and Juan Imhoff, seeing Racing through and putting Munster down to third with a decisive clash against Saracens to come in the final round of pool matches.

George North opened the scoring for Ospreys on his return from injury on Saturday, but a dramatic finish saw Dragons come out on top in their Pro14 derby clash.

Wales wing North had been out of action since rupturing his hamstring in the Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat to South Africa in October.

He was fit to start and play 79 minutes for struggling Ospreys, yet his eventual departure came amid a thrilling stretch in which Dragons claimed a 25-18 victory.

North dotted down after 19 minutes following Scott Williams' kick and, although Leon Brown responded in style, Ospreys were in control again as Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler scored in the second half.

They remained in front until the 74th minute, but Rio Dyer's try brought Dragons back into the match, and Adam Warren went over with two minutes remaining to settle it.

Defeat leaves Ospreys still bottom of Conference A with just one win in 10 matches.

Fellow strugglers Zebre found some form at home to Cheetahs.

Charlie Walker scored a pair of tries in a 41-13 success, just Zebre's second of the campaign.

At the other end of the table, Leinster equalled their best ever start to a season with a 10th straight win, defeating Connacht 54-7.

Max Deegan and Garry Ringrose each scored twice, with the table-topping Irish province crossing eight times in all in another dominant victory.

Elsewhere, George Horne went over twice and brother Pete also got on the scoresheet as Glasgow Warriors ran in six tries to claim a 38-19 bonus-point win at Benetton.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh took full advantage of Pieter Scholtz's early dismissal to rout Southern Kings 61-13.

Scholtz saw red for contact to the neck in the 13th minute, and Edinburgh, who trailed at that point, scored the first of their nine tries a minute later in a handsome victory.

Glasgow Warriors edged out Pro14 rivals Edinburgh 20-16 in the opening match of the 1872 Cup thanks to a late try from George Turner.

A full-blooded encounter at Scotstoun – in which five yellows were shown – was settled when Turner went over with five minutes remaining.

Turner's try capped off a frantic flurry of action, with Ali Price having gone in under the sticks before Blair Kinghorn put Edinburgh 16-13 up.

But having already been reduced to 14 men for the third time when Nic Groom was sent to the sin-bin prior to Turner's try, Edinburgh could not mount a late comeback.

Elsewhere, Munster retained top spot in Conference B thanks to a 19-14 win over second-place Connacht.

JJ Hanrahan was the key man for Munster, kicking 14 points, with Jack O'Donoghue scoring what proved to be the decisive try.

There was late drama as the Ospreys hosted Cardiff Blues, as Jason Tovey's penalty secured a 19-16 win for the visitors, who had three players sent to the sin-bin.

A last-gasp drop goal from Sam Davies gave Dragons a slender 22-20 victory over Scarlets, while Benetton defeated fellow Italian side Zebre 13-8.

Saracens breathed new life into their European Champions Cup title defence as the Vunipola brothers starred in a 15-6 win over Munster at Allianz Park.

The reigning champions, who have lifted the trophy in three of the past four seasons, had won just one of their opening three games and came into the game trailing Pool 4 leaders Racing 92 by 11 points.

They were 6-3 behind against Munster early in the second half when a melee ensued after Jamie George appeared to be enraged by a conversation with a member of Munster's staff.

The brawl spilled over onto the advertising hoardings and, once it had subsided, Munster got a penalty which JJ Hanrahan missed.

Saracens soon came alive as Billy Vunipola, with three men converging on him, flipped a brilliant pass out to Sean Maitland to score before Mako Vunipola dotted down eight minutes from time to leave Sarries just one point behind second-placed Munster.

Leinster, the side Sarries beat in last season's final, made it four wins from four in Pool 1 with a dominant 50-21 victory over Northampton as Garry Ringrose scored a hat-trick.

The Ireland centre went over twice in the opening six minutes before Tadhg Furlong and Dave Kearney earned Leinster a bonus point prior to half-time.

Ringrose completed his treble after James Lowe had scored, with Caelan Doris crossing for Leinster's seventh and final try.

Premiership leaders Northampton - whose try-scorers were Dan Biggar, Ollie Sleightholme and Ahsee Tuala - now trail Leinster by 10 points with two games remaining.

Robin Copeland's 81st-minute try earned Connacht a 27-24 success over Gloucester, while Marco Lazzaroni's late score proved the difference in Benetton Treviso's 25-22 triumph against Lyon.

Toulouse beat Montpellier 26-18 while La Rochelle edged past Glasgow Warriors 12-7.

 

Leinster made it 10 wins from 10 to start the season as they routed Northampton Saints 43-16 in the European Champions Cup to move five points clear at the top of Pool 1.

The Irish province, beaten in last season's final by Saracens, ran in seven tries to beat Premiership leaders Saints, who came into this game having won both of their first two games in this competition.

Three Dan Biggar penalties, added to a try from Ahsee Tuala, meant Northampton led 16-14 with two minutes remaining in the first half.

However, Andrew Porter dotted down for Leinster's third try, following earlier scores from James Lowe and Rhys Ruddock, to ensure the visitors were leading 19-16 at the interval.

Northampton then failed to score a second-half point, while Cian Healy, Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath and Ed Byrne all crossed in Leinster's handsome victory.

Ulster moved top of Pool 3 as John Cooney's 79th-minute penalty earned them a 25-24 success over Harlequins.

Both sides scored three tries apiece, Elia Elia going over twice for Quins, but Cooney kept his cool from the 10-metre line to seal the win for Ulster.

Defending champions Saracens were beaten 10-3 by Munster to suffer their second loss in Pool 4.

Peter O'Mahony crossed for the game's only try in the 31st minute, with all the points scored prior to the interval, and the only sour moment for Munster came in the 82nd minute when Arno Botha was dismissed for dangerous play.

Teddy Thomas accounted for two of Racing 92's six tries in their 40-19 rout of Ospreys, who were left to rue Dan Evans' red card after just 37 seconds.

The full-back was given his marching orders for kicking Thomas in the face as he collected a high ball, and Ospreys never recovered.

Elsewhere, Lyon beat Benetton Treviso 28-0, while Glasgow Warriors edged past La Rochelle 27-24.

Glasgow Warriors were unable to exact a measure of revenge for their defeat to Leinster in last season's Pro14 final as the Irish province recorded their first win at Scotstoun in seven years.

Leinster beat Glasgow 18-15 at Celtic Park in May and the defending champions made it seven wins from seven to start the new campaign thanks to a 23-10 success.

They fell 10-3 behind as Ruaridh Jackson took advantage of Hugo Keenan's fourth-minute yellow card with a brace, though neither try was converted.

Cian Kelleher scored a pair of tries himself before the interval and as well as adding the extras on both occasions, Ross Byrne slotted over three penalties.

Glasgow could not even claim a losing bonus point as Leinster kept their hosts out during 31 phases of play at the end of the game.

Jason Harries' 81st-minute try earned Cardiff Blues a thrilling 31-28 victory over Benetton Treviso.

Treviso led for much of the contest but only one of their four tries was converted whereas the quartet of Cardiff scores each had the extras added to them.

Connacht kept up the pressure on Conference B leaders Munster with a 24-12 victory over Southern Kings, while Conference A's bottom side Zebre claimed their first win of the season, a 39-12 thrashing of the Dragons.

Elsewhere, the Cheetahs claimed their fourth victory of the season, overcoming the Ospreys 18-13.

Saracens rebounded from an opening defeat to Racing 92 by hammering a depleted Ospreys side 44-3 in the European Champions Cup.

The holders have endured a miserable time of it lately after being hit with a mammoth £5.36million fine and 35-point Premiership deduction for breaching salary cap rules during the past three seasons.

But Elliot Daly impressed on his debut and England team-mates Mako Vunipola and George Kruis returned in a six-try showing.

Jack Singleton, Alex Lewington and Rotimi Segun (2) all touched down before a penalty try and a score from Richard Barrington put an Ospreys side devoid of Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, Gareth Anscombe and George North to the sword.

Elsewhere in Pool 4, Finn Russell scored a superb nutmeg try as part of a fine display but Racing 92 played out a 21-21 draw at Munster.

Andrew Conway's 75th-minute score and J.J. Hanrahan's excellent conversion earned a point for the hosts at Thomond Park.

Stuart Hogg was on the winning side against former employees Glasgow Warriors as Exeter Chiefs triumphed 34-18 to make it two from two in Pool 2.

Henry Slade, Jonny Hill, Sam Simmonds and Tom O'Flaherty all scored tries, while Nick Grigg and George Turner registered for the Warriors.

Top 14 leaders Lyon lost for the second successive European game as last season's losing finalists Leinster scrapped to a 13-6 win on their travels – Max Deegan's first-half score ultimately proving crucial.

The other match in Pool 1 saw Northampton Saints record a thrilling 35-32 triumph at Benetton Treviso.

Dan Biggar nailed a last-gasp penalty to complete a fine fightback for Saints, who scored 17 second-half points – Ollie Sleightholme touching down and Tom Collins celebrating a second try of the game.

Connacht enjoyed a winning return to Europe's premier competition with an opening victory over Montpellier but were brought crashing back to earth in Pool 5, suffering a 32-17 defeat at Toulouse.

Rounding out the action, Harlequins edged out domestic rivals Bath 15-9 to get up and running in Pool 3.

Garry Ringrose scored a hat-trick as last season's runners-up Leinster beat Benetton 33-19 and Clermont Auvergne thrashed Harlequins in the European Champions Cup on Saturday.

Leinster were beaten by Saracens in the final in May, but the 2018 Champions Cup holders started their quest to regain the trophy with a bonus-point Pool 1 win at the RDS Arena.

Ringrose was the star of the show, the Ireland centre crossing twice inside the first 14 minutes and completing his treble after the break.

Ronan Kelleher also touched down on his European debut before Johnny Sexton rounded off a slick move early in the second half, the Ireland fly-half also adding six points with the boot.

Tries from Dean Budd, Epalahame Faiva and Luca Sperandio were in vain as Benetton were second best in the all-Pro 14 encounter.

Challenge Cup holders Clermont hammered Quins 53-21 in the Pool 2 clash at Stade Marcel Michelin.

Alivereti Raka and Peceli Yato grabbed doubles as the Top 14 side scored seven tries, blowing Paul Gustard's side away.

John Cooney made amends for an incredible missed penalty by slotting over the winning points from the tee to give Ulster a 17-16 success in the other Pool 2 match at Bath.

Exeter Chiefs are the early Pool 2 leaders following a 31-12 bonus-point win at La Rochelle, while DTH Van Der Merwe scored Glasgow Warriors' only try in a 13-7 home triumph over Sale Sharks.

Munster opened their European campaign with a 32-13 Pool 4 defeat of the Ospreys on their travels, Keith Earls and Andrew Conway among their four try-scorers.

Andrew Conway marked his return from the Rugby World Cup in real style as he delivered a decisive try in Munster's 22-16 Pro14 win over Ulster.

Conway, a member of Ireland's squad in Japan, scoring three World Cup tries, was back in club action for Conference B leaders Munster on Saturday.

His side had been in control at the break, leading 15-6 thanks to tries from CJ Stander and Rory Scannell, but an Ulster fightback had them in front by a point with less than 20 minutes remaining.

Then Conway stepped up and burst through the centre of the Ulster team, tearing away from a pair of attempted tackles from recovering defenders to dot down for the winner.

Munster had beaten Cardiff Blues in Conway's absence last week, but the Welsh side ended a four-match losing run against Cheetahs.

An action-packed encounter saw four cards, with Cheetahs reduced to 14 men after just 14 minutes as Jasper Wiese was dismissed with dangerous play.

Fourteen points from the boot of Jarrod Evans, who ended the match in the sin bin, proved the difference in a 30-17 success.

Scott van Breda was similarly influential as Southern Kings got their first victory of the season, winning 16-14 at Ospreys thanks to the full-back's 11 points.

Zebre remain winless, though, after going down 31-7 to Glasgow Warriors, with George Horne scoring twice.

Scarlets edged out Benetton 20-17 in the late game after Dan Jones dispatched a penalty with the last kick of the match.

Scarlets bounced back from their thrashing at the hands of Edinburgh to beat Cheetahs 17-13 in the Pro14 on Saturday.

Tries from Steff Evans and Kieran Hardy, allied to seven points from the boot of Dan Jones, saw the hosts seal a narrow triumph in sodden conditions at Parc y Scarlets.

It marked a spirited response to their 46-7 drubbing against Edinburgh last weekend. 

The South African side took the lead through Tian Meyer's early try but Evans – making his 100th appearance for the club – and Hardy touched down before the interval to tip the balance in Scarlets' favour.

Second-half penalties from Tian Schoeman and Ruan Pienaar set up a tense finale, but Jones had the final say from the tee.

Connacht matched Scarlets in making it four wins from five after defeating Ospreys 20-10 away from home, while Edinburgh were brought back down to earth in a narrow 18-16 loss at Benetton Treviso.

The final game of the day saw Cardiff Blues suffer a fourth defeat in a row as last season's semi-finalists Munster wrapped up a 33-23 bonus-point triumph in Wales.

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