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Ospreys hammer Treviso to return to top of Pro12

Dafydd Howells touches down for Ospreys' fifth try against Benetton Treviso

Dafydd Howells’ spectacular finish secured Ospreys’ fifth try

Ospreys moved to the top of the Pro 12 table with a thumping victory over Benetton Treviso at Liberty Stadium.

The visitors were on terms at 3-3 after 20 minutes, but tries by Ben John, Sam Parry, Jeff Hassler and Dan Evans secured a bonus point by half time.

Dafydd Howells, Keelan Giles, Ma’afu Fia, Alun Wyn Jones and a penalty try took Ospreys’ touchdown total to nine.

Jones and Dan Biggar made their first appearances of the season off the bench in the second half.

Fly-half Sam Davies scored 11 points and impressed with his distribution before making way for Biggar, as Ospreys made it three bonus point wins out of three this season.

They are the first team to secure maximum points from their opening three games in the history of the Pro12.

After losing narrowly to Leinster and Ulster in their opening two matches, the Italian side – who had made 15 changes to their match squad – were cruelly exposed by the Ospreys’ high-tempo attacking.

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Ben John’s first-half try for Ospreys started the route of Benetton Treviso

And Dean Budd’s last-minute try – impressive though the flanker’s finish was – hardly constituted a consolation.

The only negative note for the home side was the injury suffered by Tyler Ardron. The Canada international forward who missed most of last season limped off in the sixth minute.

Ospreys revealed their attacking intent from the kick-off when man-of-the-match Josh Matavesi burst 40 yards up field.

Treviso’s stubborn resistance in the face of non-stop pressure held until John juggled a pass from Davies before sidestepping over between the posts in the 23rd minute.

From that point they were not able to hold the home team, who had the luxury of bringing Wales internationals Biggar, Jones, Rhys Webb and Scott Baldwin off the bench to help drive home their superiority.

Scrum-half Webb was particularly effective, and there was an exciting cameo by 18-year-old wing Giles, who was part of the Wales under-20 team that won the 2016 Six Nations Grand Slam.

However, next week’s assignment is likely to be much tougher, when Ospreys travel to face Leinster on Friday, 23 September.

Ospreys: Dan Evans; Jeff Hassler, Ben John, Josh Matavesi, Dafydd Howells; Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield (capt); Paul James, Sam Parry, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Ashley, Rory Thornton, James King, Justin Tipuric, Tyler Ardron.

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Gareth Thomas, Ma’afu Fia, Alun Wyn Jones, Olly Cracknell, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar, Keelan Giles.

Benetton Treviso: Luke McLean; David Odiete, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi (capt), Andrea Buondonno; Tommaso Allan, Edoardo Gori; Alberto De Marchi, Roberto Santamaria, Tiziano Pasquali, Filippo Gerosa, Filo Paulo, Dean Budd, Marco Lazzaroni, Marco Barbini.

Replacements: Luca Bigi, Matteo Zanusso, Cherif Traore, Guglielmo Zanini, Abraham Steyn, Tito Tebaldi, Ian McKinley, Andrea Pratichetti.

Referee: Lloyd Linton (SRU)

Assistant referees: Graeme Wells (SRU), Leighton Hodges (WRU)

Citing commissioner: Jeff Mark (WRU)

TMO: Neil Paterson (SRU)

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37377831