Preview: Treviso v Racing Metro

Date published: October 24 2014

Racing Metro will look to build on their fine start when they face their hosts Treviso at Stadio Comunale di Monigo on Sunday.

Racing Metro will look to build on their fine start to the tournament when they face their hosts Treviso at Stadio Comunale di Monigo on Sunday.

The Parisian-based outfit grinded out a 20-11 victory at home against Northampton Saints and face a Treviso side whose campaign got off to a poor start after they were thrashed by the Ospreys in their opening fixture.

Treviso are seen as Pool Five’s whipping boys and anything less than a bonus point victory for Racing will be a disappointing result for the French side.

After last weekend’s win over Northampton, Racing centre Alex Dumoulin said they will not underestimate Treviso despite their heavy defeat to the Ospreys.

We don’t know much about this Italian side, but we are expecting a big game in Treviso,” said Dumoulin.

They lost by 40 points against the Ospreys and they are going to want to set things straight at home this weekend.

“We know that other French teams have come a cropper in the past, so it’s up to us to be ready physically and mentally to play a high level match.

“If we do so, and if we respect our game plan, maybe we will have a chance of getting a win.”

Treviso’s captain, veteran lock Antonio Pavanello admitted that their side are going through a tough period.

We are going through a difficult time,” he explained.

“In the off-season we lost 22 players, we have a new coach, a new system of play. In short there have been a lot of changes compared to previous seasons, and things have yet to fall into place.

“We still haven’t won a game, so we are under pressure to perform, and we need to get a first win under our belts to get rid of the negative atmosphere. But it’s going to be tough for us.

Pavanello expects a tough assignment this weekend.

As a lock forward, when I look at Racing’s second row of Kruger and Charteris, I know it’s going to be very very hard for us at lineout time,” he added.

“But Racing has quality players throughout the team, guys like Sexton at fly-half who are capable of pulling off great actions at any time.

“We don’t have as many strengths, although we will look to our back row of Alessandro Zanni and Simone Favaro to play a major role on defence.”

Treviso have rung the changes to their starting line-up.

Amongst the backs, Simone Rgusi replaces Angelo Esposito on the wing while Luca Morisi moves from outside to inside centre where he takes over from Luca Morisi.

Michele Campagnaro will wear the number 13 jersey. There is also a new halfback pairing with Samuel John Christie (fly-half) and Edoardo Gori (scrum-half) being preferred to Joe Carlisle and Alberto Lucchese respectively.

In the pack, Alessandro Zanni moves from the side of the scrum to number eight while Meyer Swanepoel starts at openside flank.Marco Fuser comes in to the second row to partner Pavanello while Davide Giazzon and Matteo Zanusso start at hooker and loosehead prop respectively.

Racing have made several changes despite last weekend’s victory.

In the back-line, Henry Chavancy takes over from Dumoulin at outside centre while Teddy Thomas is preferred ahead of Marc Andreu on the left wing.

The pack sees Luke Charteris replacing Francois van der Merwe in the second row while props Brian Mujati and Eddy Ben Arous come in for Luc Ducalcon and Julien Brugnaut in the front row.

Maxime Machenaud will captain the side.

Form: Treviso got their Champions Cup campaign off to a poor start, suffering a 42-7 defeat to the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea last weekend. Prior to that, they also lost to Connacht, Glasgow, the Dragons, Scarlets and Munster in the PRO12 tournament. Racing Metro beat Northampton 20-11 in their opener at home last weekend. The Parisian-based side’s last Top 14 clash was a narrow 23-19 loss to Stade Fran