Planet Rugby



Preview: Cardiff Blues v Treviso

09th September 2011 12:35


Chris Czeka try Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh  Heineken Cup

At full-back: Chris Czekaj

Cardiff Blues half-backs Gareth Davies and Lewis Jones will start for the Blues in their RaboDirect PRO12 home clash with Treviso this Sunday.

They are joined in the backs by Academy winger Alex Cuthbert, who although having represented Wales in Sevens, is also making his competitive debut for the region. The other change in the backs sees Gavin Evans in for Casey Laulala.

The Blues have also made changes in the forwards, from the team that defeated Edinburgh last Friday night. Michael Paterson moves to the second row in place of James Down, with Maama Molitika starting at blindside. There is good news for the Blues with Xavier Rush on the bench having recovered from his hernia operation.

Treviso pushed Connacht all the way last Saturday and became the only side in round one to record a losing bonus point in their 9-11 defeat to the Irishmen. However, they are still looking for that elusive first victory outside of Italy since December 2007.

"Last Friday's win proved all that hard work, endeavour and a bit of blood, by all the players, coaches and conditioning team, was all worth-while," said Cardiff Blues Forwards Coach, Justin Burnell.

"Obviously it's only the first game of the season but what it has proved to Gareth, myself and all the players, is that we are definitely heading in the right direction.

"It was pleasing to get the bonus point but there are always areas to work on.

"I'd like to think that no coach could turn around and say it was a 100% complete game. I thought sometimes our decision making and handling let us down.

"Treviso are vey strong and play with a lot of direction which revolves around their physicality.

"They have a good driving line out, a big Number 8 that looks to carry in mid-field and then they have Brendan Williams who sits back and perhaps waits for the opportunity to pick us off

"If you look at what we have done in the pre season and what we've done in the first game, we would be a bit silly to go away from our philosophy of playing a more expansive game.

"Our aim is to look to spread the ball and hopefully provide some attractive rugby for our supporters to enjoy."

Meanwhile, Treviso head coach Franco Smith has made a few changes for their visit to the Cardiff City Stadium this weekend.

The South African coach wants to gain the teams' first away win against Cardiff since December 2007, which would also be their first in the RaboDirect PRO12.

After losing at home against Connacht, some well-known names are named in Benetton Treviso's starting XV - especially in the backs. Augusto Allori, Michele Rizzo and Franco Sbaraglini start in the front-row, as well as Antonio Pavanello and Valerio Bernaḅ playing again as locks.

There is one change the back-row, with Benjamin Vermaak replacing Marco Filippucci, which will add a new dimension to the Treviso line-out.

Simon Picone returns at scrum-half, together with Kristopher Burton at fly-half. Willem De Waal, the man who scored all Benetton Treviso's points last Saturday, is starting from the bench.

Ludovico Nitoglia is playing at full-back and is joined in the back three by Benjamin De Jager and Brendan Williams who are playing as wingers. Luca Morisi is confirmed at centre alongside with Ezio Galon. New signing Tommaso Iannone is also starting from the bench.

Form: The Blues won both previous encounters with Benetton Treviso. Whilst Treviso have lost on both previous visits to the City of Cardiff: 16-23 to Cardiff RFC at the Arms Park in December 1999 and 9-20 to the Blues at Cardiff City Stadium in April. Cardiff Blues top the RaboDirect PRO12 table courtesy of their bonus point victory in Edinburgh last Friday. The Blues have not won their opening two games of a season since 2007/08. The Welshmen have won all nine previous matches they have played against Italian opposition in all competitions. Benetton Treviso pushed Connacht all the way on Saturday and became the only side in round one to record a losing bonus point in their 9-11 defeat to the Irishmen. Treviso are still looking for that elusive first victory outside of Italy since December 2007.

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Andries Pertorius, 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Maama Molitika, 5 Deiniol Jones, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 T Rhys Thomas (capt), 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Ryan Harford, 19 Paul Tito, 20 Xavier Rush, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Richard Mustoe.

Treviso: 15 Ludovico Nitoglia, 14 Benjamin De Jager, 13 Ezio Galon, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Simon Picone, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Benjamin Vermaak, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Valerio Bernaḅ, 4 Antonio Pavanello (capt), 3 Augusto Allori, 2 Franco Sbaraglini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Diego Vidal, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Gonzalo Padṛ, 20 Marco Filippucci, 21 Willem De Waal, 22 Alberto Chillon, 23 Tommaso Iannone.

Date: Sunday, September 11
Kick-off: 15:45 BST (14:45 GMT)
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium

  • Treviso Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , December 6
Benetton Treviso vs Northampton13:00
Saturday , December 13
Northampton vs Benetton Treviso15:15
Saturday , January 17
Racing Metro 92 vs Benetton TrevisoTBC
Saturday , January 24
Benetton Treviso vs OspreysTBC
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Friday , December 19
Edinburgh vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Saturday , December 27
Zebre vs Benetton Treviso16:00
Saturday , January 3
Benetton Treviso vs ZebreTBC
Saturday , January 10
Benetton Treviso vs UlsterTBC
Wednesday, January 14
Ulster vs Benetton TrevisoTBC
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
  • Treviso Results
Recent Results
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Friday , October 31
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton Treviso
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton Treviso
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 10
Benetton Treviso 6 - 9 Connacht
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso 23 - 40 Glasgow
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Table
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
1Racing Metro Paris28