Planet Rugby

Preview: Scarlets v Treviso

02nd May 2013 12:42

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Sampson Lee Scarlets HEC 2012

Samson Lee: At three for Scarlets

The Scarlets will look to secure their spot in the semi-finals when they host Treviso at Parc y Scarlets on Friday.

The Welsh region have named an unchanged line-up to the team that beat Cardiff Blues last weekend with tighthead prop Samson Lee back in his starting spot after having to be withdrawn at the last minute through illness last time out.

With the impressive impact the bench had in the Cardiff Blues game, Simon Easterby has brought back all 23 players who took the Scarlets to victory at home against the Blues.

Scarlets forwards coach Danny Wilson said the Scarlets may be favourites but will take nothing for granted with Treviso who tripped the West Wales team up in the reverse of this fixture earlier this season.

"We have to be aware of what their threats are with their driving line-outs and driving scrum," he explained.

"A lot of their game comes off their set piece play. We'll have to combat that hard as well as the fact they have some dangerous runners so there's plenty to threaten across the park. We just have to be tactically astute in this game.

"I've been pleased with the steel our forwards pack has shown in recent games and we really had an edge in the scrum against the Blues - we're going to need to deliver that and more on Friday night to get where we need to be.

"There is plenty in this game for all our players, there will be a lot of emotion, ambition and expectation flying around so a highly charged game for everyone involved.

"But there's no danger of us losing our focus. The players benefited from a light week coming out of the Blues game with a break from matches last weekend and that allowed some recovery of battered and bruised bodies after the Welsh derby and to get our minds fit and fresh for this fixture.

"That's meant we've been able to hit training well this week - there's huge desire and ambition in this team to see all the hard work put in all season long really pay off, and importantly to reward our loyal supporters with a play-off place in the league.

"The focus is that we're in control of our destiny and it will be a mark of the professionals we have in our side, their experience and commitment to their team that any emotion will be channelled into delivering the best performance we can on the field.

"This is effectively a Scarlets quarter-final and as players and coaches we're looking forward to another night of vocal support from our home crowd. It was great for the Blues and lifted the players and if we can do that again one last time at home, it's set to be a very memorable night for everyone at Parc y Scarlets on Friday night."

Meanwhile, Treviso lock Antonio Pavanello returns to the starting XV to captain the side. He is back as a first-choice player, together with Giovanni Maistri and Bees Roux in the front-row and Manoa Vosawai in the back row.

The half-backs will be Edoardo Gori and Kris Burton, who will be playing at his last match for Treviso.

Doppies La Grange and Michele Capagnaro are confirmed as centres while Ludovico Nitoglia, Christian Loamanu and Brendan Williams will make up the back three.

Form: Scarlets' require two match points to secure fourth place and a trip to the number one seeds in the play-offs. Scarlets only defeat in their last nine matches in all competitions was to Leinster at the RDS on February 23. The Welshmen have won their last six encounters at Parc y Scarlets since Clermont Auvergne were successful there in the European Cup in January. Treviso have lost just one of their last six PRO12 contests: 3-28 to Ospreys in Swansea on April 13. The Italians have a won four, lost three record against the Welsh regions in the PRO12 this season, with all seven games being won by the home side on the day. They are attempting to achieve only a second season's double over a Welsh opponent emulating their success home and away over the Dragons last year.

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (capt), 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Synman, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Jacobie Adriannse, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Sione Timani, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Gareth Maule.

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Christian Loamanu, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Doppies La Grange, 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Kristopher Burton, 9 Edoardo Gori,8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Manoa Vosawai, 5 Antonio Pavanello (c), 4 Francesco Minto, 3 Bees Roux, 2 Giovanni Maistri, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 19 Valerio Bernaḅ, 20 Simone Favaro, 21 Fabio Semenzato, 22 James Ambrosini, 23 Luca Morisi.

Date: Friday, May 3
Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Neil Hennessy, Tim Hayes (both WRU)
TMO: Huw Lewis (WRU)

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