Planet Rugby

Preview: Zebre v Munster

12th September 2013 12:38

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Donnacha Ryan Munster 2012

Returns: Donnacha Ryan

Zebre head coach Andrea Cavinato has called on his team to be more adventurous in attack against Munster on Friday.

The Italian outfit lost 16-25 to Connacht last weekend, with Cavinato stating that his team were too cautious.

"We were too cautious in attack, giving Connacht too many points without showing the intensity needed to score. For example for their first try we defended well, only to lose our lineout," said Cavinato.

"On the second Irish try we gave them possession and then failed in the first phase, missing tackles when we had enough numbers. The first 20 minutes are positive however.

"Despite conceding a stupid try, we tried to play with diligence and organisation. There are positives from the changes we made to raise our game; there was an improvement from the pre-season games. I'd like to thank the referee for having a great game."

The Zebre pack sees a completely new front row with props Perugini and Redolfini starting along with the young Parmesan Italian international hooker Manici. In the second row Italian international duo Geldenhuys and Bortolami both start. In the back-row Caffini and Bergamasco are out due to injuries, meaning the starting flankers will be Ferrarini and Van Schalkwyk. Fijian number eight Vunisa completes the forwards.

In the backs there's a debut for Sarto and Trevisan who will be part of the back three together with Venditti. Former Waikato Chiefs scrum-half Leonard will partner Orquera, while the centres will start are the same as in Galway last Saturday.

Meanwhile, Andrew Conway will make his first competitive start for Munster this Friday.

Conway, who scored a try in the limited time he played against Gloucester in the pre-season game, makes a return from the dead leg he sustained that day.

Donnacha Ryan will make his first appearance of the season starting next to Ian Nagle in the second row and James Downey who recovered from a quad tear picked up at training is named in the replacements. Damien Varley will captain the squad as he joins Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan in the front row.

The last outing against Zebre saw Munster only narrowly defeat the Italian side 27-25 in Parma and the Italians who suffered a 25-16 defeat to Connacht last weekend will be looking to open their home campaign with a positive start.

"They were pretty robust against Connacht and they'll be heading home with the desire to get their stadium off to a winning start so that brings some hurdles of their own," said head coach Rob Penney.

"Zebre are a physical, challenging side and we found that out last year. They've some good players there and they are not the roll over team that people think they are."

Form: Zebre's barren spell in the RaboDirect PRO12 continued with their 16-25 loss to Connacht in Galway on Saturday. Munster defeated Edinburgh 34-23 in Cork on Saturday running in five tries as they aim to keep up their record of not losing a round 1 or 2 game in the PRO12 since season 2009/10. Munster defeated Zebre 27-25 on their only previous visit to Parma in round 22 last season.

The teams:

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Gonzalo Garcria, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Andries van Schalkwyk, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 George Biagi, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Tommaso Iannone, 23 Dion Berryman.

Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Ivan Dineen, 11 Andrew Conway, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 Paddy Butler, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Ian Nagle, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 John Ryan, 2 Damian Varley (c), 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Niall Ronan, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 James Downey

Date: Friday, September 13
Kick-off: 19:30 local, 18:30 BST
Venue: Stadio XXV Aprile
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)
Assistant referees: Elia Rizzo, Francesco Russo (both FIR)
Television match official: Alan Falzone (FIR)
Citing Commissioner: Roberto Carra (FIR)

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