Benetton Treviso have enjoyed plenty of success in their debut season but team manager Marius Goosen says the big prize remains an elusive away victory.
After notable home triumphs over sides such as the Scarlets, Leinster and Munster, this weekend’s clash with Connacht in Galway will give them the chance not only to reach that goal, but also to notch their first Magners League ‘double’ having beaten the Irish outfit in Treviso 24-17 in October.
“Winning away is one of our major goals this season and we’ve got plenty of chances coming up with four successive away trips,” said Goosen, now in his ninth season at the club as player and manager.
“We are always highly competitive at home, but the next step mentally as much as anything else for the team is to win away. We are still waiting for that first away triumph in the Magners League, but once we get it the second one should be easier to come by.
“We will have a couple of our Italian squad members back this weekend, but we know it is going to be a very hard game in Connacht. These are difficult times for us with 13 players away on international duty and another five or six with the Italy Under 20 team.
“But the good thing is that it gives other squad members the chance to play at this level. The players are improving all the time and you can see that from the performances of the National side in the RBS 6 Nations.
“It was great seeing Fabio Semenzato being given the Man of the Match award against Wales. He has figured a lot for us this season and is a typically gritty, competitive Italian scrum-half.”
Treviso have had plenty to celebrate this season
Goosen claims the pressures and expectations on Italy’s most successful club have changed since they entered the Magners League and he is loving the extra intensity that the new challenge has brought to both players and management.
“It used to be that we were expected to win every Italian league fixture in some style, but our fans are more realistic now. They have been magnificent once again this season and have played a big role in our home successes,” added Goosen.
“We have enjoyed some good wins at home and we have been highly competitive in all our matches. It has been a tough first season, but we are improving and heading in the right direction.
“Being a part of the Magners League is helping the club to develop both on and off the field and that can only be good for the players, fans and Italian rugby as a whole.”