Smith looking for response against Ospreys

Guinness PRO12 Editor

16 Nov 2011


Benetton Treviso may not have started their Heineken Cup campaign in the style they would have liked but head coach Franco Smith is confident that his side will bounce back this weekend against the Ospreys.

The Italian side travelled to Vicarage Road last weekend for their opening European encounter against Premiership champions Saracens but found themselves on the receiving end of a 42-17 defeat.

And their task doesn’t get much easier when the RaboDirect PRO12 leaders Ospreys come to town on Saturday for their second Pool 5 clash.

But Smith is expecting a much tighter affair despite the Ospreys welcoming back their World Cup stars to a squad that beat them 32-27 in the RaboDirect PRO12 Italy back in September.

“There have been several changes for the Ospreys since they played here last,” said Smith.

“They have got some of their World Cup players back but their style of play won’t change much, they are very precise in what they do but we know them well, much better than we know Saracens. So in that sense it will be a more even game.

“There are different challenges within every game and the key for us has to be to become more consistent in our defence. But we really want to hold on to the ball a bit more.

“I don’t think we need to change a lot. We want some continuity in our structure and our game. There was the right spirit there, so for that reason we probably won’t make too many changes.”

And Smith is adamant that the result against Saracens that saw them ship five tries was an aberration that they will look to put right sooner rather than later.

“The final score was a lot heavier than it should have been against Sarries,” he added.

“It wasn’t a fair reflection of the game. We made mistakes and they turned that into points. That was the big difference. With ball in hand we didn’t manage go through the phases and that is something we will have to improve this week.”