Press Pass: Ready for Benetton

Press Pass: Ready for Benetton

Get then latest from Head Coach Sean Everitt ahead of Saturday’s crucial BKT United Rugby Championship clash against Benetton at Stadio Monigo.

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On back-three injuries 

“Wes has got a foot fracture – its one of the small bones in his foot – so unfortunately he’s not available this week, and not available next week either. We’ll see how that heals.

“So, once again, in the back-three we are a bit short, but we have boys who can come in to play there.

“Harry Paterson is not available this weekend. He’s not made a full recovery yet, but we are hoping that he’ll be available for the Quarter-Finals if we make it. Jake Henry has returned to training, and he could play this weekend.”


On full-back and back-three bad luck

“We’ve got options at full-back. Mark Bennett has played there before, Cammy Scott as well, and James Lang – so we’ll see how they all go in training this week and make a late call on Thursday.

“The guys missing are important players for us. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the game, and injuries do occur.

“You don’t want the injuries all in the same position but that’s what we’ve been dealt with.

“As I’ve said before, we are fortunate to have guys who can step into those positions, but there is no doubt that losing worlds class players of the calibre of Darcy Graham and Emiliano Boffelli, and one of our nominees for Player of the Season in Wes Goosen, is tough for us.

“We’ll make a plan. We’re not looking excuses. We’ve got members of the squad who can fill those positions so we are not panicking.”


On missing x-factor players

“Yes, obviously the x-factor that those good players bring does create opportunities in attack.

“I wouldn’t say that is the sole reason for the lack of bonus points, but it does play a part. Darcy played 10 games last year and scored 12 tries. We’ve also lost a guy like Blair Kinghorn. But we’ve created enough opportunities to get more bonus points so that is not an excuse.”


On Benetton being a ‘Cup Final’

“Yes, it is. But it has been like that for the last several week. No one could afford to drop games and that was why the game against Munster at home was so important for us.

“Maybe an extra point out of that game would have made things a little easier going into this last round but it wouldn’t have taken away the need to win.

“I think the guys are thriving on it and I think it brings out the best in us when you look at the performance in the EPCR when we had to go too Scarlets and win there, and we performed really well.

“Similarly, post-EPCR we had to perform really well to win those games at home in the URC to keep ourselves in the hunt and we were able to do that.

“So, this team can thrive under pressure. Fortunately we can draw on the experience of international rugby players who are able to do that, having been involved in World Cups and the Six Nations. It is all about the performance on the day.”


On maintaining the intensity from Munster

“Yes, the intensity was great. I suppose the team have been showing glimpses of it but we’ve spoken about the 80 minutes and that is something we did well against Munster.

“I suppose it is the nature of the beast that when you know who you are playing against and it is better opposition you tend to perform better, but for me it has been coming slowly over a number of weeks, we’ve been getting better and better, we’ve had to find a way to win at times, and unfortunately against Munster it didn’t happen because we conceded two soft tries which is probably the reason why we weren’t on the positive side of the scoreboard.

“But, yes, this team is certainly growing with confidence, and after that narrow defeat they will take a lot of belief into this game against Benetton who we haven’t beaten for a few years now away from home.”


On Treviso being a tough place to get a result

“Difficult place to go and play rugby, passionate supporters and a team who bring a lot of passion and emotion on the day, so we have to overcome that. It would be great for us to get a win there from a psychological point of view as well having not won there since 2017.

“It will be a great accolade for the team and a lot of belief that they can take from winning away from home, just like it was when we lost to Benetton here at home and had to beat Ulster away, and there was a lot of emotion within our group after that game because they gained a lot off belief from winning away from home.

“But if we perform well as a group and play as well as we did against Munster then we should be in with a shot on Saturday.”

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