Perpignan eye Treviso revenge
January 14, 2011
Perpignan's Nicolas Laharrague was in good form with the boot in the last round against Leicester © Getty Images
Perpignan will look to exact revenge for an embarrassing euro defeat when they tackle Benetton Treviso on Saturday. At the same time, the French giants can take a big step towards this season's Heineken Cup quarter-finals with a victory.
The Catalans, who are currently third in the ultra-competitive Pool 5 behind rivals Scarlets and Leicester, suffered a shock 9-8 defeat on their last visit to the Stadio Comunale di Monigo and will want to erase that memory with a win that would propel them back into the mix for a last eight place.
Perpignan claimed a 35-14 bonus-point victory over Treviso in the reverse fixture earlier this season and will be favourites for another five-point haul against win-less Italians after picking up a victory and draw in their last two euro games against Leicester.
The Italians pushed Leicester to the brink but eventually slipped to defeat in their opener and have failed to stop the rot in their three other tournament outings. But they come into this game on the back of a strong run in the Magners League which included two victories over compatriots Aironi. Perpignan boast a record of won one, drawn one and lost one in their latest domestic clashes - the most recent of which was a 12-12 draw with Montpellier.
Treviso - Player to Watch: Blindside Marco Filippucci was among the tries against the Scarlets in the last round and will no doubt be hungry for more.
Treviso - Team News: Treviso ring the changes following their latest Magners League defeat to Ulster, with Brendan Williams at fullback and Benjamin de Jager and Ludovico Nitoglia named on the wings. Willem de Waal fills the fly-half berth alongside scrum-half Tobias Botes. Filippucci packs down in the back-row with Paul Derbyshire and Benjamin Vermaak, while Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, Pedro Di Santo Leonardo and Leonardo Ghiraldini form the front-row.
Perpignan - Player to Watch: Fullback Jerome Porical has notched two tries in this season's competition and his ability to add to that tally will be crucial for the bonus point-chasing Catalans.
Perpignan - Team News: Marius Tincu hooker is back at hooker while Olivier Olibeau is named at lock. Gregory le Corvec switches to blindside with Jean-Pierre Perez coming in at openside. Damien Chouly is named amongst the replacements having recovered from a hamstring strain.
Key Battle: The Perpignan front row trio of Perry Freshwater, Tincu and captain Nicolas Mas pose a formidable threat and should they get they dominate Treviso counterparts Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, Leonardo Ghiraldini and Pedro di Santo it could get messy for the hosts.
Trivia: Scrum-half Marius Goosen kicked Treviso to a famous 9-8 victory at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo in 2009.
Stats: Jerome Porical, Gavin Hume, Gerrie Britz and Damien Chouly all crossed for tries in Perpignan's 35-14 victory over Treviso earlier this season.
"We know that we have our destiny in our hands." - Perpignan's Damien Chouly lays down the gauntlet to his side.
Prediction: Perpignan will erase the memory of their last visit to Treviso with a powerful display that will keep their euro hopes very much alive.
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