Bortolami: “My new Treviso, energetic and competitive everywhere”

On the eve of the debut in the United Rugby Championship against the South African Stormers (2 pm, live on Canale 20), the new Benetton manager speaks: “If we take advantage of the opportunities, the semifinals are reachable. I want a physical, aggressive team. Marin? Ahead of Garbisi a year ago “

Simone Battaggia


It is a circle that closes and “a marathon that begins”. Marco Bortolami, former second line, Italian captain at 21, a career as an international leader – Narbonne, Gloucester, finally Zebre -, will experience his “first” as Benetton coach, against the South African Stormers in the first round of United Rugby Championship (2pm, live on Channel 20). The anticipation is great, a bit for the triumph of June in the Rainbow Cup; partly because Benetton has never had such a large and quality squad; partly because in five years in the green-and-white staff the Paduan has shown that he has good ideas and material for a much greater responsibility than that of the touch-ups. “I’m calm – he attacks -, there will be some emotion but nothing more”.

What are your goals?

“Always be competitive, take advantage of the opportunities. If we can, we will have a great season. And yes, we could be worth the semifinal”.

You played with Sale and Edinburgh. What indications?

“Sale measured our physicality and stressed that on high balls and in the coverage of the enlarged triangle we have to grow. With Edinburgh certain aspects have improved, but in front of a team that moves the ball off some gears are not well oiled. In both the games started well, a sign that the team is in good health, but then the kicks against, the smudges arrived. We are looking for a balance between enthusiasm to do and the need not to expose ourselves. “

What will your Treviso be like?

“Physics. We have reached an unprecedented level, because the priority will be to win the physical fight. On the other hand I want to see an energetic team, an attack system closer to the advantage line. The team is assimilating it, it will take a few weeks. because he is okay, but already in the first half of the test with Edinburgh we saw some interesting things “.

Andrea Masi is the new trocar coach with responsibility for attacking. What is it bringing you?

“We play closer to the line of advantage, with two or three options on the two defense channels. We want to ask our opponents the most thumping questions, look for the weak shoulders of the tacklers. The proximity of the ball in the attacking game to the line of attack. however, defense is a global trend “.

And Paul Gustard for defense?

“In addition to the mentality, he brings his defensive philosophy, aggression, the desire to take away time and space from the attack. Here too we are in a transition phase. If you are not well aligned you risk exposing yourself, the two friendlies showed us what to focus on. “

You lost Hayward, behind was your metronome.

“Jayden breathed rugby, it was difficult to find so much competence. Now we have three complementary extremes: Padovani is tidy and has a foot, Coetzee is solid and physical, Smith can resemble ‘Dingo’ Williams in his ability to exploit opportunities”.

The team had been thought about Paolo Garbisi opening, now in Montpellier. Difficult to remedy?

“I am surprised by Leonardo Marin. He is 19 years old, his growth path is not complete but he is on the field well, he communicates, he is professional. He will have a good impact on our season. Last year Garbisi was less advanced in this period. . Marin, Caputo and Albornoz are complementary “.

Another theme, that of the scrum half. Duvenage is more than just a captain. Isn’t there a risk that when the team is not there, it is without references?

“Braley and Petrozzi have given their best version this preseason. There is the basis for them to show something different than last year. They know that in 2020-21 they could have shown more, but we have noticed a reversal trendy and we can’t wait to give them an opportunity. And then there is Alessandro Garbisi, who is one of our players who could also be deployed by Migliano. We will give him an opportunity soon, he has the numbers to emerge. “

The right pylons are perhaps even more valuable. Marco Riccioni left for the Saracens. How will you replace it?

“We are working on Alongi and Nemer, they have the potential to become firm points. Chaparro then brings experience and will be useful, even if for now he plays on the left. Pasquali also brings his contribution, he is among the most experienced front lines. Even without Riccioni we are making the path that we would have done anyway. Even on the front lines the players need time to adapt to what the opponents try to do to put you in difficulty. However the Stormers are ready. Now it is a matter of finding, along the season , the right combinations to keep the same level between the first and second half “.

You have more than 50 players. How do you manage a squad like this?

“It will still happen to have small numbers. Better to have problems of abundance”.

“Tosti. In the 30-meter attack they impose physicality on the phases; from behind they counterattack. Among the four South Africans they are the club with the most complete game, but they have moments of inconsistency to explore”.

Special physical problems?

“We are missing a ball-carrier. Steyn and Halafihi are out, Negri has taken a blow he must stay out for another two weeks. It will still be a great opportunity for Favretto.”

Treviso training: Coetzee; Tavuyara, Zanon, Riera, Ioane; Bathrobe, Duvenage; Favretto, Lamaro, Zuliani; Wegner, N. Cannone; Pasquali, Lucchesi, Chaparro. Available: Nicotera, Zani, Nemer, Ruzza, L. Cannone, Braley, Marin, Menoncello.

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Bortolami: “My new Treviso, energetic and competitive everywhere”

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