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Treviso on the up – Smith

Guinness PRO12 Editor

23 Nov 2011

Franco Smith insists Benetton Treviso are slowly improving despite a heartbreaking last-gasp draw against the Ospreys in the Heineken Cup last Saturday.

The Italian side dominated large parts of their encounter with the Ospreys only for Dan Biggar’s late penalty to deny them a deserved win.

But with reigning European champions Leinster next up for Treviso in the RaboDirect PRO12, Smith feels his side are on the way up.

“I’m delighted that we were disappointed with the Ospreys result,” said Smith, whose side caused the shock of the season last term when they beat Leinster 29-13 at the Stadio Monigo.

“Twice they kicked the ball out at the end of the half which showed the respect they had for what we had done.

“We need to keep believing and keep working hard.

“Next up we’ve got Leinster who are the European champions and finalists last year as well.

“We beat them last year but we will have to be at our best to be competitive.

“We want to get stronger every game, that is our ambition.

“After the Ospreys game it’s important than we learn the lessons. It’s not just about what we do, it’s about reacting to what has happened."

And ahead of the clash against Leinster, who currently lie second in the RaboDirect PRO12, Smith looks set to make a few changes to his squad.

But having had to cope without his World Cup stars for the first six weeks of the season, Smith is confident in the strength in depth of his squad.

“Leinster will be a well-prepared squad and we will make some changes because we have a few guys who haven’t really had a rest since the World Cup," he added.

“But I also want to keep some continuity in the side and as they don’t have too many weaknesses we will concentrate on our strengths and try to pressure them that way.”