Connacht face stiff test on unhappy hunting ground

Connacht’s seasonal ambitions could well come down to games such as this evening’s in Italy at Stadio Monigo (7pm, Irish time).

Connacht face stiff test on unhappy hunting ground

Treviso have yet to pick up a point, but that in no way guarantees a win for the Irish side, currently sitting in fifth spot in the Guinness Pro12.

Connacht have only beaten Treviso once in the last four visits to Stadio Monigo, although they also drew two seasons ago, but last year Pat Lam’s side recorded their worst result against the Veneto side — a result the Connacht coach wants to avenge, particularly on the back of a disappointing draw with Cardiff.

“When you are in a competition, you know you have to get everything you can, and we let two go last weekend. Now we face Treviso where we lost badly last year, so we need to get our standards back and get the right result,” says Lam.

“Treviso will be looking for their first win of the season and at home in front of their home crowd, but it’s up to us to ensure the focus is on getting our processes right in order to carry on the winning momentum.”

Lam has made five changes from last weekend’s disappointing home draw to Cardiff. Prop Rodney Ah You comes in for the injured Nathan White, and Denis Buckley returns to add experience to the front row where new academy hooker Shane Delahunt makes his first start. Eoin McKeon replaces Willie Faloon, who moves to the bench, and in the only change in the backs, Matt Healy starts for Danie Poolman.

Given Connacht’s form this season, and stung by last weekend’s draw, they should be too strong for the Italians.

BENETTON TREVISO: J Hayward, L Nitoglia, L Morisi, E Bacchin, M Campagnaro, S Christie, E Gori, M Zanusso, D Giazzon, R Harden, M Fuser, C Van Zyl (cpt), S Favaro, A Zanni, M Luamanu.

Replacements: A Kudin, A Anae, R Acosta, A Pavanello, T Vallejos Cinalli, F Minto, S Ragusi, A Lucchese.

CONNACHT: D Leader, N Adeolokun, R Henshaw, C Ronaldson, M Healy, J Carty, K Marmion, D Buckley, S Delahunt, R Ah You, M Kearney, Q Roux, J Muldoon (cpt), E McKeon, G Naoupu.

Replacements: D Heffernan, R Loughney, F Bealham, A Muldowney, W Faloon, I Porter, D McSharry, D Poolman.

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