DHL Stormers Face A Tough Task In Treviso


The DHL Stormers face a tough task in Treviso when they line up against Benetton at 17:00 (SA Time), one of only three sides who are still unbeaten in the Vodacom URC after three rounds this season.

The Italian club have not been beaten in any competition in Treviso since March, with their victory over the Emirates Lions last weekend halting a seven-game losing run to South African opponents.

To compound matters for the DHL Stormers, who lost Springbok prop Lizo Gqoboka to injury last weekend, their only previous defeat to an Italian opponent was on their last visit to Treviso in their competition opener in September 2021.

There are four changes to the DHL Stormers starting line-up for their Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash with Benetton Treviso on Saturday.

There are two changes in the backline and two in the forward pack for the Round Four encounter, which kicks off at 17h00 SA time on Saturday at Stadio Monigo. The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Courtnall Skosan is on the wing and Ruhan Nel comes in at inside centre for Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, who has been ruled out with a minor ankle injury.

Up front hooker, Scarra Ntubeni and lock Adre Smith also come into the starting team, with Ben-Jason Dixon moving to flank and Evan Roos at No.8.

The replacement bench features new additions in prop Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, flank Nama Xaba and scrumhalf Paul de Wet.

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that his team is looking forward to what will be another big challenge on the road.

“It has been a full week of training here and we want to ensure that translates into our performance on Saturday.

“We understand what we are up against and know that it will take the best of us to get the right result, but also excited to see how the guys coming in add to what we are doing out there,” he said.

Marco Bortolami’s Benetton are still unbeaten, a fact somewhat disguised by them lying down in ninth, a position which reflects both the significance of bonus points and how tight it is in the table.

Italy captain Michele Lamaro comes in to lead the side from the back row, while the club’s strength in depth is indicated by two of the Vodacom URC's form players being kept in reserve on the bench, with lock Eli Snyman having won more lineouts (22) than any other player so far this term and flanker Alessandro Izekor having put in a round best 27 tackles in last week’s victory over the Emirates Lions.

The breakdown is also an area where Benetton have had plenty of joy, with no team having pulled off more turnovers than their tally of 29.


DHL Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Ben Loader, 12 Ruhan Nel, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Neethling Fouche (captain), 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak. Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Gary Porter, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Keke Morabe, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.

Benetton: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Ignacio Mendy, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Paolo Odogwu, 10 Tomas Albornoz, 9 Alessandro Garbisi, 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Giacomo Nicotera, 1 Ivan Nemer. Replacements: 16 Bautista Bernasconi, 17 Mirco Spagnolo, 18 Giosué Zilocchi, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 Alessandro Izekor, 21 Toa Halafihi, 22 Andy Uren, 23 Jacob Umaga.