Two games in one the other night in Monigo: against the Sharks, Benetton in the two halves of 50 minutes, as promised, rotated all the players available at the moment, about forty. It was the first test (the second Saturday in Edinburgh) of the preseason and Marco Bortolami wanted to get an idea, perhaps still provisional, of the results of the work done in these first three weeks.
Bortolami, especially the first half with the English put in serious difficulty, in the second half (totally changed team) the level is a bit ‘waned.
«It was a very physical match, as we expected – explains the Lions coach – and I think the team responded well from this point of view. We stood up to Sale, which is one of the best teams in Europe in this aspect. The meeting points went very well, especially the defensive ones. Some things need to be improved, the discipline has put us under a bit of pressure; all things that we can control, we can work to improve these aspects ».
So many positive aspects.
«I am very satisfied with the performance of the boys, the commitment, the desire and above all the heart that they put into the field because they never gave up until the end. In my opinion, by fixing some things, we can play evenly with these teams that aim to win their championship and the European cups. So the first test is extremely positive, it is only a small step in our adventure. Next week I expect that we will improve in the organizational aspects in which we have lacked with Sale ».
Let’s go into details: where do we need to make more progress?
«Certainly the exits from our field, we play too many phases and in some moments, especially on the turnovers, we are a bit too frenetic so we have to protect ourselves a little more. Having said that, the maul worked both in attack and in defense, we knew it was Sale’s strong point for which we were ready. It is one of the most positive aspects and I believe it can be a good platform to build our entire attack system ».
Rather packed stadium.
«It was very nice to come back to Monigo with the fans. There was a good number of spectators, they supported us and I think they enjoyed themselves, but above all they appreciated the passion with which the team took to the field. We want to convey emotions to our fans and I think that with Sale, despite the result we don’t like it because it is a game that left us a bit of a bitter taste. But I think we have conveyed a lot of good feelings ». –