Cardiff Rugby director of rugby Dai Young says Benetton Rugby “will cause lots of problems for many sides” after they became the first Italian team to reach an EPCR semi-final.
The Treviso-based side triumphed 27-23 over Cardiff in the EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-finals at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo last Saturday and will now travel to TOP 14 giants RC Toulon in the last four on April 30.
Young admitted that Cardiff failed to replicate their Round of 16 performance against Sale Sharks but praised his side’s commitment against “a very good team” in Benetton.
“They’ve enjoyed some fantastic wins over top teams out here,” he noted. “We were in that game right until the last minute. I’m proud of the players and we definitely have a lot of build on.
“We’re all disappointed with the loss, but I’m not disappointed with the effort. We were under lots of pressure for the first 20 minutes and found a way to stay in the game.
“We scrambled very well and got ourselves right back in it with a couple of scores. We got our noses in front, but it was always going to be a tough ask.
“We knew this was going to be a tough place to come and that we’d have to be right on the money for 80 minutes. We weren’t quite as good as last week, but we weren’t too far away.”
Meanwhile, Benetton prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro believes his team can still refine certain aspects of their game but applauded the way they coped with Cardiff’s forwards.
“First of all, I can say that it’s always nice to win,” the Argentina international told Benetton’s website. “However, there are many things to improve.
“The most important thing is that we won, against a very tough team like Cardiff. It was a very positive performance for us.”
“We had ups and downs throughout the game, but we managed to come out of every difficult moment well. I think this aspect made us realise that in the end we could win.
“Sure, we knew that Cardiff had a very strong scrum and they relied heavily on it, and then played wide. We resisted at every juncture.
“We studied the Cardiff scrum well. It was a key focus for us in this match. We worked a lot, each of us brought a brick to counter the Welsh pack. I also think we were very disciplined and that made the difference.”
Former Dragons RFC and Bristol Bears man Tetaz Chaparro added that he was pleased to play the full 80 minutes against Cardiff before he called on his team to push on for the remainder of the campaign.
“I feel good, it’s always nice to play,” the 33-year-old said. “It means that I can still give something to the team and to society.
“I’m happy, now I have to pay so much attention to recovery, because I’m no longer a young man. I’m happy, the season is not over, and we still have important goals ahead of us.”