A brace of tries from loose forward Erica Neri and ten points via playmaker Rosaluna Gavagna, from a touchdown and three converstions, saw Italy’s women register their first home win, 26-0, against debutants Serbia, at Bella Italia EFA Village, Lignano Sabbiadoro.
“I was very happy with our performance,“ said FIRL vice president, Tiziano Franchini. “In our last training sessions we worked especially on defence and it showed. Overall we saw improvment in the team, the women are getting more experience and are learning fast about the game.“
The Serbian women, with only a couple of months of club competiton under their belts, delighted their head coach, Željko Delić, “I’m extremely proud of the effort and determination shown by the players,“ he said. “We had no pressure of expectation regarding the score and the women really proved their strong character. This was the first-ever full 13-a-side test for them and the only way is up from here. Most of the team are aged 18 or under, so that tells us a lot regarding how much room there is for progress.“
The match was part of a double header with the men’s Balkan Championship, Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade defeating Lignano Sharks 30-22.
ITALY WOMEN 26: Rebecca Pantaleoni, Matilde Gerardo, Rwan Hassein, Giulia Colangeli, Giada Arzenton, Rosaluna Gavagna , Cecilia Piva, Francesca Isaia, Alessandra Menotti, Rosa Bettolatti, Altea Forto, Giulia Stucchi, Erica Neri. Subs: Lisa Sovrano, Siria Raisa, Marika Ascione, Alice Mondino. Tries: Erica Neri (2), Rosaluna Gavagna, Giulia Stucchi and Cecilia Piva. Goals: Rosaluna Gavagna 3/5
SERBIA WOMEN 0: Marija Milosavljević, Marija Bajić, Tamara Bošnjak, Ana Marija Škiljo, Ljiljana Bajić, Isidora Savković, Jelena Stoiljković, Željana Mitrović, Кarolina Blizanac, Marija Maslaković, Nika Bajić, Jovana Fridl, Vanja Pešić. Subs: Sara Trifković, Ivana Artinović, Milica Кrasić, Dragana Žeželj.