By Joel Morgan, Date: 19/7/13
The capital franchise has won their fourth consecutive Championship organized by the Federazione Italiana Rugby Football League at the end of the Final Four that were played on the weekend in Rome in the Coni dellâ€™Acqua Acetosa facility. After conquering Magnifici Firenze clearly in the semi final with a score of 64-0, the Gladiators faced the biggest surprise packet in the Grand Final of the IV r-Evolution League, the Falchi of Pian Del Bruscolo (Pesaro/Misano), only rookies in Rugby League 13 this season but already highly competitive and capable of beating the Rectores Catania 48-26 in the previous day.
It was a thrilling final, played in front of a beautiful setting, with the new Italian team forcefully taking on a 18-6 lead before the more experienced Gladiators made their comeback striking the Falchi defense continually in one second half period who than made the decisive try through Simone Martellucci with 4 minutes to go. The result was 42-36 in the end for the reigning champions but a large applause for the defeated in the usual hallway corridor that accompanied the team, before a presentation for both sides and a “terzo tempo”.
In a great few days boosting the awareness of Rugby League, the FIRFL had a small brief and poster in the Friday edition of the Roma edition of Gazzetta dello Sport (#1 sports newspaper in Italy) before the finals and a small brief on Grand Final day of the national edition of Gazzetta dello Sport. Whilst aside from the normal online coverage pre and post finals, a match report in the major Italian newspaper on Monday July 15 in the Roma edition of Corriere dello Sport. The Semi Finals and Grand Final were filmed by Sport Italia tv for their news program (a major FTA sports channel).
In the third and fourth place match in hot conditions Magnifici Firenze imposed on Rectores Catania to record a score of 32-26.
See https://www.facebook.com/ItaliaRugbyFootballLeague for all video and photographic content from the Finals