Italy’s women recorded an impressive win over Serbia women, 34-14, in the heat of Pasian Di Prato, just outside of Udine, their wingers doing most of the damage as half backs Cecilia Piva and Valentina Virgili looked to constantly spread the ball wide.
Azzurri head coach, Alberto Suin, said: “It was a very intense match which we enjoyed. Serbia have improved a lot since we last met them in 2019. Defensively we are very happy and we can improve our attack, but I am very proud of the performance, it was a team effort. We had a big focus on ensuring we completed our sets and kept Serbia under pressure, that has worked and helped us to get the result.”
The hosts opened the scoring when centre Camilla Matilde Giacomazzo went over out wide on the left, Serbia levelling when opposing centre Anastasija Karanovic did likewise. The right side also proved productive for the Italians, winger Rwan Hassnien scorching over twice in seven minutes and replacement flyer Aleta Forto doing likewise with a quickfire brace to make it 20-4 at the break, Rebecca Liliana Pantaleoni unsuccessful with all five conversion attempts.
Pantaleoni finally got on the score board with a try, this time Martina Dall‘Antonia successfully adding the extras. Serbia replied in kind when winger Katarina Veljanovski finished a flowing move in the corner but that looked like consolation as Pantaleoni added a further try out wide after good work by in the middle by Enrica Pandolfo.
Ottavia Piovano posted the hosts eighth touchdown but, to their credit, Serbia finished strongly when prop Natalija Simic crashed over to crown a hardworking display, Tamara Bosnjak converting to add some further respectability to the scoreline for the visitors.
Serbia assistant coach, Slobodan Manak, noted: “Both teams played well, I was very impressed by the Italians. We took a bit of time to get into the game, but we showed improvement from our matches last year, especially in the second half when we really worked hard on our defensive system. Jelena Stojiljkovic showed her leadership and Teodora Marin played the full 80 minutes in the heat which is impressive for a forward.”
Alessandra Monotti, Rebecca Liliana Pantaleoni, Loide Agosta, Camilla Matilde Giacomazzo, Rwan Hassnien, Cecilia Piva, Valentina Virgili, Giulia Carniato, Martina Dall‘Antonia, Marika Ascione, Silvia Gai, Marvin Severgnini, Virginia Pinarello
Subs (all used): Enrica Pandolfo, Vanessa Ruggeri, Altea Forto, Ottavia Piovano
Tries: Camilla Matilde Giacomazzo (6), Rwan Hassnien (14, 21), Altea Forto (24, 34), Liliana Pantaleoni (51, 69), Ottavia Piovano (76)
Goals: Liliana Pantaleoni 0/5, Martina Dall‘Antonia 1/3
Tamara Bosnjak, Katarina Veljanovski, Anastasija Karanovic, Nika Bajic, Teodora Micic, Karolina Blizana, Jelena Stojiljkovic, Teodora Marin, Nataša Kovaceviv, Natalija Simic, Sanja Starcevic, Jovana Fridl, Marija Maslakovic
Subs (all used): Marija Simovic, Natalija Pavlovic, Uma Cengaj, Ljiljana Baji
Tries: Anastasija Karanovic (10), Katarina Veljanovski (61), Natalija Simic (79)
Goals: Tamara Bosnjak 1/3
Referee: Ciprian Gajulete (Italy)
Half Time: 20-4