Italy: 0
Serbia: 0

    Mascherone (16), Cecchetto (45)
    Lazar Micic (10,48), Vuk Knezevic (33), Luka Karadzic (40), Vuk Tanojevic 56), Miodrag Tomic (58)

    Colucci 1/2
    Uros Radulovic (1/6)

Match report


The first clash between the under-18 national teams of Italy and Serbia, which took place at the Stadio Augusteo in Este, finished with a 26-10 to the more experienced and well drilled visitors. The match began as a good tussle between the two teams, with the Serbs opening the scoring through a strong run by hooker Lazar Micic in the 10th minute. Italy equalized, but before half time Serbia scored again to make it 10-4 at the interval.

The Serbs quickly scored again through centre Luka Karadzic, making the score 14-6. With 10 minutes of the second half gone, Italy second row Cecchetto brought his team back to 14-10. With a close finish looking likely, Italy Under-18 showed its inexperience and ill-discipline, conceding three penalties in five minutes. Serbia took advantage of the enormous physical work done by the Italians in defence, and scored again with Micic on 48 minutes. The Young Azzurri tried to react, but they faced a solid defence and the game finished with two other Serbian tries.

At the end of the match the Italian technical staff were satisfied with the effort, but pin-pointed the lack of discipline that hamstrung their recovery. Tiziano Franchini, Italy Under-18 coach, said: "If the boys had not granted possession of the ball to the opponents for almost five minutes to start the second half, they would have had more energy to face the final part of the game, although I am very satisfied with the performance of the boys, and I congratulate the Serbian team for the excellent opportunity granted to us with this game. Our boys need to play, to improve and gain experience."

Bellassi, Cacciatore, Murphy, Cattaneo, Masperone, Scandurra, Colucci, Farinazzo, Via, D’Ercole, Cecchetto, Groppelli, Greco; A disposizione: Ristallo, Scorzelli, Moraschi, Businaro, Brugin, Miatton, Gennaro

Andrej Mora, Miodrag Tomic, Nikola Djuric, Luka Karadzic, Milos Djordjevic, Mladen Randjic, Slavko Markovic, Sergej Devetak, Lazar Micic, Uros Radulovic, Igor Jovicic, Milan Cobanovic, Milos Kostadinovic, Vuk Stanojevic, Vladimir Dimitrijevic, Vuk Knezevic, Veselin Caricic