“The team had 2 flights. One that flew from JFK and got in at around lunch time. The group from Denver had a stop in Minneapolis and Paris before arriving at the hotel at 6pm – about an hour later than planned. Considering the team’s practice was supposed to start at 6 it required a quick turn-around before heading to the CPO Acqua Acetosa for practice. The bus got stuck in traffic and it took almost an hour to go the last 20 minutes of the journey. Every direction in Rome includes the line “depending on traffic.”
The weather was also a factor for Team USA. Despite clears skies and 65 degree weather, rain had hit Rome hard with heavy rain and the Tiber River had flooded the scheduled practice pitch. That aside, the team did get to sample just one of Italy’s perks. Here’s Coach Steinberg:
“The Villa Maria Regina Hotel, where the team is staying, is wonderful and the food has been amazing. The early arrivals got their first taste of Roma food for lunch when they were brought the traditional 4 courses. The players will not lose weight on this leg of the trip.”
And our analysis:
ITALY: Though Rugby in Italy is growing fast, the Italian women still have a learning curve to overcome – much like their male counterparts. Team USA should be able to go out wide and use their skill to earn the victory.
FRANCE : On short rest, it will be tough for the Women’s Eagles to get up for this one against France. The French have been able to build depth and play more games as a unit. They may not be to the level of England yet, but they will have the measure of the USA in this match-up. We hope we’re wrong but we think the USA’s best chance to beat France Feminines will be in the rematch.
The team is still looking for support to cover the cost of the current tour. If you have not donated, please consider doing so at http://usawomensrugby.org/support-usa/donate/.
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