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Winter Round-up 2022/23

Aggiornamento: 24 feb 2023

It was busy couple of months for the Scambio who played six tournaments in three months between December ‘22 and February ‘23. Here is a reminder of how it went.

3rd December 2022. Christmas Cup, Serenissima, San Giorgio delle Pertiche. After this highs of Elce a week before, this was a sure-fire way of coming back down to earth with a bang in freezing cold weather conditions and a mud-bath for a pitch. The ball was unrecognisable for most of the day, and the tournament was unremarkable save for a final pool match against the remnants of what was once a strong Tiki Castellana side, the only game that resembled a proper Touch Rugby encounter. The enduring memory will be of our team tucked inside the tent between matches, supping on hot tea and trying desperately to stay warm. Danmeng made her debut in Scambio colours and Chiara K wore a rediculous hat. But apart from that, there wasn’t much to write home about.


17th December, Italia Touch Quadrangle, Venezia. Sub-zero temperatures once again, but spirits were high on this occasion as we crossed the floating city on the ferry for a rare visit to Venice, the latest touch rugby outpost to appear on the horizon. Ian Taylor lost his lunch somewhere along the way, while Charlie got soaked by a rogue wave as we rounded the island. But not even that could dampen spirits. The low Venetian sunlight lit up the ancient buildings surrounding a rugby club hidden from the world outside, and despite an experimental line-up, the Scambio performed well enough, beating Mezzi & Mezzi, i Torelli Sudati and hosts Venezia to claim the first ever Venice Cup. Special mention for Margherita making her debut, and for our Norwegian girls playing at link for the first time. Eirin scored a cracking try whilst Anna ended up with a hat-trick.


14th January, Serenissima, Casale Sul Sile. Yet another piercing cold day in the middle of nowhere where we suffered some harsh lessons in defence against all-male teams who enjoyed spreading the ball wide and running x-lines in attack. With our backs to the walls for much of the day, the tournament proved to be an exercise in team-building more than anything else, the fruits of which would be seen further down the line.


21st January, Italia Touch Triangolare, Padova. With the Torelli Sudati and the Mezzi & Mezzi once again providing opposition, this was perhaps a case of familiarity breathing contempt, with the Scambio having something of an off-day. We started reasonably well, but as temperatures turned Baltic, our performance levels also dropped, culminating in a 1-0 final-game loss to Mezzi e Mezzi in what was possibility the worst game of touch ever played. The result stung, as did the manner of defeat. A kick in the proverbial back-side for a team capable of much better.


4th February, Serenissima home leg. One of the most memorable tournaments of the season, not because we hosted it, but because we selected an all-girl team to represent the Scambio against almost exclusively-male opposition. And what an inspiring afternoon it turned out to be as our ladies held their own and rarely took a backwards step over the course of the five games played. Most of the highlights came in the final game against Piazzola, with Ilaria scoring a memorable try on her return from overseas, and young Ariana marking herself out as a star of the future with a commanding display at link. Off the field, our guys were equally impressive as they pitched in and helped out to help the day run smoothly. Seeing their female team-mates cope so admirably without them unquestionably provided some food for thought.


18th February, Bassano, Italia Touch warm-up tournament.

And so to the final event of the Winter block, and with a whiff of spring (and grappa!) in the air, the shackles finally came off for the Scambio as they eased through the gears to produce some of their best rugby of the season.

With memories of the previous month’s 1-0 defeat to the Mezzi and Mezzi still fresh in the collective mindset, a reaction was demanded in the first game against our hosts and the players duly delivered, scoring their first try just 20 seconds in en route to a comprehensive 7-1 thrashing.

That set the tone for further victories against Venezia, Linci and the Barbarians, with Ameen’s dazzling footwork a feature throughout. All the links, in fact, were playing well, with the two Chiaras on the other side both beginning to approach their best form. Anna, meanwhile, scored a contender for try of the tournament against Linci.

And so the scene was set for the final two games against two of the strongest teams in Veneto.

First up, a full-strength Treviso Knights, who were swatted away 6-1 following a superb team performance in which every player led form the front. Our attack was ruthlessly efficient in this game (did somebody steal Rana’s porridge?), but our real strength lay in defence, where we outmanoeuvred the normally deadly Knights attack. Wingers Arianna and Margherita gave a masterclass in wing defence, leading from the outside as all good wingers should.

And if limiting the Knights to just a single score was impressive, even better was to follow against Verona (ranked #2 in Italy), who we managed to keep scoreless for the entirety of the game, winning 4-0 in the end to take first place overall. Again, the links and wings wings were outstanding in what was predominantly a rear-guard operation, though the player-of-the match award (if there was one) could only go to Wilhelm, who exemplified the Scambio’s approach with an unseflsish, work-horse performance.


And so, a satisfactory conclusion to the winter block after some long hard days in the freezing Veneto cold.

When the final whistle sounded against Verona, the coaching staff couldn’t help but think that the foundations for such a powerhouse display were set on the muddy battle fields of Casale, San Giorgio delle Pertiche and Venezia etc.

It’s relatively easy to play touch when the sun is out and the ground is firm. But it’s on the mud plains in winter when you cannot feel your hands that character is formed.

A thank you, therefore, to each and every player that represented the Scambio in this winter block. We are stronger, fitter and more resilient because of your collective efforts.

Now, bring on the spring!

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