There is an Isle

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Well Done to Our U14s

The Shannon RFC U14 boys were invited to Turin, Italy to partake in their annual International Rugby festival and after much planning and hard work by the parents and coaches and indeed the players themselves it all came together last weekend. 43 players making up two teams gathered at Supermacs on the Ennis Road at 2:15am Friday morning to begin our adventure. We flew from Dublin to Milan and continued on to Turin in two buses. We spent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning exploring this wonderful city before we got down to business in Cus Torino rugby club with a combined training session with over 80 players from Shannon RFC and Cus Torino RFC. This was an opportunity to make new friends and share ideas and coaching tips among the coaches.  
On Sunday morning – Tournament day, we had an early rise as the first game was scheduled to start at 8:30 am. There were six teams invited to participate in the Rugby festival including the two Shannon teams. The Shannon League team got off to a fantastic start with a hard earned win over hosts Cus Torino followed by an even tougher match against a very fancied Capitolina Rugby club from Rome. Capitolina came into the tournament with a very physical pack and a favorites tag but the Shannon boys stood up to them and came out on top after a very physical encounter. Shannon followed these two games with two more wins to finish top of their group and overall best record in the tournament.
The Shannon Conference team started their day with a very tough encounter with an equally fancied Cus Torino home team. It was an epic encounter and Shannon were just pipped by a last minute try after which the ref called time. Next up was another local Turin team but this one was a try fest with the Shannon boys running in seven trys to nil. This really fired up the boys and they brought their A game in a rematch of their first game of the day against Cus Torino. This time around they came out on top after another epic encounter- there was nothing between these teams and the Shannon boys won by 2 trys to one. They finished off their day with a win against another local team to finish with a record of 3 wins and 1 loss. After some formalities and gift exchanges we finished our tour with a resounding blast of “There is an Isle” which was greatly appreciated by our hosts and we boarded the bus to begin our long journey home!  
Overall, this tour was an overwhelming success both on and off the field and will be remembered by the boys as an experience of a life time. They got to spend three days living with Italian families and soaking up their cultural differences and similarities. They made lots of new friends and became even closer to their team mates than they already were. While we all agree that winning tournaments is important you cannot put a price on the bonds and friendships that were formed this week. Thank you to all the parents, coaches and especially the Italian host families who so willingly opened their doors to our boys and made this trip possible. We hope to see some of our Italian friends again as they plan to visit our shores in 2014.
(Article by and with thanks to Michael McInerney)
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Shannon RFC, Thomond Park, Limerick | E: | T: +353 61 452350 | F: +353 61 451895

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