The U16s squad and supporters left Galwegians on Friday morning at 2.30 am with 4 coaches Cian and Eamon Hornibrook, Niall Beatty and myself. Got through the airport shenanigans without breaking a sweat.
The party eventually arrived at the Best Western Treviso and settled in for food.
They then played a really slick regional team at 6.30 pm in freezing and wet conditions at the Ghirada Soorts Centre. The boys, though tired, put up a great fight until the second half.
Many of the new players got their chance against a well oiled machine and a somewhat confusing definition of the offside rule! Must have been the language.
Treviso ran out the winners and we joined them for food and watched the Italian match afterwards. A lovely occasion and great rugby.
On Saturday morning after a scrumptious breakfast the boys travelled to support Connacht v Treviso. It was a fantastic occasion in blazing sunshine, and what a result.
John Muldoon led his team over to us and applauded the boys: It must have been their singing. TG4 captured a few of the lads on TV also.
Next was the Ireland match at the stadium and afterwards home-made local pizza and Tiramisu in a little pizzeria beside the hotel! Perfect.
Next day was Sunday and we hit Venice for the day. A truly beautiful city and a little culture for the boys. While it was Baltic, that beast from the east did not interfere. A lovely time shopping and sight seeing. Still lost no boys!
On return, it was pasta while Niall dished out awards for various achievements to all the players in our now favorite pizza restaurant in Italy: Pasta Madre beside the hotel, run by Christian Furlan who was a life saver for us.
Finally it was the return journey on Monday again without any trouble, and a full compliment of boys (and coaches).
Before we travelled, the boys had been treated to a presentation from adventurer Gavan Hennigan and he asked them to represent us all well. They did their families, Galwegians and Ireland proud with no serious issues to contend with.
Thank you to all our parents and especially the organizing committee for all their hard work. Roll on the next trip!