It's painful to see the Italians play rugby.
The Heineken Cup is in its last weekend of pool play, and the ASM is certain to advance to the quarterfinals as they play Viadana today near Rome.
A bit of vacation for our guys, really. They wrapped up the offensive bonus point (for four touchdowns) before halftime. For the second half, the French TV producers simply showed us the Ospreys-Leicester game, in spite of it not involving any French teams at all, cutting back to Rome only for beauty-shots of the ASM's new scores. Final score: 59-20.
One just hopes the Italians don't get too discouraged, what with constant defeats and playing in nearly-empty stadiums. A place in this European championship is pretty much a curtesy, as no Italian team has much hope of besting any of the others. Keep at it, though, and their play should improve. Their national team, in fact, can no longer be counted on to win the Wooden Spoon* in the 6- Nations tournament, as they occassionally rise up and beat Scotland (though their presence has been a boon to Scotland, frequent past recipients themselves of the dreaded Wooden Spoon).
Alas, no number of touchdowns could change the fact that if Biarritz and Toulouse both won their matches, which they did, the ASM would be ranked 5th of the 8 quarterfinal teams and thus have an away-game against last year's champion to start off the elimination rounds.
Go Yellow & Blue!
* the "prize" for going winless