Roma Blues first ever AFL Italia champions
The Roma Blues are today the toast of Australian Football in Italy in winning a closely contested final at the Capitolino Rugby field over arch-rivals and minor premiers, the Milano Aussie Rulers. As minor premiers and twice victors over the Blues in the regular season, the Milano club entered the game as favourites, even though they were missing 3 or 4 regulars who were unable to make the long journey down to Rome due to work or injury.
The match was played in sunny and warm 30 degree weather and in front of a crowd of 100 spectators and the Australian Ambassador to Italy, His excellency Mr. David Ritchie.
In a tight first half, where the lead was said to have changed atleast a dozen times, neither team gained the upper hand. Rome went into half time with a slim one point lead, 55 - 54, and the game was certainly there to be won.
Often in Grand Finals, the match is decided in the third (and often called, "premiership") quarter, where the Roma Blues midfield went up a gear and piled on 6 unanswered goals with the breeze, taking in a 46 point lead into the final change.
This proved to be the deciding factor between the teams in the end though Milan never battle valiantly to get within 3 goals of the host club with a few minutes left on the game clock.
However, it wasn't to be and Rome hung on to win the game, the "Scudetto" and the honour of being crowned the first ever national club champions for the sport in Italy.
AFL ITALIA Grand Final