Wallabies rout hapless Azzurri

Sat, 09 Nov 2013 16:05
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Australia produced probably their most emphatic performance under Ewen McKenzie to rout Italy 50-20 in Turin on Saturday.

Australia produced probably their most emphatic performance under Ewen McKenzie to rout Italy 50-20 in Turin on Saturday.

The Wallabies reacted with some intent after their loss to England last week and produced a seven-try demolition of an Azzurri team that came within two points of an upset 12 months ago.

But this was a very different Wallaby team.

After Italy took an early 10-0 lead, the Wallabies hit back with three impressive tries in a 15-minute blitz that effectively ended the game as a contest.

Although Italy tried bravely, once the Wallabies had gone into a 19-10 lead, there was just no way back for the home team.

Italy had been looking to capitalise on Australia's morale-sapping 13-20 reverse at Twickenham last week to score a first, historic win over Australia in 16 attempts.

But despite going 10-up before the quarter-hour thanks notably to a try from Australian-born fullback Luke McLean, the tourists came steadily into their game and punished Italian errors with ruthless efficiency.

Captain Ben Mowen touched down for Australia on 15 minutes, with Quade Cooper making up for an earlier penalty miss with the conversion before adding another two points minutes later after Tevita Kuridrani went over on 21 minutes.

Wing Nick Cummins scored the first of his brace just after the half-hour to put Australia 19-10 up at the break to give Jacques Brunel's men an uphill task in the second half, and with the crowd already lulled into silence.

If Italy had thoughts of producing a stirring fightback, they were soon kicked into touch as the visitors resumed where they had left off.

An Italian infringement at the scrum gave Australia a line-out on Italy's 22-metre line and led to the Wallabies' fourth try on 50 minutes.

Adam Ashley-Cooper played a pivotal role, holding off several players and causing confusion metres from the tryline before off-loading to Cummins who had time to run in behind the posts for his second.

Cooper added two points with the boot to give Australia a commanding 16-point lead.

Australia were well into their stride and following a line-out deep in Italian territory just before the hour mark took their lead to 33-10.

Italy's defence initially held firm under wave after wave of Wallaby attack but it eventually caved in and when Will Genia dug the ball out for Cooper and his pass to Ashley-Cooper saw him drive over at the side of the posts, with Cooper kicking the conversion.

Italy were given brief hope of a fightback when replacement Lorenzo Cittadini bundled the ball over shortly after to add five points, but Di Bernardo's disappointing afternoon with the boot continued when he missed the conversion.

There was no stopping Australia, and the joy on Joe Tomane's face when he scored the Australians sixth try minutes later said it all.

Israel Folau added a seventh for the visitors with 10 minutes remaining, and, staring at one of their heaviest defeats to Australia in recent years, Italy had no choice but to try to save face.

The hosts pushed deep into Australian territory in the final minutes and were rewarded when second-half replacement Tommaso Allan, formerly a Scotland player at junior level, went over for his maiden Italy try in the 79th minute.

Man of the match: You can always bank on Castrogiovanni for some hard work and Sergio Parisse, as always, was Italy's most impressive and moist productive player. Forwards like Michael Hooper and James Horwill worked hard, while Ben Mowen had one of his better games for the Wallabies. Tevita Kuridrani provided the penetrative power the Wallabies were lacking in midfield, while Quade Cooper injected himself into the game with more efficiency this week. However, our award goes to wing Nick Cummins, who has developed into one of the game's most lethal finishers and is now guaranteed a regular starting spot. He scored two crucial tries.

Moment of the match: For it's entertainment value and aesthetic appeal the Luke McLean try in the 12th minutes was worth considering. However, the  Ben Mowen try in the 16th minute not only got the Wallabies on the board, it also gave the visitors the belief they appeared to have lacked in the opening stages. That set the tone for what was to be an emphatic victory.

Villain: This one is very easy. It goes, yet again, to the Wallaby front row - which remain as frail as ever and they are fortunate referee Glen Jackson was so clueless or they could have had more penalties and even a card or two.

The scorers:

For Italy:
McLean, Cittadi Cittadini, Allan
Con: Di Bernardo
Pen: Di Bernardo

For Australia:
Mowen, Kuridrani, Cummins 2, Ashley-Cooper, Tomane, Folau
Cons: Cooper 4, Lealiifano 2
Pen: Lealiifano


Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Tommaso Benevenuti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11  Leonardo Sarto, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Joshua Furno, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Tommaso Iannone.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Rob Simmons, 5 James Horwill, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nic White, 22 Christian Leali'ifano, 23 Joe Tomane.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), John Lacey (Ireland)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)