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'We're sick of getting close and not winning'

REACTION: The Italians could not contain their disappointment with the narrow 24-27 defeat to England in the Six Nations opener in Rome.

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Italy head coach Gonzalo Quesada and captain Michele Lamaro expressed their dissatisfaction with the defeat which came after having a nine-point lead midway through the first half, as well as a narrow advantage at the break.

Italy outscored England by three tries and two however failed to secure a first home win in the Six Nations since 2013.

“I’m proud of the character shown by the team, especially when we found ourselves in difficulty,” said Quesada, who made his debut as Italy boss.

“What I liked is that there isn’t a single player or staff member who is satisfied with this narrow defeat.

“That’s something that is very important to me,” former Argentina flyhalf added.

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Italy now face the daunting task of taking on favourites Ireland in Dublin.

The Round Two clash is a huge test for a team which was savaged by New Zealand and France at the last World Cup and has a knack of making errors in pressure situations.

The Azzurri took a 17-14 lead at the break, however, a frantic second half saw them conceding 13 points before Monty Ioane scored the team’s third try for a losing bonus point.

“We’re sick of getting close to winning and not managing to do it,” said a frustrated Italy captain Lamaro.

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“We can’t be happy with that. We want to be more dominant, more decisive and more precise in order to hold on to the lead that we had built up.

“We can’t concede so many points without scoring like we did in the second half.

“We were sucked into their game plan after the break, they just deprived us of the ball.”

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