Italy stun Wallabies in Florence
MATCH REPORT: Italy recorded their first-ever win over Australia, beating the Wallabies 28-27 in Florence.
Ange Capuozzo dotted down twice and Pierre Bruno scored the Azzurri’s other try on a remarkable day for Kieran Crowley’s side in Florence, with Tommaso Allan and Edoardo Padovani kicking the remaining 13 points between them.
*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!!!
Italy have now won five of their last six Test matches and although Australia changed almost the entire team which lost narrowly to France last weekend, Saturday’s victory at the Stadio Artemio Franchi is still a major triumph.
They did it after incredible last-gasp drama, Ben Donaldson’s missed conversion from Cadeyrn Neville add-time try leaving Italy with a famous win in front of an incredulous 20 000 crowd.
It was also a win obtained without Italy’s star man, Montpellier flyhalf Paolo Garbisi, ruled out with a hip injury on the eve of the match.
Australia scored their other two tries through Tom Wright and Fraser McReight but fell to their second defeat of their three Autumn Tests so far.
Italy face South Africa in Genoa in their final match of the year next weekend.
Dave Rennie will forever be haunted by making a dozen changes to his starting line-up after becoming the first coach in 19 Tests and a 40-year rivalry to preside over a Wallabies defeat to the 12th-ranked Italians.
But while the raft of personnel changes after last week’s spirited 29-30 loss to France in Paris denied the Wallabies cohesion and continuity, ill-discipline once again cost Rennie’s side dearly.
World rugby’s most penalised tier-one outfit conceded 16 penalties at Stadio Artemio Franchi to be on the back foot all afternoon.
Botched lineouts, poor defensive reads and fundamental errors also brought the Wallabies unstuck in a shocker that leaves Rennie with a 37.5 per cent winning record from his 32-Test tenure.
The Wallabies were untidy from the get-go, wing Tom Wright knocking on from the opening kick-off to gift Italy the first attacking opportunity.
Three points were enough as the Azzurri notched the first points of the match.
The Wallabies, not overly respecting their opposition, turned down the chance for points of their own with a penalty soon after down the other end before Noah Lolesio eventually accepted a shot from in front to level up.
Wallabies scrumhalf Jake Gordon was yellow-carded for bumping Allan in to touch off the ball after Melbourne-bound, Brisbane-raised Monty Ioane had instigated a threatening left-side raid.
Cashing in on their one-man advantage, it was right winger Pierre Bruno who crossed in the corner for the first try.
The Wallabies then paid the price for being slow too the breakdown after a midfield burst from Will Skelton.
The Azzurri turned possession over and showed slick hands to quickly spread the ball right to Capuozzo, who dummied and raced over to give Italy a 17-3 lead.
An airborne Wright try finally bagged Australia’s first try in the 31st minute but Lolesio missed two attempts at the conversion after a rare second shot following an illegal charge from the hosts, leaving the Wallabies trailing by nine points at the break.
An Australian fightback appeared in the offing when Fraser McReight touched down and Lolesio converted to reduce the deficit to two points straight after halftime.
But the Wallabies found themselves under intense pressure when fullback Capuozzo bagged his second try to leave Italy 10 points in front with minutes remaining.
A Tom Robertson try, which Lolesio converted from the sideline, then a five-pointer to fellow replacement forward Cadeyrn Neville in the 81st minute gave the Wallabies an opportunity to snatch victory.
But with Lolesio off, Donaldson – just minutes into his Test debut – stepped up and pushed his shot wide.
Man of the match: Gianmarco Lucchesi was a beast up front and handed the Italians the advantage when it came to set pieces. Australian-born Monty Ioane also deserves a mention for his contribution, made a couple of lethal runs out wide. However, our nod goes to Ange Capuozzo. The utility back, who played in the No.15 jersey was absolutely incredible on the attack, he scored two tries and was brave under the high ball.
Tries: Bruno, Capuozzo 2
Cons: Allan 2
Pen: Allan 2, Padovani,
Tries: Wright, McReight, Robinson
Cons: Lolesio 2
Yellow card: Jack Gordon (Australia, 15 – Foul play, late tackle)
Italy: 15 Ange Capuozzo, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Tommaso Allan 9 Stephen Varney; 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Giacomo Nicotera, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 David Sisi, 20 Toa Halafihi, 21 Alessandro Garbisi, 22 Edoardo Padovani, 23 Tommaso Menoncello.
Australia: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Matt Gibbon.
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Langi Gleeson, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Jordan Petaia.
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland) & Adam Leal (Ireland)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
AFP & AAP