Home USA News Italy got a historic first win over Australia

Italy got a historic first win over Australia


FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Italy scored a historic victory when they beat Australia for the first time on Saturday, much to the delight of a passionate home crowd.

Ange Capuozza scored two tries and Pier Bruno also pounced as Italy recorded a memorable 28-27 win in Florence.

Debutant Ben Donaldson could have denied the hosts a conversion after the clock had already run out after Cadairn Neville’s last-minute try. But he steered his shot wide of the post, sparking wild scenes of celebration among the Azzurri.

Donaldson looked stunned as he was comforted by his teammates and the Italy players rushed to hug each other.

More damage was done in the first half as Italy took full advantage of Jake Gordon’s yellow card to score two tries and extend their lead to 14 points.

Australia’s other tries came via Tom Wright, Fraser McReath and Tom Robertson.

Italy have lost their previous 18 matches against Australia.

It was a revamped Wallabies side after last week’s narrow defeat in France in which coach Dave Rennie made 11 changes.

Italy had to make a late substitution as Paolo Garbizzi picked up a toe injury and was replaced by Tommaso Allan. And it was Allan who got the scoreboard ticking with an early penalty right in front of the posts after a Wallabies foul.

Australia came close to scoring the opening try after several huge carries towards Italy’s line, but had to settle for a penalty of their own which Noah Lalesio slotted between the posts to equalise.

Allan missed another penalty, but Italy played hard and incredibly managed to extend their lead over Australia.

The Azura side took advantage in numbers after Gordon was shown a yellow card in the 15th minute for shouldering Allan, smashing him over the touchline.

Italy piled on the pressure immediately and scored the first try four minutes later when, after the Squadra Azura were held close to the line, Luca Marizzi crossed the ball to Bruno, who fired into the right corner. Alan has expertly added the extras.

Italy were flying and scoring another try just as Gordon’s time in the sinbin was coming to an end. Capuozzo dropped Bruno before breaking down the right flank and charging into the corner.

Allan converted again to put Italy up 17-3.

Back to parity in numbers, the Wallabies responded with a try when Wright acrobatically scored in the corner after a great throw from Lolesio.

However, despite two conversion attempts due to Italy’s early encroachment, Lalesio were unable to add the extras.

Australia reduced the deficit further with another try early in the second half when, with the Wallabies settled on the Italian line, McReath finally managed to chip in from the left of the post.

This time, Lolesio converted and cut the gap to two points.

Allan kicked a penalty but made no mistake minutes after Allan Alaalatoa was penalized for a foul.

Another strong Italian tackle earned the hosts another penalty, but Allan again missed from 40 metres.

But that was quickly forgotten as Italy scored their third goal moments later. Montana Ioane carried the ball 22 meters out and it was flicked to the right where Capuozzo burst through the hole to pounce for his second of the match.

Allan missed again and Italy put Australia back into the match in the 67th minute when they created chaos from the penalty spot and Ned Hannigan slipped the ball to Robertson to pounce.

Lolesio converted to cut the gap to just three points.

Edoardo Padovani missed a penalty after replacing Allan, but made no mistake minutes later.

It then looked like the Azzurri were going to seal the win when Neville latched on to Tate McDermott’s pass and burst through the line, but it was not to be.


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