--%>
Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

Italy impress NZ despite defeat



World champions New Zealand overcame a sluggish start and a plucky Italian side to win 42-10 on Saturday.

Tries from Kieran Read, Ma'a Nonu, Cory Jane and two from Julian Savea plus 17 points from the boot of Aaron Cruden were enough for New Zealand to see off Jacques Brunel's team, who were roared on by a capacity Olympic Stadium crowd.

Leading 13-7 at halftime, the All Blacks had to wait until the 49th minute before they registered a second try when Nonu crashed over from close range and late tries from Jane and Savea completed the victory.

Italy far exceeded their tepid display against Tonga last weekend and pushed New Zealand back from the start which left a lasting impression on All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

"I'd like to congratulate Italy on playing a great game of rugby. I thought the attitude of their game was outstanding," Hansen told reporters.

"The most important thing is that the 70 000 people will have gone home with the idea that rugby is a great game, which is better than the last time at the San Siro," he said in reference to their 2009 clash.

Despite Italy's strong start the visitors opened the scoring on 13 minutes with a Cruden penalty then they quickly scored their first try, Conrad Smith eluding the Italy defence and slipping in Kieran Read for an easy touch down to make it 10-0.

Another penalty from Cruden after 19 minutes made it 13-0 but Italy responded with a long spell of possession which rocked the New Zealand defence and eventually resulted in an Alberto Sgarbi try with 25 minutes gone.

Hansen's team should have extended their 13-7 lead five minutes later when another incisive attack ended withHosea Gear dropping the ball just as he looked certain to score.

But Italy were a threat with their forwards driving New Zealand back, and but for better choices inside the 22 could have gone in at halftime at least level.

ITALIAN PROMISE

"Italy came to play rather than keep the score down," said an impressed Hansen.

"If Italy want to become a great rugby nation they have to learn to play, and at halftime it was only one try each."

Cruden made it 16-7 to New Zealand early in the second half, and after piling on the pressure quickly added to that total with Nonu try, which was converted to make it 23-7.

Luciano Oquera moved Italy onto 10 points with a drop goal on 52 minutes, but a brilliant try from Jane made it 28-10 with just over 10 minutes remaining when he rounded off a flowing attacking move by bursting through the Italian defence.

After such a resilient display Italy were holding on to avoid a heavy defeat but were unable to do so as Savea scored twice in the final seven minutes as Cruden added one conversion for his 17-point haul.

"We were up against a great side, but it's upsetting to lose like that. However today we have shown that we can make plays and cause problems," said Italian captain Sergio Parisse.

"I don't want to talk about 2009, because today we tried to move the ball. We tried to play a more interesting rugby than we have in the past, we looked to involve the backs."

Opposite number Read, captaining New Zealand for the first time, said Italy have improved no end.

"The test match was a great advertisement for the game. They've put a lot of heat on us early on which we expected, but they're a top side now," he said.

"Test matches aren't won in the first 20 minutes, they're won over 70-80 minutes."

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Brendan Venter
Bok attack lacks explosive edge
Prior to the Padova test, public opinion suggested that the Springboks would put 50 points past...

Tony Johnson
Time for some downtime
I’m writing this in the Air New Zealand Lounge at Los Angeles, making my weary way home from the...

Gavin Rich
Boks need 'X-factor' coach
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has blamed his team’s laboured attacking game against Italy on the...

Brenden Nel
Keep it straight and simple
For all the wonderful hot air we love to spew about the game we love, it remains a battle of...

Alistair Hargreaves
Great to host a vibrant WP
The club season in the Northern hemisphere is long. We played our first match on August 15 and the...