Italy 48 -7 Canada Rugby World Cup Report
Italy secured their biggest win in World Cup history with a 48-7 victory over Canada to make it two wins from two and a pair of bonus point results. The Italians secured top spot in the pool with South Africa and New Zealand still to play their second fixture of the competition.
This was a cracking warm-up for the Italians against a largely tame Canadian side. The Azzurri now look ahead to sterner tests with crunch fixtures against the Springboks and the All Blacks as the battle to qualify from Group B hots up.
Job done for the Italians who can now tinker with their tactics in preparation for what looks set to be the battle for second place in this second pool of the World Cup with South Africa to come next Friday.
Italy flew out of the blocks to take control of a scrappy but thoroughly entertaining game on a pitch which cut up badly as the match wore on. It was a tale of mishandling and loose tackling for a Canada side who remain pointless after their opening two games and who now battle it out with Namibia for the wooden spoon in the group. After their opening two wins, Italy are 40/1 to get out of Pool B and reach the Semi Finals.
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First half key moments
After their high-scoring 47-22 opener against Namibia, Italy underlined their threat to Pool B’s big guns South Africa and New Zealand to make a flying start.
Racing out of the blocks it was inevitable that the Italians would open the try-scoring. Number eight Braam Steyn stormed past the Canadian defence to go over on eight minutes, with man of the match from the Namibia game, Tommaso Allan, successful in the conversion.
Just as Canada appeared to have awoken from their evening slumber in the Fukuoka Level 5 stadium – named after a local video game developer – Italian captain Dean Budd strolled through a string of loose challenges to touch down beneath the posts with Allan again converting to extend the Italian lead to 17-0 on 13 minutes.
Five minutes later and Canada spurned a glorious chance to get back into a game which was already stretching away from them as Canadian back Tyler Ardron fumbled the ball on the try line just as he’d burst past the Italian defence and looked certain to score. That one has already been christened “howler of the tournament”. The former Osprey’s man will no doubt awake in the middle of the night to relive that nightmare for a little while.
Midway through the first half, the Canadians did at least appear to be getting to grips with the game but simply couldn’t convert any of their half-chances and the two sides went into the break with the Azzurri still leading by 17 points to nil.
Italy had certainly taken control of the game early on but Canada will have emerged for the second period believing there was still plenty to play for. It won’t have lasted long though as three minutes after the restart Italian prop Sebastian Negri bundled over from a short way out to give the blue shirts a 24-0 lead. Allan added the extras.
Second Period Highlights & Man Of The Match
With the game heading towards the hour mark, Canada had back Matt Heaton sent to the sin bin for illegally sacking a maul and Italy made it 31 points without reply on 58 minutes from the resulting penalty try.
Three minutes later and Mattia Bellini burst through to secure Italy’s fifth try of the game but this time Allan hooked the resulting conversion wide of the posts.
Desperate to restore a little pride, Canada continued to go in search of points and looked to be finally rewarded when Tyler Aldrin went over on 63 minutes. A try review ruled that one out due to a knock-on.
Just as it looked as if the Canadian wait for points would stretch into their third fixture, Andrew Coe went over on five minutes later with Nelson converting to reward the red shirts for their valiant if futile efforts.
Italy completed the scoring with two more tries as the game wound down, though Carlo Canna failed to convert from the final one in the last minute of regular time.
Gloucester flanker Jake Polledri picked up the man of the match award after a sharp display with fellow flanker Braam Steyn and full-back Matteo Minozzi also impressing.
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