Italian winger Mirco Bergamasco kicked eight penalties from eight attempts as the Azzurri beat Fiji 24-16 in Modena.
Italian winger Mirco Bergamasco kicked eight penalties from eight as the Azzurri beat Fiji 24-16 in Modena.
In a game that was riddled with handling errors and penalties, the power of the Italian pack in the second-half was enough to quell the attacking prowess of the Fijians in the first forty minutes.
The Fijians demonstrated great flair and power when going forward and opened the scoring in the eight minute when hooker Talemaitoga Taupati dived over after some good build up work from Napolioni Nalaga and Semisi Naevo.
The try sparked the Italians into life and Bergamasco and Fijian fly-half Seremaia Bai proceeded to trade penalties, with both sides serial penalty offenders in defence, with the players seemingly deciding that infringing was the only manner in which to halt an attack.
Nick Mallet must have been a worried man at the break having just seen prop Martin Castrogiovanni sin-binned on the stroke of half-time for continued infringements and his side trailing 9-16.
He need not have been though as the Islanders ran out of steam in the second forty minutes as the Italian pack began to stamp their authority on proceedings.
When Castrogiovanni returned from his ten minutes off the park, the Azzurri forwards stepped up a gear and with Fiji now conceding penalties at will, Bergamasco made the most of their indiscretions, with his pinpoint accuracy producing a world record-equalling performance of eight penalties from eight attempts.
Man of the match: Without a doubt Mirco Bergamasco. Italy didn't off much on attack, but Bergamasco made the most of every points scoring opportunity that was afforded to him.
Moment of the match: Italy and their players don't hold many records of a positive nature, but with Bergamasco equalling the record for the most successful attempts at goal, they certainly do now.
Pens: Bergamasco (8)
Pens: Bai (3)
Yellow cards: Castrogiovanni (Italy)
Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Andrea Masi, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (C), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys, 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements:16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Andrea Lo Cicero, 18 Santiago Dellape, 19 Paul Derbyshire, 20 Pablo Canavosio, 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Tommaso Benvenuti.
Fiji: 15 Norman Ligairi, 14 Vereniki Goneva , 13 Albert Vulivuli, 12 Gabriele Lovobalavu, 11 Napolioni Nalaga , 10 Seremaia BaÃ¯, 9 Nemia Kenatale, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Semisi Saukawa, 5 Jone Qovu, 4 Wame Lewaravu, 3 Deacon Manu (c), 2 Tuapati Talemaitoga, 1 Campese Ma'afu.
Replacements: 16 Viliame Veikoso, 17 Vesi Rarawa, 18 Sekonaia Kalou, 19 Jimilai Naikadawa, 20 Seveci Taka, 21 Seru Rabeni, 22 Taniela Rawaqa.
Date: Saturday, November 27
Venue: Stadio Braglia, Modena
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
Assistant referees: Christophe Berdos (France), James Jones (Wales)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)