Lineout errors cost Italy the game

Date published: October 4 2015

Ireland v Italy - Group D: Rugby World Cup 2015

Italy coach Jacques Brunel pointed to lost lineouts after their 16-9 Pool D defeat by Ireland at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday.

Keith Earls score the only try of the game following a lineout stolen off an Italian throw.

It wasn’t the only occasion the misfiring Azzurri set piece gave away possession and Brunel believed it was a key factor in their defeat.

“It’s obvious that we had difficulties in the lineouts, first of all because Ireland are very good at it, but we also made some mistakes which in part lost us the match,” said the Frenchman.

“It was a missed opportunity of course. We have the ability to challenge teams and we would like to be a main player in a match. We would like to prove we can play at this level and that it is not a fluke.”

“We are happy with the attitude we have on the pitch. We are not totally happy because there were some opportunities we didn’t exploit but we are happy because we proved that our level is not what we showed last week, or against France.”

“We had the ambition to play a complete game. We played wide. We had an opportunity with (Josh) Furno who nearly scored a try. A few times we could have done better on the wide side.”

The return of captain Sergio Parisse had a massive impact on the Italian performance but there were hard questions from the Italian press as to why one player can transform the whole team.

“It’s true that his presence, his leadership of the squad, his technique, add something to the squad. We saw it today. Even if he is not at 100 per cent, the impact that he has on the squad is truly positive,” said Brunel, sidestepping the issue.

“We lost and that is the reality of things. We wanted to win, but we lost.

“We will look and analyse our performance at the end of the World Cup. I hope we will end our tournament well in regards the behaviour and the attitude of the team.

“I want to see a team that has pride to finish well.”

Parisse echoed his coach’s regrets with regards to the lineout but praised his side for silencing their critics.

“I think today, collectively, it was a very, very good match, even if we lost,” said Parisse.

“The world was expecting a big defeat. The entire world expected Ireland to roll over us and win by 50 points but the team answered really, really well in a positive way.

“Despite the (close score) defeat we shouldn’t be satisfied. I’ve said in many other situations our standards are different. But if Josh (Furno) had scored a try the result would have been different.”

The Stade Français number eight has made an incredible comeback from a calf injury.

“I tried to give my best and if I think that three weeks ago I was in Paris on crutches and four weeks ago I was on op table under anaesthetic, coming back I’m happy enough with how I went,” he said.

“My game depends on my physical condition. I run a lot and today I wasn’t able to run as much as I like. Aside from this I did my best. I’m happy with how my body reacted, how my calf reacted.”

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