Planet Rugby

Italy uproot tough Oaks

12th September 2007 20:53

Share:

Santiago Dellape try

Santiago Dellape dives for Italy's first try

Italy grabbed a 24-18 win from their match against Romania in Marseille on Wednesday, but there was precious little else for Azzurri fans to crow about.

Immediately after Japan and Fiji had served us a reminder of how to play the game, both Italy and Romania spent 80 minutes showing us how not to.

The early runnings pointed to Italy redeeming their opening round humiliation, but that hope was short lived as the game rapidly descended into an error-ridden affair. Even Italy's opening try came from a Romanian error.

Having secured the ball from the base of the scrum, Romania proceeded to gift the ball to Ramiro Pez who drew the last defender, allowing Santiago Dellape to cross in the corner. That was to be the second row's last action in the game, having injured himself in the act of scoring he was promptly replaced.

Italy came into this tournament harbouring serious quarter-final ambitions, on this display they don't deserve to be anywhere near the knockout stages. Their back line was devoid of ideas and when they did attempt to conjure something it invariably failed to trouble what was a mediocre Romanian defence.

Romania's biggest downfall, aside from constant handling errors, was their total lack of discipline. When you concede sixteen penalties at this level you can not honestly expect to win, although the wayward boot of David Bortolussi ensured they were often let off for their infringements.

Bortolussi did manage one successful effort at goal, to give his side an eight-point cushion they would not surrender for the remainder of the half. For their part Romania wasted two kicks at goal, Iulian Dumitras missing with two long-range chances.

Despite an increase in scoring the second half, in all honesty, was just as bad as the first. However the Romanians did manage to rid their game of errors long enough to score two tries. The first was from robust open-side Alexandru Manta, and even that was a total mess.

Having been driven over the line by his fellow forwards Manta managed to drop the ball before grounding it. Luckily for him it went backwards before he applied downward pressure and, with the help of the TMO, the try was awarded.

Five minutes of inept rugby later and again Romania scored, this time courtesy of hard-working hooker Marius Tincu. Although one does wonder that if had Italy bothered to tackle he would have been stopped a good twenty metres short. As it was Mirco Bergamasco, in flapping his arms about in what we can only assume was an attempted tackle, waved the hooker through and had the decency to point the way to the line.

Leading by four points against an Italian side who were getting progressively worse you would have fancied Romania to go on and cause an upset. But nine penalties in the remaining half an hour put paid to any chance they had. Four in as many minutes led to a yellow card for Manta, and whilst he was cooling his heels Italy asserted some sort of dominance on the game, albeit through a penalty try.

Tony Spreadbury may have been a little hasty to head for the posts after the Romanian scrum buckled under pressure, but given the manner in which they had infringed prior to the set-piece he had every reason to do so.

Sadly, the remainder of the game failed to deliver anything of note, other than the fact Ramiro Pez kicked three penalties, with opposite number Ionut Dimofte replying with two of his own to secure a losing bonus point for Romania.

A comedy of errors would be the most apt way of describing this game. But at this level of competition the regularity of basic errors and mindless infringements was anything but funny. Italy, on current form, can at best hope for a third-placed finish, whilst Romania can only hope for a win over Portugal, rather than expect.

Man of the Match: It is hard to distinguish who was the best of a very bad bunch, as that is what we had here. In the end, despite a fair few infringements, this award goes to Romanian hooker Marius Tincu. Italy's lack of tackling may have made him look better than he was, but to his credit he worked tirelessly and was always on hand to do the dirty work.

Moment of the Match: The final whistle, need we say more?

Villain of the Match: A collective award here goes to the Romanian forwards, who despite endless warnings and reminders from Spreadbury, continued to give away needless penalties and ultimately cost their side a chance of winning. Lock and captain Sorin Socol especially needs to have a look at his behaviour.

The scorers:

For Italy:

Tries: Dellape, Penalty try

Con: Pez

Pens: Pez 4

For Romania:

Tries: Manta, Tincu

Con: Dimofte

Pens: Dimofte 2

Yellow card: Manta (51, Romania, repeated infringements)

Italy: 15 David Bortolussi, 14 Kaine Robertson, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Mirco Bergamasco, 11 Marko Stanojevic, 10 Ramiro Pez, 9 Paul Griffen, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Josh Sole, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Santiago Dellape', 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Andrea lo Cicero.

Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Valerio Bernabo', 19 Manoa Vosawai, 20 Alessandro Troncon, 21 Ezio Galon, 22 Roland de Marigny.

Romania: 15 Iulian Dumitras, 14 Catalin Fercu, 13 Csaba Gal, 12 Romeo Gontineac, 11 Gabriel Brezoianu, 10 Ionut Dimofte, 9 Lucian Sirbu, 8 Ovidiu Tonita, 7 Alexandru Manta, 6 Florin Corodeanu, 5 Cristian Petre, 4 Sorin Socol (c), 3 Bogdan Balan, 2 Marius Tincu, 1 Petrisor Toderasc.

Replacements: 16 Razvan Mavrodin, 17 Cezar Popescu, 18 Cosmin Ratiu, 19 Alexandru Tudori, 20 Valentin Calafeteanu, 21 Ionut Tofan, 22 Dan Vlad.

Referee: Tony Spreadbury

Touch judges: Bryce Lawrence, Lyndon Bray

Television match official: Kelvin Deaker

Assessor: Tappe Henning

By Marcus Leach

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821