Planet Rugby

Wobbly victory for Wallabies

11th September 2011 04:06

Share:

Australia wing Digby Ioane hit hard by Italians

Early scare: Wallabies

Australia recovered from a 6-6 interval scoreline to eventually overcome Italy 32-6 in a four-try performance at North Harbour Stadium on Sunday.

The Golds had struggled to shake off the Azzurri until a second-half masterclass saw them pull away from Nick Mallett's passionate outfit.

Tries from Ben Alexander, Adam Ashley-Cooper, James O'Connor and Digby Ioane sealed matters when the rain and Italian resilience had abated.

Spectators could see that Martin Castrogiovanni and company were brimming ahead of kick-off when the heavens opened. And it proved to help their cause as Australia struggled to apply much pressure on Italy's line, with Mirco Bergamasco and Quade Cooper knocking over two penalties apiece in an intense opening 40 minutes.

But when O'Connor emerged from the sidelines for centre Anthony Faingaa, the Wallabies soon clicked into gear and ran away with the game.

Cooper and Bergamasco were guilty of missing early attempts at goal before the Wallabies playmaker found his range on sixteen minutes before doubling his side's lead on 31 minutes. Bergamasco made it 6-6 on the stroke of half-time after Wallaby indiscretions.

Upon the turnaround, a stolen line-out by veteran lock forward Dan Vickerman then led to wing Ioane finding a hole, which led to prop Alexander burrowing his way over the line.

Australia looked to have found their rhythm and their second score did not take long to arrive as, Ashley-Cooper hit a superb short line off Cooper's left shoulder to go in unopposed.

O'Connor, who was left on the bench in his comeback from suspension, knocked over the two points before converting his own try, with Cooper again the provider from close-range.

Ioane was again involved in Australia's third try when he took a ball from Cooper and went over from distance. O'Connor converted and the game was out of sight for the Italians.

Man of the match: A few years ago, this Italian pack would have been all over the Wallabies at scrum-time. But not anymore, Ben Alexander fully deserved his try and it was interesting to note that Italy's strongest scrummage came when Alexander had been replaced.

Moment of the match: Minute 47, enter James O'Connor. The game turned on its head from that point on and it would be wrong not to attribute that, in part, to O'Connor's arrival. He offered lines off Quade Cooper and looked keen to make up for his recent bad behaviour.

Villain of the match: Nothing shady to report.

The scorers:

For Australia:
Tries: Alexander, Ashley-Cooper, O'Connor, Ioane
Con: O'Connor 3
Pen: Cooper 2

For Italy:
Pen: Bergamasco 2

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Anthony Fainga'a, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Radike Samo, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Dan Vickerman, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 James O'Connor.

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Cornelius Van Zyl, 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Lorenzo Cittadini, 18 Marco Bortolami, 19 Paul Derbyshire, 20 Edoardo Gori, 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Luke McLean.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland))
Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

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 Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
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