Planet Rugby

Australia put 50 on Italy

09th November 2013 15:42

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Tevita Kuridrani scoring for Australia

Australia's second: Kuridrani

The Wallabies bounced back from last weekend's loss to England with an emphatic 50-20 win over Italy in Turin.

Any doubts that Ewen McKenzie's men would fail to keep their country's 15 win record against the Azzurri intact were erased 15 minutes into the contest when Quade Cooper put skipper Ben Mowen over for his first Test try.

Pardon the alliteration, but it could very well end up being one of the most memorable moments of Mowen's career as his men were trailing 10-0 following a surprisingly solid start by the hosts.

The new Wallaby captain had just weathered storm of complaints following last week's loss to England and would have known when he agreed to take the job, that nothing but a total turnaround in his team's fortunes would satisfy his countrymen.

As expected, it took some time for the respective packs of forwards to warm to the occasion but in the meantime a brilliant backline move initiated by fly-half Alberto di Bernardo resulted in a try by full-back Luke McLean in the 11th minute.

Italy had their tails up and showed what they are capable of - even though they would have loved more consistency.

While the contest between the two packs was fair, the Italian backs struggled to contend with the shear pace of their rivals.

Wing Nick Cummins not only scored two of his team's seven tries, the first to be dotted down by the outside backs could easily have been credited to him too.

Showing great strength in contact, Cummins bounced off his opponents at regular intervals and would eventually off-load with precision to send Tivati Kurindrani, who was equally deceptive with ball in hand, over.

Cummins scored his second as a result of the numbers Italy were committing to the tackle area.

But foundation for this record victory was, however, laid by the half-back pairing of Cooper and his general - Will Genia.

The long-time partners marshalled their troops extremely well and needed only 15 minutes to confirm that it would be out wide, where Cummins could be found, where their hosts were most vulnerable.

Italy weren't doing themselves any favours either.

Minutes before the break di Bernardo missed a relatively easy chance to keep his side in the hunt through a penalty conversion.

When the teams came out for the second stanza, there were also no first half butterflies that would hurt Australia who were leading 19-10 at the time.

Continued awareness at the breakdown and a few splendid steals by flanker Michael Hooper ensured that Wallabies were rarely caught inside their own 22.

After Cummins raced over the try line for his brace around the 50 minute mark, the floodgates opened and ended any hopes Italy had of ending a 30-year losing streak.

Cooper later created space for Adam-Ashey Cooper's five pointer while Italy restored some pride through impact players Lorenzo Cittadini and Tommaso Allan.

Isreal Folau rounded off a fine day in the office for McKenzie's men.

Man of the match: Michael Hooper - Hooper's presence at the tackle area prevented Italy from setting the attacking platform they would have liked to have. His general awareness was exceptional while there were very few faults with his defence.

Moment of the match: Ben Mowen's first Test try turned the tables. Australians fans will be hoping that it is a permanent change of their fortunes following a terrible season.

Villain of the match: Nothing dirty worth reporting.

The scorers:

For Italy:
Tries: McLean, Cittadini, Allan
Con: Di Bernardo
Pen: Di Bernardo

For Australia:
Tries: Mowen, Kuridrani, Cummins 2, Ashley-Cooper, Tomane, Folau
Con: Cooper 4, Leali'ifano 2
Pen: Leali'ifano

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Tommaso Benevenuti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (capt), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Joshua Furno, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Tommaso Iannone.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Rob Simmons, 5 James Horwill, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nic White, 22 Christian Leali'ifano, 23 Joe Tomane.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), John Lacey (Ireland)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

By @Michael_Mentz

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