Italy edge past a spirited Canada

Date published: June 26 2016

A second half penalty from replacement playmaker Carlo Canna saw Italy snatch an emphatic 20-18 victory over Canada on Sunday in Toronto.

The replacement fly-half kicked one of five Italy penalties which saw the visitors outscore Canada by one try to zero.

Scrum-half Gordon McRorie scored the home side's only points via six penalty conversions while hooker Ornel Gega scored the only try of the match.

The win extends Azzuri's unbeaten streak over the Canucks to six consecutive wins with their last victory against Italy coming back in 2000.

The second half performance from the visitors saw them edge past their hosts as the scores were tied on 9-all as the players headed into the tunnel.

Azzuri's forwards laid the platform for a powerful display of rolling mauls that could not be contained by the home side.

Canna's penalty kick was the difference in the end but it was the fly-half who put in a dangerous tackle on Dan Moor, a few minutes from the final whistle, which meant the visitors finished the match with just 14 men.

This one man advantage seemed to have given Canada the confidence boost needed, but it was the 13th ranked Italy that held on for a two-point win.

Conor O'Shea's men finished their June international window with two wins, last week's 24-20 victory over the USA and the 20-18 win over Canada, and a 30-24 loss to Argentina while Canada finished their June Test period with two losses – one against Azzuri and a 26-22 loss to Japan – while they outclassed Russia and claimed a 46-21 victory last week.

The scorers:

For Canada:
Pens: McRorie 6
Yellow Card: Hearn

For Italy:
Try: Gega
Pens: Allan 4, Canna
Yellow Cards: Canna

Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 Dan Moor, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Nick Blevins, 11 Taylor Paris, 10 Pat Parfrey, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 Aaron Carpenter, 7 Lucas Rumball, 6 Kyle Baillie, 5 Evan Olmstead, 4 Jamie Cudmore (c), 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru
Replacements: 16 Eric Howard, 17 Tom Dolezel, 18 Matt Tierney, 19 Paul Ciulini, 20 Matt Heaton, 21 Jamie Mackenzie, 22 Liam Underwood, 23 Brock Staller

Italy: 15 David Odiete, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Tommaso Boni, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori (c), 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Maxime Mbanda’, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Andrea Lovotti 
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D’Apice, 17 Sami Panico, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Sebastian Negri Da Oleggio, 20 Jacopo Sarto, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Giulio Bisegni

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant Referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Kurt Weaver (USA)