You are here

NELSON, NZ - Italy coach Nick Mallett was relieved to see his side sweep past Russia 53-17 to leave them on course for a Pool C showdown with Ireland.

The Azzurri ran in nine tries, including two apiece for Tommaso Benvenuti and Giulio Toniolatti, to secure a bonus point in a pool thrown wide open by Australia’s defeat against the Irish.

"This was a nervous game for us because we needed to get five points from this game to make sure we go into that Irish game (on 2 October) with a good shout,” Mallett said.

Before Tuesday’s match at Trafalgar Park, Italy were bottom of Pool C after the defeat by Australia in their opening game.

"We have been here for 20 days and only played that one game against Australia, which was a tough game for us to start off with,” Mallett said.

Italy secured their bonus point after just 23 minutes as Russia were overcome by slick passing and a towering performance by captain Sergio Parisse.

The number 8 had a hand in four of his side’s six first-half tries as they raced to a 38-7 lead at the interval.

Russia stuck to their task to finish with three tries, with second-half scores from Vladimir Ostroushko and Alexey Makovetskiy complementing Alexander Yanyushkin’s first-half score.

Benvenuti completed his brace eight minutes into the second half, touching down his own chip ahead.

Luke McLean took advantage of a marking mismatch, going past Alexander Voytov in the 64th minute then racing away for a try, and Alessandro Zanni’s score brought up the half-century on 77 minutes.

The score could have been greater but Italian kickers Riccardo Bocchino and Benvenuti missed five conversion attempts between them.

Parisse opened the scoring in the sixth minute when he sold a neat dummy then cut through the line, and his deft touch was instrumental in wing Toniolatti's 14th-minute try.

Centre Benvenuti profited from a Russian defensive mix-up to plunge over, then Parisse dummied to set up Toniolatti’s second and bring up the bonus point.

A strong scrummage forced Russia to concede a penalty try, before The Bears finally got on the scoresheet with Italy reduced to 14 men after Fabio Ongaro was sin-binned for an illegal tackle.

Yanyushkin’s score was converted by Konstantin Rachkov but Italy scrum half Edoardo Gori hit back just before the break.


Italy 53
Tries: Parisse, Toniolatti 2, Benvenuti 2, Penalty Try, Gori, McLean, Zanni
Convs: Bocchino 4

Russia 17
Tries: Yanyushkin, Ostroushko, Makovetskiy
Convs: Rachkov


Pool C Standings

Pool C

W

L

T

PF

PA

TF

TA

BP

PTS

Ireland

2

0

0

37

16

3

1

0

8

Australia

1

1

0

38

21

4

0

1

5

Italy

1

1

0

59

49

9

7

1

5

USA

1

1

0

23

28

2

3

0

4

Russia

0

2

0

23

66

3

10

1

1