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Wallabies bounce back with big win over Italy

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The Qantas Wallabies have bounced back from a disappointing loss to England with a commanding 50-20, seven tries to three, victory against Italy in Turin in the second match of their Spring Tour.

Matt Toomua kicked off in a sunny 18 degrees at the Stadio Olimpico but it was flyhalf Alberto Di Bernardo who gave Italy the lead on four minutes with a penalty after Australia were penalized for James Horwill slowing the ball down at the ruck.

Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper then had a chance to level the scores, when Tommaso Benvenuti was penalized for going off his feet at a ruck shortly after but his penalty attempt went wide.

Italy went further ahead on 12 minutes after they launched an ambitious attack just outside their own 22. Benvenuti got into the clear down the right-hand touchline and then threw an inside pass to centre Luca Morisi who offloaded to Townsville-born Italian fullback Luke Mclean who scored the game's opening try in his 50th Test.

Di Bernardo landed the conversion and the Wallabies were staring down the barrel at 10-0 down.

But as he has done so often this year it was a moment of Israel Folau brilliance that brought the Wallabies back into the match.

On 15 minutes the Wallabies had a good spell of possession and managed to up the tempo. Quick hands saw the ball come wide to Folau who cut through the Azzurri defence and was pulled down just metres from Italy’s line.

The Wallabies recycled quickly and showed good composure as they worked the ball across field through multiple phases until a perfectly timed pass from Quade Cooper put captain Ben Mowen in to a gap.

The big Brumbies No.8 was pulled down short but was able to reach out with a big mitt and plant the ball down for his first Test try. Cooper converted and Australia were back to 10-7.

Six minutes later Folau once again sparked the Wallabies. A good long pass from Toomua found Folau out wide and he broke the defence before popping up a superb offload to winger Nick Cummins.

Cummins sprinted 50 metres down the left hand touchline and was tackled just short but he managed to get a low pass away which was scooped up by young Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani to go over for his second Test try.

Cooper converted superbly from wide out and from 10-0 down suddenly the Wallabies were up 14-10 after 21 minutes.

The Wallabies were starting to up the tempo in the good conditions and Italy were finding it hard to hold back the gold tide - and Australia were in again on 31 minutes.

A strong burst from Michael Hooper gave Australia some momentum and the ball was brought into the Italian 22.

Then Will Genia cleverly went to the short side finding Cummins with a sharp pass and the “Honey Badger” skirted around McLean to score wide out.

Cooper’s conversion was adjudged to have missed, although a replay showed that it may have just snuck through, but the Wallabies were up 19-10 heading towards half time.

Rob Simmons was then penalized for obstructing Parisse who was chasing up a high kick but Di Bernardo missed the penalty attempt.

Di Bernardo then missed a fairly straightforward attempt shortly afterwards when Mowen was harshly penalized for coming in at the side of a ruck to leave the score at 19-10 to the Wallabies at half time.

Italy had a continuous spell of possession early in the second half but good strong defence from the Wallabies held them at bay before Hooper won a relieving penalty at the breakdown.

The Wallabies then went further ahead on 51 minutes with another quality piece of play from Cooper as he drew three defenders before putting Cummins in for his second try of the match. Cooper converted the try he created to put Australia in command at 26-10.

Cooper was again the creator on 58 minutes as Kuridrani ran a good decoy run and the Wallabies vice-captain found winger Adam Ashley-Cooper who took the perfect line to score under the posts. Cooper landed his fourth conversion to make it 33-10.

Italy were the next to score with reserve prop Lorenzo Cittadini forcing his way over from close range to make it 33-15 on 62 minutes. Reserve flyhalf Tommaso (Tommy) Allan missed the conversion.

Christian Leali’ifano on for Cooper, who was given a well earned rest, then landed a long range penalty on 65 minutes to take it out to 36-15.

Brumbies winger Joe Tomane, on for Ashley-Cooper, then picked up where he left off in Rosario, immediately sprinting away for a long range score straight from the re-start, thanks to a superb flick pass from hooker Stephen Moore. Leali’ifano was accurate from the right touchline and Australia were up 43-15.

Tomane then set up a try for Folau minutes later, plucking a cross field kick from Toomua out of the air and popping it in field to the Wallabies fullback who went over for his eight Test try, and the Wallabies seventh on the day. Leali’ifano again converted from the touchline and Australia were cruising at 50-15 up.

Italy bombarded the line in the final minutes and the Wallabies held firm through some desperate defence until Allan stepped through neatly for his first Test try. Allan missed the conversion to make the final score 50-20.

The Wallabies now move on to Dublin where they will take on Ireland next Sunday morning (AEDT).



Qantas Wallabies 50 (Nick Cummins 2, Ben Mowen, Tevita Kuridrani, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Joe Tomane, Israel Folau tries; Quade Cooper 4 conversions; Christian Leali’ifano 2 conversions, penalty) defeated Italy 20 (Luke McLean, Lorenzo Cittadini, Tommaso Allan tries; Alberto di Bernardo penalty, conversion) at Stadio Olimpico, Turin. (Half time: Australia 19 Italy 10) (Referee: Glenn Jackson (NZ))