Italy end dismal losing run
November 28, 2009
Mirco Bergamasco kicked eight points for Italy
© Getty Images
Luke McLean's first-half try set Italy on the way to their first win since June 2008 against Samoa at the Stadio del Duca on Saturday.
Mirco Bergamasco kicked eight points, while a penalty try late in the game put the seal on the victory.
Titi Esau kicked two penalties for the tourists in the first half. Samoa will now head home after defeats to Wales and France but will have been lifted by the recent response to the relief effort after the devastating Tsunami.
Nick Mallett's Italy side went into the game at Ascoli Piceno looking to end a 13-match run of defeats. They had to do so without captain Sergio Parisse, who was this week ruled out for at least four months with a serious right knee injury, and against a side they had not beaten in their three previous Test meetings.
Mallett made six changes to the team which lost 32-10 to South Africa last weekend and the new line-up responded with a determined display, building a 14-6 lead by half-time
Mirco Bergamasco kicked two penalties and Craig Gower one for the home side, while Tito Tebaldi sent over a drop goal.
Bergamasco also converted the penalty try. Samoa were unable to register a score after in the second 40 minutes and to make matters worse had Henry Fa'afili sent off for a high tackle on McLean.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September