Pacific Islands record first-ever victory
November 22, 2008
The Islanders' Nili Latiu works hard to protect the ball against the Azzurri
© Getty Images
The Pacific Islanders claimed their first Test victory with a 25-17 win over Italy at Reggio Emilia.
Fijian winger Vilimoni Delasau crossed for two scores, hist first after only three minutes. Following a scrappy opening set of exchanges, Delasau crossed in the corner before adding his second on the half-hour. Saracens full-back Kameli Ratuvou also scored for the Islanders while Seremaia Bai added ten-points from the boot.
Leonardo Ghiraldini and Mauro Bergamasco crossed in response for the Azzurri. Young fly-half Andrea Marcato notched seven points with the boot. Nick Mallett's Italy side has failed to record a victory in their autumn programme, losing to Australia, Argentina and now the Islanders.
No.8 Sergio Parisse, nominated for IRB Player of the Year, provided a moment of magic with a flick pass behind his back to allow Bergamasco to scamper in to score but it was an all to brief moment to savour for the Italian fans.
Italy: Masi, Robertson, M. Bergamasco, Garcia, Pratichetti, Marcato, Travagli, Aguero, Ghiraldini, Nieto, Reato, Bortolami, Sole, M. Bergamasco, Parisse.
Replacements: McLean for Masi (62), Lo Cicero for Aguero (65), Ongaro for Ghiraldini (55), Perugini for Nieto (72), Zanni for Sole (40). Not Used: Canavosio, Pavan.
Pacific Islanders: Ratuvou, Tagicakibau, Mapusua, Taione, Delasau, Bai, Martens, Va'a, Fuga, Pulu, Levi, Hehea, Vaki, Latu, Koyamaibole.
Replacements: Williams for Ratuvou (72), Rabeni for Taione (63), Rauluni for Martens (63), Lea'aetoa for Pulu (54), Naevo for Hehea (62), T-Pole for Koyamaibole (56). Not Used: Koto Vuli.
Sin Bin: Bai (25).
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England).
Touch judges: Christophe Berdos, Hugh Watkins (Wales)