Italy hit their stride

Italy head coach Nick Mallett was delighted with his side’s attacking display in their comprehensive 53-17 victory against Russia. The Italians racked up nine tries, in what was their biggest ever World Cup victory, with six of them coming in a blistering first half performance by the Azzurri at Trafalgar Park.

Inspirational skipper Sergio Parisse was the first to break through the Russian defence, the number eight showing great vision to grab the game’s opening try. A brace from Guilio Toniolatt, Tommaso Benvenuti and Edoardo Gori also registered tries before the break, with the forward pack also rewarded with a penalty try, ensuring the game was all but over by half-time, the Italians leading 38-7. Anyone looking at the Befair rugby union odds will have been impressed by the manner in which they went about their business.

A more organised Russian side emerged from the half-time break and restricted Italy much more than they had in the first half. Despite an impressive shift put in by the Bears’ forwards, the Italians’ superior quality was clear again and as the half progressed, the more mistakes the Russians began to make. At times just plain erratic, this Russian side isn’t without talent and determination, although the job now will be to now cut out the sheer volume of penalties conceded. Anyone following the rugby union betting odds will know discipline is key in World Cup games.

Benvenuti grabbed his second try and was joined on the score-sheet by Luke McLean and Alessandro Zanni who added some gloss to what was an impressive showing from the Italians, with Riccardo Bocchino knocking over four conversions. Alexander Yanyushkin, Vladimir Ostroushko and Alexey Makovetskiy claimed some well earned tries for the Russians, in what will have been another valuable learning curve for this side.

Italy’s outgoing coach, Nick Mallett, was pleased with his side’s showing and admitted his delight at the team’s first-half display as well as picking up a possibly valuable bonus point.

“To score five tries in the first 30 minutes and to get the bonus point before half-time was a fantastic performance,” he said.
“We dominated the scrum. We dominated all the impact points. We created tries. The backs played well. The forwards played really well.

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