PADUA, Italy (AP) – Australia survived initial fears before passing Italy 26-7 in Padua on Saturday.
Italy, pursuing their first win over the Wallabies, had two early trials ruled out before Australia broke away with two trials from the late addition of Marika Koroibete and one from Taniela Tupou.
Mattia Bellini scored the converted goal in the 21-0 down, and Australian scrumhalf Will Genia added almost inappropriate gloss to the scoreline by trying near fulltime.
The boring Wallaby lost to Wales 9-6 last weekend in Cardiff, their eighth defeat in their last 11 tests, and hoped for a convincing victory in Padua to get their path back.
However, it was Italy who began to get stronger and thought it was surprising at the Stadio Euganeo when No. 8 Abraham Steyn – representing the injured Sergio Parisse – scored in the right corner. But his legs came out just before he swooped past the line.
There was more controversy on the second Italian trial which was disallowed, in the 14th minute. Jake Gordon passed from the line which was intercepted by Tito Tebaldi but the referee roughly considered the Italian scrumhalf to be offside.
The Azzurri also held on well, and a hard tackle from Bellini prevented an almost certain effort from Israel Folau because he would run cleanly to the defensive line.
But the match changed in half an hour after the first mistake by Italy allowed Samu Kerevi to create a break. Adam Ashley-Cooper and David Pocock got the ball to the left wing of Koroibete, who ran without a match through the pole. Koroibete was a late addition after Jordan Petaia, who was about to debut, was ruled out due to injury.
Koroibete got his second trial five minutes later thanks to a great pass from Ashley-Cooper, who was revealed when he was handled by Bellini and Michele Campagnaro.
Matt To & # 39; converts both.
Prop Taniela Tupou ran over the line to try Australia's third in 14 minutes, shortly after the break, and looked as if the Wallabies would be playing on.
But Italy, which often slumped in the second half of the match, quickly reduced the deficit when Bellini ran to the left side of his own half to score. Tommaso Allan repented.
Italy were given the opportunity to return to the match when Australia rewarded Scott Sio on the yellow card just before the hour for a bad tackle on Jayden Hayward near the try line, but the Azzurri could not make a number of human benefits despite continued pressure.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports