More unwanted history for blunderBoks

Sat, 19 Nov 2016 12:59
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REPORT: Italy made history when they recorded their first-ever win over South Africa in Florence in Saturday.

The Azzurri ended a 12-game losing streak against the Springboks, winning 20-18 - the scoreline flattering the error-prone Boks.

Giovanbattista Venditti scored a crucial second-half try, as Italy bounced back from an All Blacks mauling last week to make history.

It allowed Italy to score a second try and add a late penalty to secure the win.

The defeat was struggling South Africa's seventh Test loss in 11 outings this year and will heap more pressure on Coetzee ahead of their final November Test against Wales next week.

South Africa, despite some promising moments in the first half, held just a narrow 12-10 lead at the break - an error-riddled 40 minutes that epitomised everything that was bad about the Springboks this year.

The high error count and often brainless play continued in the second half.

Bryan Habana, winning his 124th cap for the Springboks, gave Allister Coetzee's men an early boost with an eighth-minute try that took his Test total to 67.

But Italy, now under Irish coach Conor O'Shea and with former Springbok Brendan Venter as a defensive advisor, managed to repel numerous promising South African attacks.

Coetzee pinpointed Italy's defence as the key and he was vindicated in an entertaining first half that saw the Boks left frustrated with their two-point half-time lead.

But Coetzee's decision to recall Habana paid dividends almost immediately when he touched over after full-back Willie Le Roux's powerful run.

Patrick Lambie missed the conversion from wide on the left just inside the 22.

Italian heads went down quickly in Rome last week when the All Blacks scored the first of 10 tries inside five minutes, but the Azzurri had been given hope by the Boks' recent crisis.

From the restart, Italy won a penalty and kicked deep into Bok territory where a driving maul, and some chaotic defence, saw Bloemfontein-born Andries Van Schalkwyk crash over for a pushover try.

Carlo Canna hit the conversion to give the hosts a 7-5 lead on 13 minutes.

It sparked an immediate response, but Edoardo Padovani did well to stop Ruan Combrinck with a great touch tackle as the Boks charged down the middle.

But the visitors were dogged and kept the ball moving in the middle before scrumhalf Rudy Paige plucked it out and eventually found Damian de Allende in space on the right.

Italy captain Sergio Parisse made a despairing attempt at a tackle but there was no stopping the big centre. This time Lambie found a way through the posts and South Africa were ahead.

When Vincent Koch was penalised for angling in at a scrum, Padovani hit a 50-metre penalty to take the score to 12-10.

South Africa started the second period in determined fashion and were given a boost when Fuser was shown a yellow card for a tip tackle on De Jager.

Play continued, but Combrinck missed an inside pass from Habana with the tryline begging.

Lambie kicked the penalty to take the Boks' lead to 15-10, but the visitors spurned several chances to cross for their third try, Le Roux narrowly missing going over in the corner before seeing his pass back in field go awry.

The Boks, however, were caught out spectacularly on 55 minutes when the ball was fed out to the left and Venditti went over in the corner.

Canna hit the conversion for a 17-15 lead to revive thoughts of the Boks' historic defeat by Japan at the 2015 World Cup in England.

When Parisse was caught offside in his own half on the hour, Elton Jantjies fired his long-range effort over to take the score to 17-18.

But De Jager failed to roll away at a ruck, and Canna hit the penalty to take Italy's lead to 20-18.

Italy thought they had won the match two minutes from the end when Fuser touched over following a driving maul.

Amid South African protests, the try was ruled out by video replays.

Man of the match: Willie le Roux had his moments on attack, Ruan Combrinck also had a couple of strong runs, Warren Whiteley was busy and Nizaam Carr looked for work at times. Edoardo Padovani, Tommaso Benvenuti, Giovanbattista Venditti, Simone Favaro, 6 Francesco Minto and Marco Fuser were just some of the stars. If we have to choose - although the entire matchday 23 deserve plaudits - it goes to Italian captain Sergio Parisse for the way he managed to keep his team together under pressure at crucial stages in the game.

Moment of the match: Both Springbok tries were great efforts, but the Giovanbattista Venditti five-pointer just short of the final quarter is what got the Italians into a position to win the match.

Villain of the match: Not much villainous, but Marco Fuser's actions - which earned him a yellow card - was dangerous and gets him this unwanted award.

The scorers:

For Italy:
Tries:
Van Schalkwyk, Venditti
Cons: Canna, Boni
Pens: Padovani, Boni

For South Africa:
Tries:
Habana, De Allende
Con: Lambie
Pens: Lambie, Jantjies

Yellow card: Marco Fuser (Italy, 42 - foul play, driving away support player in line-out)

Teams

Italy: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Giulio Bisegni, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Luke Mclean, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Giorgio Bronzini, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Andries van Schalkwyk, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Sami Panico.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D’Apice, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 George Fabio Biagi, 20 Abraham Steyn, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Tommaso Boni.

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Johan Goosen.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), David Wilkinson (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

AFP & rugby365com