Parisse proud of spirited Azzurri
Parisse proud of spirited AzzurriSHARE
Italy captain Sergio Parisse says he’s proud of the way an injury-hit side featuring several novice backs performed in the cauldron of Cardiff on Saturday.
Italy trailed 3-17 at half-time after two costly defensive errors led to tries for Alex Cuthbert and Scott Williams.
But the Azzurri produced a spirited second-half performance, centre Michele Campagnaro scoring a brace in a man of the match effort to bring the visitors within five before a Leigh Halfpenny penalty ensured a 23-15 win for Wales.
"Before this match against Wales we were worried about our young backs because we conceded a lot of tries in the November Tests," said Parisse, who on Saturday was a member of the most experienced pack ever to take the field in an international, with nearly 600 caps between the eight forwards.
"I think we are happy for the performance, obviously a loss is a loss so we are not happy about the result," the world-class No.8 added. "But we are proud."
Italy, who beat France 23-18 in Rome last year, now travel to Paris to face Les Bleus, fresh from their thrilling 26-24 victory over England on Saturday.
Parisse, who plays his club rugby in the French capital for Stade Francais, urged the Azzurri not to let-up.
"I said to the guys 'we mustn't just think we've played a good game [against Wales] and in France next week it's going to be easier'.
"In France, it's going to be 30 times more difficult. We must keep working and building in this tournament."