Turin - Wing Nick Cummins scored two of seven Australian tries as the Wallabies made
up for defeat to England with a commanding 50-20 victory over hapless Italy at
the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
Italy had been looking to capitalise on Australia's morale-sapping 20-13
reverse at Twickenham last week to score a first, historic win over Australia
in 16 attempts.
But despite going 10-up before the quarter-hour thanks notably to a try from
Australian-born full-back Luke McLean, the tourists came steadily into their
game and punished Italian errors with ruthless efficiency.
Captain Ben Mowen touched down for Australia on 15 minutes, with Quade
Cooper making up for an earlier penalty miss with the conversion before adding
another two points minutes later after Tevita Kuridrani went over on 21
Cummins scored the first of his brace just after the half-hour to put
Australia 19-10 up at the break to give Jacques Brunel's men an uphill task in
the second half, and with the crowd already lulled into silence.
If Italy had thoughts of producing a stirring fightback, they were soon
kicked into touch as the visitors resumed where they had left off.
An Italian infringement at the scrum gave Australia a line-out on Italy's
22-metre line and led to the Wallabies' fourth try on 50 minutes.
Adam Ashley-Cooper played a pivotal role, holding off several players and
causing confusion metres from the tryline before offloading to Cummins who had
time to run in behind the posts for his second.
Cooper added two points with the boot to give Australia a commanding
Australia were well into their stride and following a line-out deep in
Italian territory just before the hour mark took their lead to 33-10.
Italy's defence initially held firm under wave after wave of Wallaby attack
but it eventually caved in and when Will Genia dug the ball out for Cooper and
his pass to Ashley-Cooper saw him drive over at the side of the posts, with
Cooper kicking the conversion.
Italy were given brief hope of a fightback when replacement Lorenzo
Cittadini bundled the ball over shortly after to add five points, but Di
Bernardo's disappointing afternoon with the boot continued when he missed the
There was no stopping Australia, and the joy on Joe Tomane's face when he
scored the Australians sixth try minutes later said it all.
Israel Folau added a seventh for the visitors with 10 minutes remaining,
and, staring at one of their heaviest defeats to Australia in recent years,
Italy had no choice but to try to save face.
The hosts pushed deep into Australian territory in the final minutes and
were rewarded when second-half replacement Tommaso Allan, formerly a Scotland
player at junior level, went over for his maiden Italy try in the 79th minute.
Tries: Luke McClean, Lorenzo Cittadini, Tomasso Allan
Conversions: Alberto Di Bernado
Penalties: Di Bernado
Tries: Ben Mowen, Tevita Kuridrani, Nick Cummins (2), Adam Ashley-Cooper, Joe Tomane, Israel Folau
Conversions: Quade Cooper (4), Christian Leali'lifano (2)
15 Luke McLean, 14 Tommaso Benevenuti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Michele Rizzo
Substitutes: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Joshua Furno, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Tommaso Iannone
15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Rob Simmons, 5 James Horwill, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Substitutes: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nic White, 22 Christian Leali'lifano, 23 Joe Tomane.