Match Centre: Rugby World Cup Pool A: Italy 38-17 Uruguay

Michele Lamaro was one of the try scorer for Italy
Michele Lamaro was one of the try scorer for Italy
©Photo by Michael Steele - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

Italy 38-17 Uruguay, Pool A, Stade de Nice

Italy made a stunning second half fightback to beat Uruguay 38-17 in their Pool A encounter of the Rugby World Cup at Stade de Nice on Wednesday.

Uruguay had a fruitful first half performance as they had a lead of 17-7 at the end of the opening half but they could not add any more points after the break and instead Italy added five tries much to the relief of head coach Kieran Crowley. The win also meant Italy now move ahead of France and New Zealand to the top of Pool A with 10 points.

Uruguay had an early opportunity when Italy were penalised for an offside but Felipe Etcheverry landed the three-pointer wide but Italy got the first points when they played the ball wide allowing Lorenzo Pani to touchdown in the 7th minute and Tommaso Allan improved to make it 7-0.

Just as Uruguay looked dangerous, Italy's indiscipline costed them the game almost with Niccolo Cannone sin-binned in the 26th minute for repeated infringements and shortly Danilo Fischetti joined him for collapsing a maul that also resulted in a penalty try for Uruguay levelling the scores by the half-hour mark.

With the break approaching, Uruguay had a dominant finish with Etcheverry feeding Etcheverry in a free space as he dived in the corner. Etcheverry also followed it with a conversion and a drop goal to steer Uruguay to a 10 point lead by the end of the opening half.

Just as Italy returned to 15 players, Uruguay saw Andres Vilaseca yellow carded early in the second half after his shoulder had caught Pani on his face allowing Italy and opportunity for a comeback which they made use after charging a poor clearance kick from Etcheverry with eventually Michele Lamaro going over in the 46th minute. Allan's conversion meant the scoreline became 14-17.

With the momentum on their side, Italy upped the ante with Monty Ioane crossing the whitewash and Lorenzo Cannone followed the suit. With Allan keeping his perfect kicking record, Italy extended their lead to 28-17 and also secured a bonus point.

The fifth and final try for Italy came at the start of the final quarter when Juan Ignacio Brex takes advantage of a gap in Uruguay's defence to dot down before Paolo Garbisi landed a penalty goal in the 70th minute to seal a vital victory for Italy as they go to the top of the table.

Points Table: Pool A

Position Team Played Won Lost Points
1 Italy 2 2 0 10
2 France 2 2 0 8
3 New Zealand 2 1 0 5
4 Uruguay 2 0 2 0
5 Namibia 2 0 2 0

What's Next:

Italy will be facing New Zealand next in Lyon on 29th September while Uruguay will be lining up against Namibia on 27th September.

Match Reactions:

Italy captain Michele Lamaro is pleased to get a victory after a tough first half.

"This is a real group, we're a family," he said. "It was a really tough game.

"I told all the Uruguayan guys they can be proud of their performance, they put us under a lot of pressure but in these moments, what counts the most is how strong the team is and in the second half we showed that and smashed everything we could.

"I'm really proud of the boys and I'll share this moment with them for the rest of my life."

Meanwhile, Uruguay flanker Santiago Civetta rued missing the opportunity to beat Italy.

“It was a really epic battle," he said. "We gave the best we could. There were lot of mistakes, more than what we wanted, and Italy exploited those errors. They were better than us.

“It is quite frustrating to be honest. We dreamt really big about this match. Big dreams sometimes come true, sometimes they don’t. We need to keep on working. We have two more matches and we have to prepare them well.”

Team line up:

Italy XV: Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Marco Riccioni; Niccolo Cannone, Federico Ruzza; Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro (c), Lorenzo Cannone; Alessandro Garbisi, Tommaso Allan; Monty Ioane, Paolo Garbisi, Juan Ignacio Brex, Lorenzo Pani; Ange Capuozzo.

Reserves: Luca Bigi, Federico Zani, Pietro Ceccarelli, Dino Lamb, Manuel Zuliani, Giovanni Pettinelli; Alessandro Fusco, Paolo Odogwu

Uruguay XV: Mateo Sanguinetti, German Kessler, Ignacio Peculo; Felipe Aliaga, Manuel Leindekar; Manuel Ardao, Santiago Civetta, Manuel Diana; Santiago Arata, Felipe Etcheverry; Nicolas Freitas, Andres Vilaseca (c), Tomas Inciarte, Gaston Mieres; Baltazar Amaya.

Reserves: Guillermo Pujadas, Facundo Gattas, Diego Arbelo, Ignacio Dotti, Carlos Deus; Agustin Ormaechea, Felipe Berchesi, Bautista Basso