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Italy hold off strong Romanian comeback to pick up second win of the World Cup

Romania rallied late on but left themselves too much to do

Edoardo Gori goes over for the second try.
Edoardo Gori goes over for the second try.

Italy 32

Romania 22

ITALY’S WORLD CUP finished with a win, but they were pressed all the way by a Romanian side that looked stronger the longer the game went on.

Tries  from Leonardo Sarto, Tommaso Allan, Allesandro Zanni and the excellent Edoardo Gori had Italy 26 points clear at one point, but two late Romanian tries made it a 10 point game in the dying seconds.

Florin Vlaicu opened ths croring with a penalty for Romania on four minutes, before Italy came within a whisker of the first try of the game.

Edoardo Gori broke down the middle from a lineout before chipping through the middle, but his attempt at the touchdown was knocked on, a big let-off for Romania.

Italy soon got their try though. Michele Campagnaro drew the defenders to him on the 22, before offloading to Leonardo Sarto at the last second, who ran in to put Italy ahead.

They were beginning to dominate possession, and after Johannes van Heerden was sin-binned for a cynical challenge on the ground, Tommaso Allan kicked Italy 8-3 ahead.

Italy were dominating the Romanian scrum, and it provided the platform for their second try after 24 minutes, Edoardo Gori shrugging off three attempted tackles to scramble over the line, Allan converting to send Italy 12 clear.

Romania improved after returning to 15 men, but a period of intense pressure close to the Italian line was ended with the concession of a penalty, as they flew in off their feet in front of referee Romain Poite.

It proved to be crucial, as Italy extended their lead further before the break. Allan took a hard line onto a short Gori pop to spring in from 40 metres out, Allan converting his own score to make it a 19-point game at the break.

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2015 - Pool D - Italy v Romania - Sandy Park Source: Andrew Matthews

The bonus point followed five minutes after the restart. After they’d been held up on the line, Allesandro Zanni powered his way over the line following another powerful scrum.

The game was becoming disjointed, and when Adrian Apostol touched down for Romania, the gap was just 19.

However, a sensible decision from Allan saw Italy kick a penalty between the sticks with the next chance he got, and Italy could just about breathe again.

But with their time in the World Cup running out, Romania threw everything at Italy. First, Valentin Poparlan got over the line to put 15 between them.

Apostol dived into the corner to score try number three with less than a minute to go, but 10 points was as close as they got, with Italy holding out to finish third in Pool D.

Scorers

Italy

Tries: L Sarto, E Gori, T Allan, A Zanni (1 each)

Conversions: T Allan (3)

Penalties; T Allan (1)

Romania

Tries: A Apostol (2), V Poparlan (1)

Conversions:  F Vlaicu (2)

Penalties: F Vlaicu (1)

Italy: Luke McLean; Leonardo Sarto, Michele Campagnaro, Tommaso Benvenuti, Giovanbattista Venditti, Tommaso Allan, Edoardo Gori; Matias Aguero, Andrea Manici, Lorenzo Cittadini, Quintin Geldenhuys (captain), Josh Furno, Francesco Minto, Simone Favaro, Alessandro Zanni.

Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Alberto De Marchi, Dario Chistolini, Valerio Bernabo, Samuela Vunisa, Guglielmo Palazzani, Carlo Canna, Enrico Bacchin.

Romania: Catalin Fercu; Madalin Lemnaru, Paula Kinikinilau, Florin Vlaicu, Ionut Botezatu, Michael Wiringi, Valentin Calafeteanu; Mihaita Lazar, Otar Turashvili, Paulica Ion, Valentin Poparlan, Johannes van Heerden, Valentin Ursache (captain), Viorel Lucaci, Daniel Carpo.

Replacements: Andrei Radoi, Andrei Ursache, Horatiu Pungea, Marius Antonescu, Stelian Burcea, Tudorel Bratu, Adrian Apostol, Csaba Gal.

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Neil Treacy

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