Italy aim to get back to win­ning ways

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

ITALY coach Jac­ques Brunel has called for a de­ter­mined dis­play against Fiji to­day to help re­store the Az­zurri’s faith in the wake of their 50-20 thrash­ing by Aus­tralia.

Italy be­gan their three-Test se­ries hop­ing to build on a strong Six Na­tions, hav­ing come close to stun­ning the Wal­la­bies in a 22-19 de­feat last year.

But de­spite tak­ing an early 10-0 lead last week, Italy trailed 19- 10 by half- time and were re­duced to vir­tual by­standers af­ter the break.

Aus­tralia’s solid, all-round dis­play made amends for their 20- 13 de­feat to Eng­land but si­mul­ta­ne­ously ex­posed poor de­fence and an all-round Ital­ian per­for­mance that was pep­pered with in­di­vid­ual er­rors.

Some­what jus­ti­fi­ably, Brunel looked de­jected in Turin, where Italy were a poor imi­ta­tion of the side that beat France and Ire­land in last sea­son’s Six Na­tions.

The French­man has made sev­eral changes to his start­ing XV ahead of what he ex­pects to be a “dif­fi­cult” game against the Is­lan­ders, who ran in six tries in a one-sided win away to Por­tu­gal last week.

But while sug­gest­ing new scrum laws have had a neg­a­tive im­pact on Italy’s tra­di­tion­ally strong pack, Brunel wants to see the de­ter­mi­na­tion that was sorely lack­ing a week ago.

“Against Aus­tralia the team didn’t play to its full po­ten­tial, and this is cer­tainly one of the rea­sons we’ve made so many changes,” said Brunel.

“We didn’t have the col­lec­tive re­sponse I ex­pected and we paid for in­di­vid­ual er­rors. On the one hand, we were or­gan­ised but on the other there’s de­ter­mi­na­tion. And that’s what was lack­ing.” – Sapa-AFP

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