Italy aim to get back to winning ways
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