Saturday, June 13, 2009
Young James O'Connor marked his first start in a Test match with a hatrick as Australia comfortably beat Italy 31-8 at a chilly Canberra Stadium on Saturday.
The Wallabies scored five tries to one as the Six Nations wooden spooners were never in the contest, plunging to their ninth consecutive Test loss.
The 18 year old O'Connor started the Test at fullback and showed surprising confidence and class for such an inexperienced youngster. He brought up his hatrick after easily barging through Italian number 8 Sergio Parisse.
"I'm pretty stoked with that, I was probably in the right place at the right time with some opportunist tries," O'Connor said.
"I found out early in the game that the Italians are pretty physical and I got dumped, but once we struck with our structure and played our game plan it really worked out well for us."
Stirling Mortlock and Matt Giteau scored a try each, while Giteau kicked three conversions.
The Wallabies will be satisfied with the win, but not entirely happy with their performance, and will look to iron out some creases when they meet Italy again in Melbourne next weekend.
Note: We'll try get better/longer highlights soon.