Saturday, June 20, 2009
The Wallabies were once again too strong for Italy as they beat them 34-12 to win their two match series, following on from their 31-8 victory in Canberra last weekend.
Scoring five tries for the win, the hosts reached a 20-6 halftime lead, but needed another 30 minutes before rounding off the win with two late converted tries.
"We couldn't find our rhythm at times and that probably hurt us, especially after halftime where they are key minutes in games and we let them back into it through ill-discipline and poor direction," Berrick Barnes said.
"But overall it was a good finish to see us come through at the end."
Replacement Adam Ashley-Cooper scored twice, with hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, center Ryan Cross, and Lachlan Turner all crossing for tries.
Hatrick hero from last week, James OConnor, had a quieter match this week, finishing with two conversions and a penalty.
Coach Robbie Deans felt it was a good learning experience for some newer players, after he had fielded eight changes and three positional switches from last week.
"They had to work hard to create shape and we left them out there toiling away at it and they'll be much better for the experience," Deans said.
"You just can't replicate that sort of preparation in training, the reality is that when the adrenaline starts genuinely pumping your thought process doesn't get tested," he said.
Italy coach Nick Mallett said he was proud of his team's performance on a dry pitch.
"We were never going to win the game, but to stay in touch with 10 minutes to go I was really proud of the guys," Mallet said.
The Wallabies host France in Sydney next weekend, while Italy travel to New Zealand to take on the All Blacks.
We'll try get longer highlights up as soon as possible.