2018 Spring Tour
Qantas Wallabies v Italy
Stadio Euganeo, Padova
Saturday 17 November 2018
Australia 26 (Marika Koroibete 2, Taniela Tupou, Will Genia tries; Matt To’omua 3 cons) defeated Italy 7 (Mattia Bellini try; Tommaso Allan con)
A thee-try burst has set up 26-7 victory for the Qantas Wallabies over Italy in Padova overnight, maintaining Australia’s unblemished Test record against the Italians.
Speedster Marika Koroibete crossed for a double in the space of five minutes in the lead up to half time, and hulking prop Taniela Tupou barged over for another five-pointer just after the break to set the Wallabies on course for victory in an otherwise tight contest.
The Wallabies had been fortunate not to trail early in the match, after Michael Hooper was forced to make a trysaving tackle on Italian number 8 Braam Styen before half Tito Tebaldi had a potential intercept try erased for being offside at the lineout.
But when they did eventually start to mount some possession, it was some straight, hard running from centre Samu Kerevi that put the Wallabies on the front foot as he sent Koroibete away for the first of his two on the day.
Koroibete’s second, from an Adam Ashley-Cooper offload, five minutes later set up an unlikely 14-0 lead at the half and when Tupou powered his way over right after the break it appeared the Wallabies would run away with it.
It was a successful return to the national team for the veteran Ashley-Cooper, who played a hand in three of the four Wallabies tries while making his first Test appearance since 2016.
Australia’s only blemish on the scoreboard came in the 46th minute when Italian winger Mattia Bellini scooped up a loose pass to score a runaway try which haulted the Wallabies scoring momentum.
In a match that was closer than the final score indicated, the Wallabies lost David Pocock in the 51st minute after he failed a HIA test. Replacement half Will Genia dotted down late to give the visitors the final say.
As it happened:
30 mins: Marika Koroibete try, Matt To’omua con AUS 7-0 ITA
35 mins: Marika Koroibete try, Matt To’omua con AUS 14-0 ITA
44 mins: Taniela Tupou try, Matt To’omua con AUS 21-0 ITA
46 mins: Mattia Bellini try, Tommaso Allan con AUS 21-7 ITA
59 mins: Scott Sio yellow card
79 mins: Will Genia try AUS 26-7 ITA
15. Israel Folau 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper 13. Samu Kerevi 12. Bernard Foley (22. Kurtley Beale, 53 mins) 11. Marika Koroibete (23. Dane Haylett-Petty, 70 mins) 10. Matt To’omua 9. Jake Gordon (21. Will Genia, 65 mins) 8. David Pocock (6. Jack Dempsey, 51 mins) 7. Michael Hooper © 6. Jack Dempsey (20. Pete Samu, 7 mins, returned at 14 mins, replaced by Samu again at 47 mins) 5. Adam Coleman (19. Rob Simmons, 50 mins) 4. Izack Rodda 3. Taniela Tupou (18. Sekope Kepu, 47 mins) 2. Folau Fainga’a (16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 47 mins) 1. Scott Sio (17. Jermaine Ainsley, 77 mins)
*replacements in brackets
15. Jayden Hayward 14. Tommaso Benvenuti 13. Michele Campagnaro 12. Tommaso Castello 11. Mattia Bellini 10. Tommaso Allan 9. Tito Tebaldi 8. Braam Steyn 7. Jake Polledri 6. Sebastian Negri 5. Dean Budd 4. Alessandro Zanni 3. Simone Ferrari 2. Leonardo Ghiraldini 1. Andrea Lovotti
Reserves: 16. Luca Bigi 17. Cherif Traore 18. Tizano Pasquali 19. Marco Fuser 20. Johan Meyer 21. Guglielmo Palazzani 22. Carlo Canna 23. Luca Morisi
Jake Gordon Test debut – Wallaby #925
Adam Ashley-Cooper 117th Test (third all-time for Australia, surpassed Nathan Sharpe)