Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Australia scored a late, face-saving try through debutant Quade Cooper as they came up with a 30-20 victory over Italy in Padova on Saturday.
With eight minutes to go, the twice world champions were tied 20-20 against the determined Italians, but young Cooper danced his way through the defence to score a dramatic try to put the visitors ahead.
Mat Giteau notched up 17 points while wing Lachlan Turner scored the Wallebies only other try. Captain Stirling Mortlock also got on the scoreboard with a penalty of his own.
Mirco Beramasco crossed the line for the Azzurri, while flyhalf Andrea Marcato and his replacement Luciano Orquera kicked the rest of Italys points.
Australia rested a few of their top players ahead of their upcoming clash with England, but the home side still did well to push them all the way till the last ten minutes.
"There a bit of a bitter taste because we came close," Italy flanker Mauro Bergamasco said. "We made mistakes. But we showed that we can go forward, that we can play good rugby.
"We scored a beautiful first-phase try. It's the sort of thing great teams often do against us and that we have proved we are capable of when we play at 120 percent."