Saturday, March 16, 2013

Italy give Lo Cicero famous send off with historic win over Ireland

Italy achieved their first ever Six Nations victory over Ireland with a famous 22-15 win at the Stadio Olimpico on the final weekend of the 2013 Championship. They ended the tournament with two historic victories for only the second time ever.

Italy went into halftime with a 9-6 lead before Giovanbattista Venditti scored in the 49th minute. Luciano Orquera kicked 14 points while Gonzalo Garcia slotted a penalty.

Ireland picked up three yellow cards which didn’t help matters, as Brian O’Driscoll, Donnacha Ryan, and Conor Murray were all sent to the sin-bin at various times.

Ireland were unable to breach the Italian defence in front of a passionate and vocal crowd in Rome. It was a great send off for 36-year-old prop Andrea Lo Cicero, Italian record holder for Test caps.

"He is a player of particular strength," said Italy manager Jacques Brunel. "He has been a great player over 12 years and over 100 caps, and being in his condition at his age is fantastic."

Skipper Sergio Parisse, who was also yellow carded, was delighted with the achievement. "We've won against two countries who have a much longer history of the game than us. It's a good sign."

Their second win follows on from the historic victory over France earlier in the tournament.

Credit: RBS6nations

Posted by Rugbydump at 6:21 pm | View Comments (32)

Posted in Six Nations 2013

Viewing 32 comments

Lucius March 16, 2013 9:50 pm

Though game, grande Italia!

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Facepalm March 16, 2013 10:00 pm

I hope Irish players aren't snubbed of lions places because of this.

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Guy March 17, 2013 2:41 am

Well, I guess they will hardly be selected because of this ;-)

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DrG March 16, 2013 10:23 pm

Looks like he's fish hooking in that picture... terrible what players try to get away with in their last games!

Bring him back into the professional game and then ban him for that...

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HowardTheDuck March 17, 2013 1:46 am


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DrG March 17, 2013 4:43 am


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Guy March 17, 2013 2:43 am

Convincing display by the Italians. They should be proud and righly so. I enjoy seeing the underdog win every now and then. Very entertaining match to watch as a neutral.

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DrG March 17, 2013 4:48 am

Totally agree...

Although I'm not sure whether Italy are coming slightly over the border of "winning when the other team play badly" (like the past) I think they're starting to really come into their own and shine.. Convincing wins over Ireland and France and very close against England, I think they're really learning to take any chances given to them, perhaps shining more against a team thats not firing on all cylinders? but they definitely looked more convincing this year.

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Guy March 17, 2013 10:22 am

Completely agree with you. They are starting to MAKE their opponent play badly, contrary to the past when they depended more on their oppenent having a bad day themselves.

The only worrying thing in my opinion is that they still depend quite a lot on Parisse. Since he has had 90+ caps, he is not going to be around for very muck longer. I hope they will find a leader of equal quality sooner rather then later.

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DrG March 17, 2013 3:04 pm

That is definitely a worry, they have some young guys playing well and even a good potential 8 coming in (The guy that played when Parisse was banned) but he is definitely no Parisse. That man is just all over the pitch and is definitely a brilliant leader. Then again he is only 29. Maybe a couple more seasons in the old dog yet..

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Guy March 17, 2013 10:22 am

Completely agree with you. They are starting to MAKE their opponent play badly, contrary to the past when they depended more on their oppenent having a bad day themselves.

The only worrying thing in my opinion is that they still depend quite a lot on Parisse. Since he has had 90+ caps, he is not going to be around for very muck longer. I hope they will find a leader of equal quality sooner rather then later.

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Neck March 17, 2013 5:07 am

Has to be said that Ireland had a ridiculous number of injuries going into the game, never mind at half time. Substitutes forced to come in and immediately falling down injured, a flanker playing on the wing for most of the game, etc... Not trying to put down what was a deserved win for Italy and a fairly miserable display from Ireland (despite some decent passages in the second half), but it still needed to be clarified!

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Colombes March 17, 2013 1:04 pm

Bravo Italia!
a good farewell for the racingman Lo Cicero
contrarly to BOD who wasn't really inspired with this "red card" stamp

As said above, it's nice to see Italy creating their chances rather to wait for a bad day of their opponents. Brunel had really brought his mental and strategy touch. Even if some observers will note it wasn't the best France and Ireland in this 6N edition, it's great a good signal for Italy and the 6N. Everyone can win everyone.

but now, italy will have an harder task: confirm in the 6N and RWC
as ireland and france will be in the same rwc pool, azzuris won't be considered as the little poucet, so the surprise efect won't work. but in a certain way, this respect is already a win ;)

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johndoe March 17, 2013 8:13 pm

Maybe you didn't see Le Cicero blindly raking an irish player repeatedly who wasn't even involved in play? No? Of course you didn't haha.

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mise March 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Finally, its ok to talk about the Lions, now that the 6N is actually over.

Who from this Irish team would travel, based on this and other recent performances?

O Brien, Healy and Sexton will for sure, and possibly all start. Lots of backrow competition for SOB, but O Brien's carries make him something special .(Likewise with Healy actually, and the game is faster in Oz than the NH)

Kearney will certainly travel, but Hapenny would prob start instead now. Don't think Lions will suffer with either of them starting though: might depend on performances in the build up to the first test.

Other than those 4, not sure who from Irl should travel. A wildcard could be someone like Trimble ,who ireland sorely need again (as Ireland seem to be competing with the Welsh 1970s side in stature in the backs these days)

Don't think it will or should be dominated by either Welsh or English: both are still flaky as even this 6N has shown, and, in Wales' case, the build up to the 6N when they simply couldn't beat anybody!

Scotland have an excellent back 3 and some excellent forwards (Grey would really suit speed of Oz game)

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Rugbydump March 17, 2013 6:09 pm

Longer highlights now added

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johndoe March 17, 2013 8:25 pm

You do have to put this into perspective. Italy have improved greatly with their new coach. But, what did it take to finally beat Ireland? Well, firstly, there's Ireland's game plan. I could go into detail, but their defensive and offensive strategies were non-existant. No other top 10 rugby nation is in this situation. Declan Kidney is utterly clueless with regards to a game plan other than the forward orientated Munster rugby of a decade ago. They couldn't have made defending or attacking much easier for the Italians, who had decent strategies in place, offensively and defensively. Apart from that, it took a massive number of injuries prior to the match taking so many first choice players from the team. Then there are the injuries that occurred during the match. Not even a good coach could have done much in response to that. Also, Madigan completely changed Ireland's backline attack when he came on. There were 15 minutes of pressure on the Italians where Ireland could have scored (and should have). This was simply decision making by the players. Madigan was the obvious choice to play 10 once Sexton was injured just as he showed, yet for some unfathomable reason, Jackson was picked. Madigan is known to be a massively better player in terms of attacking play than Jackson. He has a better kicking %, and has played more than twice as many provincial games for his provence.

Italy were good, and they have improved dramatically. But they still only one 2 / 5 games and circumstances favoured them. Lets not make this another case of a team being overhyped, like the current England side.

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DrG March 18, 2013 3:41 am

Don't start that johndoe, I've seen it time and time again with the NH vs SH arguments, "not our full squad" "2nd string side" "injury this, injury that"...

You're not talking about a run of the mill lowest league local amateur club where you hover around in a first team shirt knowing there is no chance that anyones going to have it off your back because the seconds can barely get 15 men themselves... This is top flight stuff, and honestly if you can't fill a shirt with another player equally good and have still 2 more in reserve then its your own fault. Look at NZ, talk about squad depth. Not to mention the fact that these international teams are fed through professional clubs, which are fed through semi professional etc etc etc..

Yeh, the Italians only won 2/5 (nearly 3 against England). But Ireland only won 1/5...(nearly 2) if you consider a draw a sort of semi-win...

I agree lets not chalk Italy down as next years winners, or even next years 4th place team. But this was much more than an Irish loss...

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johndoe March 18, 2013 3:07 pm

That's a different argument. Let's try, stick to the one at hand and not distort the point by associating it with a different argument even if they do share a component.

Not their full squad? This was worse than missing a few players. They Besides, even the best teams don't have a squad full of world class players. Ireland only have a few, like most, and most of them were injured. And the injuries that occurred on the day. That issue isn't related to player depth. And as I said, there was more to it than injuries. Everything on the day went in Italy's favour. And they still could've lost it if the Irish players had made some better decisions on the Italian try line - not that they would have deserved that win given their performance.

What has the 2 wins Italy got and the 1 win Ireland got have to do with my argument above? It's true, but so what? Considering how many criticisms of Ireland I made, you seem to think I'm saying Ireland are better than they are or something. I'm going to guess you're just missing the point... I was discussing the circumstance that it took Italy to beat Ireland.

Much more than an Irish loss? What was it then? This is actually good for Ireland. I'd like to see you explain your comment first before I explain mine. Anyway, what's your point? You seem to think I'm making a point about Ireland being good. Quite obviously, I'm not. They've been laughable for many reasons. I'm making a point about Italy.

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gezza March 17, 2013 11:19 pm

Lads, as an Irishman, can we please, as some posts have, stop with the pathetic excuses been given for Irelands defeat such as injuries, etc,etc. I had a look through the players who were injured and the only ones who were indispensable were O Connell (Maybe not now, too old and injury prone), Sexton, Bowe and maybe Ferris (as O Connell). That really leaves just two players. Everyone else was as good as the player the replaced, e.g Marshall for Darcy, Earls/McFadden/Trimble for the wing position.

The reason we lost is that Italy were more desperate and held on to the ball better, and could have scored three more tries with a bit of luck. Ireland only looked like scoring a try when they got the fifth penalty with Parisse in the bin.They dominated the scrum, lineout and Breakdown, the basics for winning any game of rugby. Their discipline was also better.


I am not saying Italy are the finished article, but yesterday were far superior, no excuses, no circumstances, end of.

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Lucius March 18, 2013 10:25 am

And just think of Italy injuries: players like Castro or Barbieri were out, so a decent team should have good replacements and if you think Ireland has more teams and players as a league... and dont forget your best number 10 ever...he was at home playing with the Playstation!

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mise March 18, 2013 6:28 pm

There is another issue too re Kidney: he's opting, continuously, for really small players! Why is he doing this, in the modern game esp, when the exact opposite is occurring everywhere else? This is esp the case for the backs, where physically small players are now dominating the Irish backline. I know some are injury related but eventually, you have to look at the overall size of the team and not just the quality of the individual player coming on.

We can end up with no player even close to 6 ft between Sexton and Kearney at times in the backs now (i.e. 11,12, 13, 14) and that's just madness. A few, fine, but none? (#9 replacement Reddan is small too, and Jackson, on for Sexton at 10, is tiny!)

And there are two really really good, significantly bigger alternatives for the wingers: Trimble and Fitzy, who find it hard to get their game, unlike Earls and Gilroy who don't. But see the provinces, who are more successful, where both Trimble and Fitzy get their game)

(and @gezza- don't forget Tommy Bowe!)

(Finally, I think these small guys have probably stunted their growth taking private school rugby too seriously, overdoing the creatine and weights.)

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johndoe March 19, 2013 12:41 am

Creatine and weight lifting have absolutely no negative effects on growth. None whatsoever. An inaccurate but widespread misconception, as the vast majority of facts regarding fitness. And by facts, I mean opinions because views on fitness are generally based on the views of those who are ignorant of the science behind fitness.

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mise March 19, 2013 2:12 am

Damn! No excuse now for Kidney picking those small guys.

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Nixx March 19, 2013 9:30 pm

"No player even close to 6 ft at 11,12,13,14"? Paddy Jackson, Luke Marshall and Keith Earls are all 5ft11 and Gilroy is 6ft. Get your facts right.

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Nixx March 19, 2013 9:31 pm

Sorry, Jackson's at 10, but as you said "and Jackson, on for Sexton at 10, is tiny!". Just to clarify.

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mise March 20, 2013 3:38 am

Those 5.11 guys may be listed as 5.11 on their provincial team sites, but really? Earls 5.11? They are all v light/skinny too. (and he's listed at 5.10 on the ireland site- but then, he's also listed as 14.1 stone - really?!! Earls 14.1 stone?)

BOD and D'Arcy are listed as 5.10, and sometimes as 5.9 in various places.

Gilroy 6 ft? Do you really think so?

And 5.11 is close to 6 ft, fair enough. But they are quite small by modern international standards, and they are light. And for some reason, most of the newer players are smaller than the likes of Horgan, Bowe, trimble, fitzy- ierecent or other available /injured backs. And they are smaller than many dominant international backs these days.

The combo of not that tall and quite light is the problem, and is the main, non pedantic point.

Maybe you could respond to the actual basic point- "our backs are quite small aren't they" - points rather than just nit pick? Because they are quite small, esp when taking height and weight into account.

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Nixx March 20, 2013 8:55 pm

Yes, fair enough, it's a relatively small back line and I must say I'd certainly rather have any of your listed wingers over Keith Earls, but I don't think you've been watching the same Gilroy as I have for the past year. I'm pretty sure he is 6ft too, but regardless of height, he's been making some huge hits and try-saving tackles. Height isn't everything anyway, take a look at what Ireland did to Wales on week 1, when Wales had one player under 6ft.. Who happens to be tipped to start for lions...

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Lucius March 20, 2013 9:50 pm

Height? Weight? Look at this page: AB are quite "normal", aren't they?

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browner March 21, 2013 8:05 pm

Italy seem to get stronger every time another Argentinian qualifies to play for them

Someone cleverer than me please work out the ...Born in v Born outside ratio's of the starting xvs last weekend

would be interesting to know?

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Nixx March 25, 2013 10:40 pm

It's 8 out of the starting 15 born in Italy

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mise March 22, 2013 1:20 am

Good point on the wales match Nixx, good tactics reduced the negative 'impact' of size....but still, all told, I'd rather have that bit of bulk...

See here for comment from a former Irish International on this topic:

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