The first time. The first time can’t be forgotten, and nobody in Florence and in Italy will forget this first win against Australia
The dramatic end of the game saw the Wallabies come one point short of an undeserved win. Italy controlled the game for three quarters of the match and wasted a lot of points to allow Australia to come back at them with a late resurgence.
Italy came close to drawing the Wallabies almost ten years ago at the same venue. In that case a kick after the hooter by Luciano Orquera denied the wild boars a deserved result. In 2017 in Brisbane, Italy, despite the eventual loss, scared an erratic Wallabies outfit. Finally, Italy got the green and gold scalp, after 21 losses, in a well deserved manner.
The maiden win came in the Florence, the cradle of renaissance, the city hosting one third of world art history and the talisman of the Italian national rugby team. In the same stadium Italy won their first test match against another double world champion, South Africa, in 2016. Now the only two teams Italy has never managed to beat are England and New Zealand, white and black the opposite of the colours shining on the faces of the Italian fans today.
Ange Capuozzo was the hero for the wild boars, the skinny fullback crossed the chalk twice and was a constant danger for the wallabies with his moves, but as usual the win came thanks to the forward pack. Italy won the battle in the trenches and suffocated the visitors with an aggressive forward display which won the first points from the kick off, forcing the penalty in front of the poles.
After years of constant talks of Italy not deserving a spot in the Six Nations, after being talked down in so many circles, Italy finally can raise his head high in the oval world. This gutsy win against the Wallabies is a sweet revenge served to whomever talked down Italy and it is welcome boost ahead of the next Six Nation’s campaign.