Italy on the wrong end of another shock result

A week after beating South Africa, Conor O’Shea’s side lose to Tonga

Italy 17 Tonga 19

Tonga quickly brought Italy back down to earth after the Azzurri‘s win over South Africa last week when Sonatane Takulua converted a last-minute penalty to give the Pacific islanders a surprise 19-17 win.

In all, Takulua amassed 14 points from four penalties and a conversion in a see-saw match as Tonga won only their sixth-ever match against a tier one nation.

Tonga had previously beaten Australia in 1973, France in 1999 and 2011, Italy themselves in 1999 and Scotland in 2012.

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Italy, who notched their first-ever win over South Africa one week ago but were missing suspended captain Sergio Parisse, took an early 7-0 lead when Lorenzo Cittadini burst over the line for a try, converted by Carlo Canna.

Two Takulua penalties either side of half-time reduced the arrears before Siale Piutau collected a pass from Jack Ram to score Tonga‘s only try in the 52nd minute, which Takalua converted to give them a 13-7 lead.

Italy regained the lead with a Tommaso Allan try which he also converted but another Takalua penalty put Tonga back in front with seven minutes left.

The visitors appeared to have blown their chance when they gifted Italy a penalty, converted by Edoardo Padovani with two minutes left.

Yet the hosts then returned the compliment and Takulua gratefully accepted as he scored from 40 metres with the last kick of the game.