Italy put Chicago defeat behind them with win over Georgia

Conor O’Shea’s side run in four tries in Florence encounter

Italy’s outhalf Tommaso Allan runs in  to score a try during the autumn international against Georgia   in Florence. Photograph:  Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Italy’s outhalf Tommaso Allan runs in to score a try during the autumn international against Georgia in Florence. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

 

Italy 28 Georgia 17

Italy boosted their case for continued inclusion in the Six Nations on Saturday with a 28-17 win over Georgia in Florence, the team often cited as having better credentials.

Conor O’Shea’s side scored four tries, including one by Tommaso Allan who also kicked two penalties and a conversion, in the first meeting of the sides since 2003.

The game was seen as an unofficial test of Italy’s right to stay in the Six Nations, where they have not won a match since 2015 and have finished bottom for the last three seasons.

Georgia have won the Europe International Championships – effectively a second-tier event – for eight of the last 10 seasons but there is no promotion and relegation between the two competitions.

After Allan converted an early penalty, a stunning solo try from Georgia’s Tamaz Mchedlidze and a Soso Matiashvili conversion gave the visitors an early 7-3 lead.

But tries by Michele Campagnaro and Mattia Bellini, with an Allan penalty in between, gave Italy an 18-7 half-time advantage.

Italy increased their lead with further tries by Simone Ferrari and Allan. Matiashvili converted a penalty in between and Georgia reduced the arrears with a penalty try.

ITALY: L Sperandio; T Benvenuti, M Campagnaro, T Castello, M Bellini; T Allan, T Tebaldi; A Lovotti,  L Ghiraldini, S Ferrari; A  Zanni, D Budd; S Negri, J Polledri, B Steyn.

Replacements: T Pasquali for Ferrari (56 mins), M Fuser for Zanni (62), J Meyer for Negri (64), C Traore for Lovotti, L Bigi for Ghiraldini, G Palazzani for Tebaldi (all 72), C Canna for Allan (76). Not used: L Morisi. Sin bin: Benvenuti (63).

GEORGIA: S Matiashvili; G Koshadze, M Sharikadze, T Mchedlidze, Z Dzneladze; L Khmaladze, V Lobzhanidze; M Nariashvili, J Bregvadze, D Kubriashvili; N Tcheishvili, L Lomidze; O Giorgadze, G Tsutskiridze, B Gorgadze.

Replacements: G Kveseladze for Koshadze (45), L Chilachava for Kubriashvili (48), B Bitsadze for Giorgadze (56), Z Zhvania for Nariashvili, S Mamukashvilli for Bregvadze (both 59), S Sutiashvili for Tcheishvili (67), L Malaguradze for Khmaladze (80). Not used: G Aprasidze. Sin bin: Tsutskiridze (28).

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