Late tries give Argentina victory over Italy in Florence
Conor O’Shea’s side led 15-14 after an hour before tourists pulled away
Italy’s Marcello Violi in action against Argentina during the Test match at Stadio Artemio Franchi Stadium in Florence. Photograph: Maurizio Degl’innocenti/EPA
Italy 15 Argentina 31
Argentina scored two tries in the last 10 minutes to claim a 31-15 win over Italy after a see-saw Test match in Florence on Saturday.
The lead changed nine times and Conor O’Shea’s side led 15-14 on the hour before Argentina broke loose in the last 20 minutes with converted tries by Marcos Kremer and Joaquin Tuculet for only their second win this year.
Sebastian Cancelliere scored the other try for Argentina in the first half.
Italy’s points came from four Carlo Canna penalties and a drop goal from Marcello Violi. Juan Martin Hernandez converted one penalty for Argentina while Nicolas Sanchez scored 13 points from three penalties and two conversions.
Hernandez, temporarily replacing Sanchez, opened the scoring with a penalty for Argentina but Italy hit back with two quick Canna penalties. Cancelliere ducked between the Italian back line to score the game’s first try.
The two sides took it in turns to score and take the lead until, with Argentina 17-15 ahead, Kremer powered through Jayden Hayward’s tackle to give the Pumas breathing space.
Tuculet finished off an Argentina attack by diving into the corner for another try on his 50th appearance as they extended their unbeaten run against Italy which goes back to 2008.
ITALY: Jayden Hayward; Leonardo Sarto, Tommaso Boni, Tommy Castello, Mattia Bellini; Carlo Canna, Marcello Violi; Andrea Lovotti, Luca Bigi, Simone Ferrari; Marco Fuser, Dean Budd; Francesco Minto, Braam Steyn, Sergio Parisse (capt).
Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini for Bigi (half-time); Matteo Minozzi for Sarto, Federico Zani for Lovotti (both 52 mins); Dario Chistolini for Ferrari, Tito Tebaldi for Violi (both 60 mins); Giovanni Licata for Minto (62 mins); Federico Ruzza for Budd, Ian McKinley for Canna (both 72 mins); Bigi for Ghiraldini (75 mins).
ARGENTINA: Joaquin Tuculet; Sebastian Cancelliere, Matias Orlando, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Emiliano Boffelli; Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo; Santiago Garcia Botta, Agustin Creevy (capt), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro; Matias Alemanno, Tomas Lavanini; Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Juan Manuel Leguizamon.
Replacements: Juan Martin Hernandez for Sanchez (6-16 mins temp); Lucas Noguera Paz for Botta (44 mins); Guido Petti Pagadizaval for Alemanno (52 mins), Benjamin Macome for Leguizamon, Matias Moroni for Orlando (both 58 mins), Gonzalo Betranou for Landajo, Julian Montoya for Creevy (both 60 mins), Enrique Pieretto for Chaparro (63 mins).