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Saturday, 23 November, 2002, 16:52 GMT
Wallabies ease past Italians
Scott Staniforth scored two of Australia's four tries against Italy
Staniforth ran in two first-half tries
Italy 3-34 Australia

Australia ended their three-match European tour with a comfortable but uninspiring win over Italy in Rome.

After successive defeats against Ireland and England, the Wallabies restored some pride by running in five unanswered tries.

But they were facing an Italy side short on ideas and without their all-time leading points scorer Diego Dominguez, who is injured.

Captain George Gregan was full of praise for the Italians after the win.

He said: "They're a well organised team and very committed in the tackle.


Our tackling was superb at times
Italian coach John Kirwan

"If they perform like that there's no reason why they can't have a good Six Nations tournament next year."

Italian coach John Kirwan described the match as one "full of positives" for his players.

"We prepared well for this match all week and I think we showed a lot of heart our there," he said.

"We contained them for long periods of the match and our tackling was superb at times."

Winger Scott Staniforth got the scoring under way, going over twice in a six minute first-half spell for the visitors after Justin Harrison had opened the scoring.

However, Matt Burke managed just one conversion before the interval.

Back-row bulldozer

Italy's Ramiro Pez, standing in for Dominguez, slotted a superb 40-metre penalty to make 17-3 at the break and gave the home crowd something to cheer.

Burke replied three minutes into the second-half as the Australians took control.

Toutai Kefu bulldozed his way through some weak tackling to touch down under the posts in the 57th minute as the rain came lashing down.

Stirling Mortlock then underlined Australia's superiority by scoring a try eight minutes from time, dancing his way through to scramble over.

Italy, beaten 36-6 at home to Argentina, offered little in attack without Dominguez.

But they were were far from overawed by the Australians who looked a little flat at the end of the their tour.


Italy: Mirco Bergamasco, Paolo Vaccari, Cristian Stoica, Matteo Barbini, Diego Sacca, Ramiro Pez, Juan Manuel Queirolo, Sergio Parisse, Mauro Bergamasco, Aaron Persico, Marco Bortolami, Enrico Pavanello, Marti Leandro Castrogiovanni, Fabio Ongaro, Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: Andre Moretti, Gianluca Faliva, Scott Palmer, Mark Giacheri, Alessandro Troncon, Cristian Zanoletti, Gert Peens.

Australia: Stirling Mortlock, Wendell Sailor, Matt Burke, Daniel Herbert, Scott Staniforth, Elton Flatley, George Gregan, Toutai Kefu, George Smith, Matt Cockbain, Justin Harrison, Dan Vickerman, Patricio Noriega, Adam Freier, Bill Young.
Replacements: Brendan Cannon, Ben Darwin, David Giffin, David Croft, Chris Whitaker, Matt Giteau, Mark Bartholomeusz.

Referee: Pablo De Luca (Argentina)

 NOV 23-24 TESTS
 ENGLAND 53-3 SA
 WALES 17-43 NZ
 IRELAND 16-7 ARG
 FRANCE 35-3 CANADA
 ITALY 3-34 AUSTRALIA
 SCOTLAND V FIJI

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