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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Italy fend off Canada
Manuel Dallan tries to launch a fresh Italian attack
Italy 19
Try: Parisse
Con: Wakarua
Pens: Wakarua (4)
Canada 14
Try: Fyffe
Pens: Barker (3)
Italy 19-14 Canada

Italy kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals with a tight victory over Canada in an error-strewn contest.

The more accurate boot of Rima Wakarua provided the difference between the two sides, while Italy's Sergio Parisse and Canadian Quentin Fyffe were the game's only try scorers.

In stark contrast to Wakarua, the normally reliable Jared Barker missed a number of chances throughout the night, most notably in the latter stages as the Cannucks piled on the pressure.

Despite the win, the Azzurri will have to drastically improve their play to have any chance of beating Wales in their must-win encounter on Saturday.

A dull first half was dominated by the boot, with Wakarua slotting over three penalties to Barker's two before the whistle.

Both sides showed a glimmer of promise with the occasional attack, only to be let down by poor discipline, some shoddy handling and stout defence.

After the restart, Italy looked the far stronger, continually launching telling breaks but still failing to find the vital pass.

The boys were too uptight
Italy coach John Kirwan
Sergio Parisse initially came the closest, sliding into the left-hand corner only to be denied a try courtesy of a superbly timed Morgan Williams tackle.

With 25 minutes left on the clock, the already struggling Canadians saw their cause further deteriorate when Marco di Girolamo illegally killed the ball.

He was sin-binned and, in his absence, Parisse finally got the try he deserved.

Manuel Dallan picked up the ball after Canada fluffed a scrum and popped it to the number eight to bundle his way over the line.

Canada fightback

Rather than settle the Italians, the try paved the way for a catalogue of errors and a surprise score from Quentin Fyffe.

Canada had rarely looked capable of crossing the gain line for most of the night in Canberra but, with 13 minutes left on the clock, that all changed.

We were unlucky in a hard-fought game
Canada captain Al Charron
The ball was spread wide and a searing turn of pace from Fyffe allowed him to slide in for a score and cut the deficit to five points.

From there Canada, and Fyffe in particular, sprung to life but still could not close the gap.

Barker missed both a reasonably straight-forward conversion and penalty and despite Italy losing Fabio Ongaro to th sin-bin in the closing minutes, they ultimately ran out of time.

Italy: G Canale, M Bergamasco, C Stoica, M Dallan, D Dallan; R Wakarua, A Troncon (capt); A Lo Cicero, F Ongaro, L Castrogeovanni, S Dellape, M Bortolami, A De Rossi, A Persico, S Parisse
Replacements: C Festuccia, S Pergini, C Checchinato, S Palmer, M Mazzantini, F Mazzariol, A Masi

Canada: Q Fyffe; W Stanley, J Cannon, M Di Girolamo, D Lougheed; J Barker, M Williams; R Snow, M Lawson, J Thiel, C Yukes, A Charron (capt), J Cudmore, J Douglas, R Banks
Replacements: A Abrams, K Tkachuk, J Reid, J Jackson, S Fauth, B Ross, M King.

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