Wallabies finish tour with a win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies finish tour with a win

By Paul Mulvey 24/11/2002 06:10:01 AM Comments (0)

Australia has finished its disappointing end-of-year rugby tour with a waterlogged but entertaining 34-3 win over Italy.

Although the game was played in torrential rain at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, the Wallabies still managed to use the ball well to run in five tries to nil.

After a tough opening 10 minutes in which Italy came close to scoring only to be foiled when flanker Marco Bermagasco fumbled the slippery ball with the line open, a smart move between Elton Flatley and Justin Harrison gave Australia the lead.

Halfback George Gregan passed to Flatley, who turned the ball inside to second rower Harrison peeling off the maul to score his first Test try and put Australia 7-0 up following Matt Burke's conversion.

Flatley played a role in the second try four minutes later when his high kick was spilt by Italian halfback Juan Manuel Queirolo for the Australian five-eighth to toe ahead and let Scott Staniforth beat him to the race to dive on the ball.

Wendell Sailor then had his best moment on tour as he ran down the touchline, stepped inside a defender and laid off a great pass in the tackle for his fellow winger Staniforth to touch down again and give Australia a 17-0 lead.

Sailor also made two bustling runs of 40 and 50 metres when he took on and beat a dozen defenders reminiscent of his rugby league days.

Ramiro Pez kicked a penalty goal for Italy just before halftime to take the Test into the break at 17-3.

The match tightened up in the second half as the heavy conditions wore the players down but No.8 Toutai Kefu, Australia's best player, and Stirling Mortlock barged over for bullocking tries as they both beat several defenders.

Burke finished with two conversions and a penalty goal.

"They were tough conditions but we were reasonably happy with aspects of our game," coach Eddie Jones said.

"We created opportunities where with better skills we could have scored another three or four tries. Another three or four tries in those conditions is close to a pretty good effort."

The win over the Six Nations struggler closed the Wallabies' poor tour in which they had a dour win over Argentina and losses to Ireland and England.

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