Wednesday 26 April 2017

Italy claim Boks' scalp for O'Shea

Italy 20 South Africa 18

Franois Venter leaves the field. Photo: Getty Images
Franois Venter leaves the field. Photo: Getty Images

Italy claimed their first-ever victory over South Africa with a nail-biting success in Florence.

South Africa had won the previous 12 games between the two countries and were ahead inside five minutes as the returning Bryan Habana finished Willie le Roux's clean break.

South Africa's Damian de Allende clings to the ball during the international match against Italy at Stadio Olimpico yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
South Africa's Damian de Allende clings to the ball during the international match against Italy at Stadio Olimpico yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

But Conor O'Shea's side were soon ahead when Andries van Schalkwyk crashed over from a rolling maul and Carlo Canna converted.

Damian De Allende's converted try regained the lead for South Africa, who were 12-10 ahead at the break following an Edoardo Padovani penalty.

Italy were reduced to 14 men at the start of the second half by Marco Fuser's yellow card, and a Patrick Lambie penalty gave the Springboks a five-point lead.

But Giovanbattista Venditti's converted try put Italy 17-15 ahead, and the Azzurri held on for a famous victory after Elton Jantjies and Canna exchanged penalties in the final quarter.

South Africa's Nizaam Carr maintains possession during the international match against Italy at Stadio Olimpico yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
South Africa's Nizaam Carr maintains possession during the international match against Italy at Stadio Olimpico yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
South Africa coach Allister Coetzee looks on during the international match against Italy at Stadio Olimpico yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
South Africa coach Allister Coetzee looks on during the international match against Italy at Stadio Olimpico yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

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