Monday 27 March 2017

WATCH - Conor O'Shea's Italy stun South Africa with first ever win over the Springboks in Florence

Italy's Sergio Parisse celebrates a try scored by teammate Giovanbattista Venditti against South Africa. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Italy's Sergio Parisse celebrates a try scored by teammate Giovanbattista Venditti against South Africa. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Ireland international Conor O'Shea is celebrating his greatest day in management after masterminding Italy's first ever win over South Africa in Florence.

There were joyous scenes at the Stadio Artemio Franchi after the final whistle after the rank outsiders created a piece of rugby history with a 20-18 victory.

Their stunning triumph comes just a fortnight after Ireland ended their 111-year wait for a victory over the all Blacks.

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.

But Italy 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.

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