venue: Comunale Palazzolo
3rd September 2016
Full Match Report
Italy and Ireland warmed up for their respective World Cup Qualifying campaigns with a full flowing, open and exciting friendly game in Palazzolo sull’Oglio, close to Brescia.
In front of a large and passionate crowd, which included the mayor of Palazzolo sull’Oglio, Italy played some bright Rugby League, but were plagued by a number of individual errors that gave Ireland excellent field position at key points in the game.
In a tense and tight first quarter, each side trading tries, with Diego Antl and Luca Rossetti scoring for the Italians and Connor Phillips and Jordan Hylton replying both times, with Antl and James Kelly both knocking over a conversion each. Ireland’s greater experience began to show after Hylton’s Try and they were able to run in three tries in 12 minutes, with creative play in midfield by Kelly putting Casey Dunne over, while great passing and powerful running saw Connor Phillips and Gareth Gill go over for well taken tries.
Italy managed to get some ground back with a Di Trapani try in the corner, with Diego Antl hitting the conversion to leave Italy only 10 points behind at Half-time.
The second half began the same as the first with both sides trading tries, with Ziliotti and Soulymene finding space to score for Italy to reduce the arrears, but Russel and Dunne responded each time for Ireland to take back the initiative, with Kelly having an excellent day with the boot and converting both tries.
Italy continued to battle as the crowd urged them on, but mistakes started to creep in and passes started to get knocked on as they tried to force the play. Ireland took full advantage and dominated the final quarter of the game, as Dunne completed his Hat trick and Armstrong, Mackay and Kelly finished off the scoring, with Kelly completing a personal points tally of 18 points with a well taken try under the posts.
The game ended 60-26 to Ireland, but the score did not reflect the effort put in by an Italian side who will look ahead to games against Wales and Serbia with some confidence
Patrik Ziliotti, Soulymane Bara, Davide Spinnato, Raffaele Della Ragione, Albert Stiopei, Diego Antl, Pierangelo Ceretti, Giuseppe Pagani, Lorenzo Luccardi, Mirko Benelli, Mathew Sands, Luca Rossetti, Gioele Celerino, Riccardo Dodi, Francesco Di Trapani, Nicholas Cominato, Ismail Bayoui
Casey Dunne, Rob Armstrong, Adam Boyce, Alan McMahon, Jordan Hylton, Adam Doherty, James Kelly, Gareth Gill, Connor Phillips, Chris Hall, Matt McKelvey, Matthew Cahoon, Wayne Kerr, Mikey Russell, Sam Boyd, Connor Mackay, Paddy James