Sunday, November 13, 2011

Italy vs New Zealand - Milan, 2009

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Two years ago Italy hosted New Zealand in an international rugby match at the large and impressive San Siro Stadium in Milan. The All Blacks had never lost to the Italians and they kept this record intact as New Zealand won the match 20-6 scoring one try to nil. The match was a breakthrough in that it had a fullhouse crowd of 80,000 fans who were extremely vocal as roars went around the ground throughout the contest. It also showed that Italy is a more than capable host of a Rugby World Cup and that the IRB need to look to Argentina and Italy as the best options for Rugby World Cup 2003 and 2007. The other options are all either previous hosts such as Australia, France and South Africa or lower tier sides such as Russia. Italy can match Argentina in most departments but, firstly need to make the World Cup Quarter Finals and be able to reguarly compete at a higher level.  

The match itself was also another example of what Argentina is contributing to global rugby as four of the starting XV were born in Argentina. The team was lead by La Plata born backrower, Sergio Parisse who was joined by centres Gonzalo Canale and Gonzalo Garcia as well as Martin Castrogiovanni at tighthead prop. Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet was on the bench for the Italians, giving them a fifth player from Argentina. Not only were the players from Argentina but they were also impressive with Martin Castrogiovanni dominating All Blacks loosehead prop, Wyatt Crockett. Referee Stuart Dickinson was highly criticised for not awarding a penalty try to Italy as well missing numerous scrum offences during the match. Perhaps the ebst player on the pack was Parisse who alongside Mauro Bergamasco competed very well at the breakdown with New Zealand unable to be as competitive as normal. Centre, Gonzalo Canale almost went over for a try while Gonzalo Garcia was not quite as impressive as he was yellow carded by Dickinson.

Italy

15 Luke McLean
14 Kaine Robertson
13 Gonzalo Canale
12 Gonzalo Garcia 
11 Mirco Bergamasco
10 Craig Gower
9 Tito Tebaldi
8 Sergio Parisse (Captain)
7 Mauro Bergamasco
6 Alessandro Zanni
5 Quintin Geldenhuys
4 Carlo Antonio del Fava
3 Martin Castrogiovanni
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini
1 Salvatore Perugini

Replacements

16 Fabio Ongaro
17 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet
18 Josh Sole
19 Simone Favaro
20 Simon Picone
21 Kris Burton
22 Alberto Sgarbi

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