Italy’s Rugby World Cup adventure is over after going down 16-9 to Ireland on Sunday at the Olympic Stadium in London. The Italians had already lost to France and the Irish remain unbeaten. it is yet another group stage exit for the Azzurri.
Coach Jacques Brunel says: ‘We wanted to be players of the match and for long stretches we did well. It was a good Test and the team is pleased with the approach to the game. The fact remains that we lost and we cannot qualify for the quarter-finals, but we still have an important game against Romania. I have faith that the team takes the field with the same spirit today and will close with a display of world class quality (against Romania).’
Captain Sergio Parisse won his race against time to be fit for this fixture. He was as disappointed as any Italian and commented on the low-risk strategy employed by the Shamrocks: ‘Ireland did not take risks and used a very conservative tactical strategy. I’m happy with the way my calf reacted although I was not able to cover the field as I wanted.’
Brunel added: ‘Sergio made a great contribution to the team and has shown what we were missing against France and Canada. The penalty missed early in the second half could have changed the game, as well as instances of lost possession at certain stages. but it would be simplistic to blame that. We will analyse what went wrong then start planning for the future.’