Italy Ready For Canada

Italy has completed its preparations for Saturday’s crucial Rugby World Cup Pool D clash in Leeds against Canada.  The upcoming 80 minutes is crucial to both sides as they aim to keep alive their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.  Azzurri hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini says:  ‘There are still three games between us and the quarter-finals and none can be considered easy or to have an inevitable conclusion.  There are no easy games in the World Cup and we can only think of one game at a time.  The challenge will be crucial to our match against Ireland at the Olympic (Stadium) but for now we have to think of tomorrow (Saturday) and Canada.  We have to win and, above all, we must deserve to win.  We have to improve our discipline, pay attention to our rugby and keep in mind that Canada is a very physical team and will not be an easy match.’

The Azzurri feel that only indiscipline and the many penalties awarded to France at Twickenham last Saturday, had cost them a win against Les Bleus.  Forwards coach Giampiero De Carli says:  ‘We are confident in the effectiveness of our mauling game.  Ours is not an attempt to be penalised but the interpretations of the laws have got the better of us.  We have to stay positive and understand what the referees want.’  

Italy scrumhalf Edoardo Gori is expecting a good back line battle on the day.  Gori says:  ‘Much has been made of the performance after the match with France.  It was not easy for us, but we did some good things during both offensive and defensive play, and against Canada we want to demonstrate that we have made further progress in our game.  We will take even more responsibility in the game and try to increase our performance levels.  The Canadians are big and physically strong, with excellent individual skills and will compete well with us but we will have to be good to impose ourselves on them.’

Ghiraldini had the last words at the Italian pre-match press conference when he said:  ‘We come from a series of defeats, and we are determined to play a great match, to bring the result home.  We are at the World Cup and the games seen to date have shown that anything can happen and that everything is still possible, but also that there are no easy games for anyone.  It will not be easy, but we are focused and motivated.’