Italy crash to Pacific Islanders
Delasau scores twice in historic win
Last Updated: 22/11/08 6:02pm
Delasau: try double
The Pacific Islanders claimed the first Test victory of their four-year existence with a 25-17 success over Italy in Reggio Emilia.
Vilimoni Delasau scored two tries in the first half to set the platform for the visitors' success.
The Fijian winger dived over in the corner in the third minute at the end of a turnover-rich opening exchange and added a second from close range after a series of rucks close to the half hour.
Kameli Ratuvou also touched down and fly-half Seremaia Bai kicked 10 points for the combined Tonga, Fiji and Samoa side, who had lost their previous eight Tests.
Italy mustered tries of their own from forwards Leonardo Ghiraldini and Mauro Bergamasco, supplemented by seven points from fly-half Andrea Marcato's boot.
The Azzurri responded swiftly to Delasau's opening try with Marcato kicking a penalty and slotting a conversion after Ghiraldini barged over the whitewash in the 13th minute.
But the Pacific Islanders soon regained the lead with a Bai penalty and Delasau's second try, which came despite Bai having been sent to the sin bin minutes earlier for a late and high tackle on Mirco Bergamasco.
And the visitors extended their advantage to 22-10 when full-back Ratuvou broke through a gap and went all the way to the line from close to half-way.
After Bai added to the Islanders' lead with a penalty at the start of second period, Italy started to control of possession but they were frequently let down by the last touch.
They gained their reward for a sustained period of pressure in the 65th minute when flanker Bergamasco went over after captain Sergio Parisse's clever flick pass behind his back.
The result of Italy's first match in the northern city of Reggio Emilio leaves them without a win from the November Test programme, having lost 22-14 to Argentina and 30-20 to Australia.