Rugby Union: Australians struggle against Italy

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Australia battled to contain a gritty and skilful Italian team in Brisbane yesterday, securing an unconvincing 23-20 victory in the first Test. Italy played with energy and commitment and constantly bustled the home side into error. Australia scored two tries to one, the first a simple touchdown for their centre and man-of-the-match Daniel Herbert, but they were 17-13 down in the second half and lost their captain, Michael Lynagh, with a thigh injury. George Gregan's debut ended early because of eye damage. It took the charging runs of the flanker Ilie Tabua and the straight running of Herbert to give Australia the upper hand and Tim Wallace kicked well, landing the winning penalty in the 73rd minute.