Rugby round-up: Italy come within an ace of a shock
Sunday 25 November 2012
Australia came close to real embarrassment in Florence when they appeared to slip into coasting mode and ended up in a fight to cling on to a 22-19 victory over Italy.
It was an easy mistake to make. When Nick Cummins crossed for a try they were 22-3 ahead with barely half an hour gone. Game over? Think again. Luciano Orquera reduced the arrears with his second penalty and Robert Barbieri dived in for a converted try just after the restart. When Orquera added two more penalties there was only three points between the teams and Australia were looking ragged.
But the Italian bubble burst. Mirco Bergamasco was carried off and Sergio Parisse fumbled with the try-line beckoning.
France needed four penalties from Frédéric Michalak to secure a 22-14 victory over Samoa at the Stade de France, where the visitors scored tries at the start of each half.
Census Johnstone surprised the French with a clever grubber kick after only five minutes, allowing David Lemi to touch down. Tusi Pisi converted. Early in the second half Joe Tekori barged over for a try from close quarters, but in the end Samoan indiscipline made the difference.
Another fine Aviva Premiership display at fly-half from Gloucester's Freddie Burns had his head coach, Nigel Davies, suggesting an England call-up was due after he put Danny Cipriani in the shade in the 29-3 home defeat of Sale. "What we have seen here with him is a maturity which probably wasn't there in the past – but his game management today was excellent," Davies said. Sale's only points came from the former England fly-half Cipriani.
Northampton ended a run of three league defeats with a 23-16 victory over London Welsh at Franklin's Gardens, in a gruelling battle of the packs.
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? And full match card
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista fee agreed as Gunners make £13.5m bid to sign Villarreal defender - reports
Adrian Chiles leaves ITV: Football host joins exodus with immediate effect following Andy Townsend and Matt Smith announcement
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks