Italy vs Uruguay LIVE: Rugby World Cup result and final score

Italy moved to the top of Pool A with after a 38-17 victory over Uruguay

Michael Jones
Wednesday 20 September 2023 19:44 BST
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Italy weathered a storm in Nice to record a second victory at the Rugby World Cup when they defeated Uruguay 38-17. Kieran Crowley’s men wanted to start quickly and did, going over for the opening six minutes into the game after Felipe Etcheverry missed the chance to put Los Teros ahead.

From there Italy imploded. A penalty try was awarded to Uruguay after Danilo Fischetti illegally held up the ball before two players were sin binned. With a two man advantage, Uruguay went over for a second try and extended their lead to 10 points thanks to a drop goal on the stroke of half-time.

Things changed massively in the second half. As Uruguay tired, Italy gained momentum and the upperhand. 31 points came without reply as they showed off skill and composure to overcome the deficit before stretching out a comfortable lead. In the end they were too good for the tier two side but now look to sterner tests against New Zealand and France.

Relive all the action from the Stade de Nice below. Plus get all the latest Rugby World Cup odds and tips here.


Italy show a glimpse of what may be to come to beat valiant Uruguay

Felipe Etcheverry collapsed back on his haunches, the physical exertions and emotional exhaustion clear. For a second time in six days, Los Teros had come close but not close enough, two of the Six Nations eventually showing their strength, first France and now Italy belatedly forced to find themselves to survive a significant South American test.

This was a vital win for Italy, of whom much is expected over these next four years. A brutal group draw, with France and New Zealand to come in Pool A, may cap their quarter-final ambitions this time around but victory here all but secures their spot as an automatic qualifier for the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

They opened up in grand style here, settling down after spending too much of the early proceedings engaging in petulant scrapping and squabbling. With their forwards increasingly able to win the gainline, the final margin was reasonably large, giving Kieran Crowley’s side confidence ahead of back-to-back meetings with the hosts and the All Blacks.

Italy show a glimpse of what may be to come to beat valiant Uruguay

Italy 38-17 Uruguay: Los Teros again threatened a major shock in Nice but faded in the second half

Harry Latham-Coyle at the Stade de Nice20 September 2023 19:00

Kieran Crowley on Italy’s early breakdown woes

“You are always ready for a match, you always prepare as much as you can in the week. We were ready for the game. Let’s give some credit to Uruguay - they forced us into errors. Their number six [Manuel Ardao] is an outstanding jackaler. At the breakdown if you are half a second late, they are rewarded. It is all about anticipation. We were a little bit late on those threats, but we got a couple of turnovers later on which balanced the books a bit.”

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2023 19:44

Italy coach Kieran Crowley on his side’s win

“In the first half, we turned over seven balls inside our own 40. Our discipline wasn’t good enough. Credit to Uruguay - they put us under pressure and took the points when they could. It was 17-7 at half-time but we said we weren’t going to chase the game. We had to take it a little bit more direct than we had been and I though that second half was an outstanding second half. it was exactly what we said we were going to do - they took it to Uruguay and kept the ball. It’s an 80 minute game. You can’t change what has already happened. The heart was still going, of course.

“We went out there in the first half with a plan but we kept turning the ball over and giving away penalties and we couldn’t do what we wanted to do. The boys were pretty good in that second half doing what we wanted to do. Uruguay deserved their lead at half time. They were outstanding against France and again today in the first half, but probably in the second half, with the pace of the game, they were a little bit suspect. But that’s rugby - you wear teams down by keeping the ball.”

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2023 19:40

Uruguay coach Esteban Meneses calls for his side to get more playing opportunities

“We have been asking to have more games, as is the case in the northern hemisphere, in order to be well prepared for World Cups. We have five games a year. It is not sufficient. We need to have more games. I have no doubt we have got a lot of potential. We will keep working but we need to compete at a worldwide and higher level. We need to compete many times against stronger teams in order to build our resistance and physical shape.”

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Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2023 19:33

Uruguay head coach Esteban Meneses reacts to his side’s defeat

“Italy are a really major team. In the second half, physically it was clear we were not up to it and suffered. We were prepared for this game but our defence wasn’t very good in the second half. The team, mentally and physically, was tired in the second half.”

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2023 19:22

Uruguay head coach Esteban Meneses reacts to his side’s defeat

“The players and the staff did our best. It is a collective group and we knew Italy and Namibia would be quite difficult. But we were prepared for that.”

“In the second half, Italy were superior to us. We were not able to fight them. BUt the group have shown great enthusiasm and great momentum and we will still keep working on that. Against Italy, which is a major team that have a lot of potential, we weren’t able to win. We had some errors in the kicking game. We gave paths to Italy to gain some momentum and some territory.”

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2023 19:20

FT: Italy 38-17 Uruguay

That win takes Italy top of Pool A, if you were wondering, with a maximum ten points from two games. Their time at the top may well be brief - France will go past them if they beat Namibia tomorrow in Marseille.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2023 19:10

FT: Italy 38-17 Uruguay

Michele Lamaro has also been named the official player of the match, with the Italy captain crucial in turning things around in that second half, making a match-high 16 tackles and scoring that try, of course.

A few other standouts, though - Paolo Garbisi grew in influence at inside centre, offering himself as a running and passing threat and combining well with Tommaso Allan, who also had a good game. For Uruguay, Manuel Ardao was utterly outstanding over the ball throughout. The official stats have him at five turnovers won, which is a ridiculous tally for the short blindside flanker.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2023 19:07

FT Italy 38-17 Uruguay,

Italy captain Michele Lamaro, speaking to ITV: “This is a real group, we are a family and that is with all 33 players that are here. It was a really tough game but I told all the Uruguayan lads to be so proud of their performance.

“Our strength is the group, yes I am young but without all these players I cannot do anything. I am really proud of the boys tonight.”

Mike Jones20 September 2023 18:54

Full-time! Italy 38-17 Uruguay, 80 minutes

There goes the final whistle! Italy rescue themselves after a woeful first half which saw Uruguay take advantage after Kieran Crowley’s men had two men sin binned.

Italy move to the top of Pool A and secure another bonus point. One more win should be enough to get them through to the quarter-finals but their next matches are against New Zealand and France.

Still, that’s for the future. Right now they’ll be celebrating a fine win in Nice.

Mike Jones20 September 2023 18:43

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