John Connolly’s Australians won for the first time overseas, but there was nothing convincing about their 25-18 win against Italy.
The Wallabies have an awful away record and it looked like it would plunge to its most embarrassing low in Rome when Italy led 15-13 at halftime.
Italian flyhalf Ramiro Pez kicked all 18 points, but Australia’s three tries were enough to see them home.
The Wallabies took the lead for the first time on 34 minutes, trailed at halftime by two points and scored two tries in the second half to ensure a first win in three tour starts.
But the win was only secured eight minutes from time when Wycliff Palu’s strong run set up Stirling Mortlock’s try.