Islanders finally get first win
22 Nov 2008
The Pacific Islanders recorded their first victory on their European tour with a 25-17 victory over Italy in Reggio Emilia.
The Islanders got off to a blistering start, scoring the opening try of the game in just the second minute through Vilimoni Delasau.
However, the Italians hit back through a Andrea Marcato penalty and a 13th minute try by hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini. Marcato slotted the conversion to give his side a three point lead.
A penalty to the Islanders just five minutes later saw Bai level the scores.
Bai then turned villain as the flyhalf was sent to the bin in the 25th minute, but Italy could not benefit from their numerical advantage and the Islanders regained the lead when Delasau got his second try of the game with three minutes remaining in the half.
Bai, who was back on the park again, added the extras to give the Islanders a 17-10 lead at the half.
The men from the Pacific came out flying in the second half scoring through Fijian fullback Kameli Ratuvou just a minute in.
The Islanders were awarded a penalty just a minute later and Bai added the three points to extend their lead to 15 points.
The game then went scoreless till the 64th minute when Italy finally struck back through flanker Mauro Bergamasco. Marcato slotted the conversion to narrow the gap to eight with 15 minutes left in the game.
But Nick Mallett’s charges failed to threaten again and the Islanders held on for a 25-17 victory.
Italy - Tries: Ghiraldini, Bergamasco. Convs: Marcato (2). Pens: Marcato.
Pacific Islanders - Tries: Delasau (2), Ratuvou. Convs Bai (2). Pens: Bai (2)