Barnes boots Azzurri

The Wallabies claimed an unconvincing 32-14 win against Italy in Florence after leading 13-9 at the break.

The scoreline flattered the visitors, with Rocky Elsom going over for a try in the last move of the game when the ball popped out the back of an Italian scrum. The Wallabies’ only other try came through Drew Mitchell in the ninth minute of the game after Lachie Turner had been tackled just short of the line.

Recalled centre Berrick Barnes was the difference between the sides, kicking both conversions and six penalties.

Italy’s only try came from replacement loose forward Robert Barbieri in the 72nd minute, although he appeared to knock on when first trying to pick up the ball (the TMO disagreed).

While the Wallabies backs often looked dangerous, it was the same old story for them up front. The hosts won four scrum penalties in the first half, two of which were kicked through the posts.

Italy went into half-time with their heads up, but Barnes slotted three penalties in the third quarter to give the Wallabies a 22-9 lead that they never looked like relinquishing.