13th Place Play-off: Canada 22-32 Italy

(IRB.COM) Sunday 21 June 2009
By Oscar Jimenez
From Nagoya
 13th Place Play-off: Canada 22-32 Italy
Andrea Manici scored two tries in Italy's 32-22 victory over Canada - Photo: Aki Nagao (RJP)

Italy secured 13th place as they beat Canada 32-22 in a highly entertaining match at the Mizuho Rugby Ground in Nagoya at the IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship.

Canada had come back from 22-10 behind to have the scores tied at 22-22 after an hour but 15 points in the match from Michele Mortali - who replaced the injured Denis Majstrovic in the opening minute - helped seal the victory for Italy.

Italy had beaten Canada 33-10 in the 11th place play-off in last year's inaugural Championship and after both sides had missed early penalties, it was they who took the lead in the 14th minute when centre Tommaso Benvenuti crossed for the European side - although he missed the conversion to leave the score 5-0.

But, as was the story throughout the match, whenever Italy extended their lead, Canada pulled them back and Harry Jones did so after 17 minutes with a finely struck drop goal.

Mortali scored the first of his points of the afternoon three minutes later with a penalty, but once again Canada responded and took the lead through Conor Trainor after captain Jones had launched a high ball which the wing re-gathered and the fly half Jones added the extras to make it 10-8.

However on the half hour mark Motali crossed to regain the lead for his team and Benvenuti converted. Hooker Andrea Manici then extended this lead with Mortali on hand to add the extras to make it 22-10.

But once again Canada got themselves back into the match when full back Jordan Wilson-Ross collected the ball in midfield and crossed the line - with Jones adding the extras the teams went into the break 22-17.

The second half developed in the same way the first had ended with Andrew Crow touching down for Canada, although this time Jones could not convert and the scores were levelled again.

The two sides were locked at 22-22 on the hour mark, but Italian hooker Manici scored his second try of the match with replacement Mortali kicking the conversion and adding a penalty to seal the 32-22 victory for the Italians.