Try time: Santiago Dellape of Italy scores the opening try against Romania

MARSEILLE, 12 September – Italy held on in the face of a fierce Romania onslaught to win their Pool C IRB Rugby World Cup match 24-18 at the Stade Velodrome.

Despite scoring two tries apiece, superior goal kicking from the Azzurri proved the difference.

Italy full back David Bortolussi kicked one penalty, and fly half Ramiro Pez
was successful with three penalties and a conversion while Romania full back Iulian Dumitras missed out on 11 points on offer by sending the ball wide with three penalty and one conversion attempt.

The sin-binning of Romania openside flanker Alexandru Manta in the 52nd minute proved decisive.

In his absence Italy racked up 10 points via a converted penalty try and a Pez penalty.

Down 8-0 at the half time Romania came out of the break full of intent and got into immediate field position from the kick-off from where Manta crashed over following a line-out drive in the 42nd minute.

Five minutes later Romania hooker Marius Tincu scored after some fantastic lead-up work. The powerful front row picked and drove from a ruck and powered through three would-be tackles to give Romania the lead for the first time in the match.

But it proved short-lived as Italy piled on the points with the opposition one man down and Romania never recovered.

Italy were the more disciplined and accurate team but Romania edged the Azzurri in both territory and possession.

Santiago Dellape went over for the first try of the match after five minutes to become his country's only second row to score a try at a world cup.

RNS mp/mr