CANADA 16 ITALY 25
Kris Burton in action during the Six Nations. Photo: Getty Images
TORONTO: Kris Burton kicked 20 points, rallying Italy in the second half for a 25-16 victory over Canada on Friday in an international rugby union friendly.
Australian-born, Italian fly-half Burton kicked six penalty goals and converted Tommaso D'Apice's try in the 50th minute off a driving maul to give the European side the victory at Toronto in front of a crowd of 12,220.
"It was a good win," Italian coach Jacques Brunel said. "Canada is a tough team and they showed the strong spirit they had at the World Cup. We knew it would be a difficult game so we are happy with the result."
Italy, ranked 12th in the world, and 13th-ranked Canada both used the match to showcase young talent, players hoping to catch the eye of Brunel and Canadian coach Kieran Crowley.
The Canadians, who edged the visiting United States 28-25 last week, had 11 points from fullback James Pritchard, who kicked three penalty goals and converted winger Conor Trainor's first-half try.
"We played into their hands by having one off runners a lot of times. That got them into the game," Crowley said. "It was pretty disappointing from our perspective. We didn't execute what we went out to do."
Trainor scooped up a loose ball lost by Italian scrum-half Tito Tebaldi and scored the lone try of the first half under the posts to put Canada ahead 13-6 on the way to a 13-9 half-time edge.
After a Burton penalty kick pulled Italy within a point, the Six Nations side took the lead for good on D'Apice's try and a Burton conversion for a 19-13 advantage.
Pritchard pulled Canada closer with a penalty kick after an Italian obstruction call but Burton added two more penalty goals, the last with less than eight minutes remaining, and Canada could not answer again.
The Canadians will entertain Georgia on June 23, the same day the Italians will visit the United States.