JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Italy wary of Ireland spoiling tactics


ROME: Australian-born utility back Luke McLean says Italy must try to combat Ireland's spoiling tactics if they are to emerge victorious from Saturday's Six Nations match in Dublin.

Italy sit bottom of the table following defeats to France and England while Ireland similarly have no points after losing to Wales, before their clash in Paris was postponed due to the weather.

Italy have shown improvement in certain areas of their game, notably running with the ball in hand, under French coach Jacques Brunel.

But it is at the breakdown that McLean, who is likely to figure on the wing in Ireland, says they must watch out.

"They're perhaps the best team in the world at the breakdown, they do everything to slow down the ball and they do it well because they're not penalised by the referees," he said.

"In training (on Monday) we studied how we can beat them on this plan, we have to get the ball out quickly."

While Italy are playing a more expansive game, McLean says they now have to improve their ability to convert good play into points.

"We saw in our last two matches that we tried to play a bit more with the ball in hand and getting it wider," he added.

"We want to exploit the few chances we create."

Centre Gonzalo Canale, who was restored to the starting line-up against England having sat on the bench in Paris, concurred with his team-mate.

"On a world level they're the team who create the most problems at the breakdown," he said.

"From the tackle their defence tries to get on top of the man to slow down the ball and give them a chance of a turnover.

"We've worked a lot on that these last few weeks."

As well as keeping the ball alive, Italy want to increase their possession while omitting the mistakes that have cost them in their first two encounters.

"We're working on the mistakes we made against England in terms of the management of the game," Canale said.

"Since he arrived, Jacques has looked for this philosophy to have more balance between forwards and backs.

"We have to expand this type of game, which is more pleasing on the eye, we need more of the ball and to keep it alive more.

"But there's still a lot to work on, we need to cut out the mistakes, but we're on the right track."

And looking back to last year's fixture when Italy were denied a first ever Six Nations success against Ireland by a last gasp Ronan O'Gara drop goal, Canale admitted it still rankles.

"Last year we were really close to winning, we just lacked a bit of quality in the management of the game," he said.

"We conceded a drop goal from a mistake at the kick-off.

"But we've been able to compete for several years now, we have to be ready mentally."


HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers