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Italy wary of Ireland spoiling tactics

Date

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."

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
 
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