Mallett confident Italy can bouce back

Italy head coach Nick Mallett has urged his players to put their Cardiff horror show behind them as they gear up for the remainder of their Six Nations campaign.


Mallett’s men crashed to their biggest defeat of the season with a 47-8 thrashing here, conceding 34 unanswered second half points.


The challenge facing the Azzurri won’t get any easier as they jump out of the Millennium Stadium frying pan straight into the Stade de France fire in two weeks time.


But Mallett believes his players must forget the “disastrous 20 minute period” after the interval as they prepare for France in Paris.


“I’m not going to spend time criticising my players. We’ve got to work hard and not make the same mistakes again.”

 

Mallett, who is still waiting for his first win as coach, believes he will use his wealth of experience to turn around Italy’s fortunes.

“I’ve coached much worse teams than this,” he said. “I coached Boland, a small province in South Africa and in my second game as coach we lost 81-3 away from home against Orange Free State.


“But then four months later, we only lost 25-21 in the reverse.


“I’m really enjoying this job but today was a big disappointment.


There is definitely a place for Italy in this competition and the players can still improve a lot.


“There is a big difference between coaching championship sides and coaching Italy or Boland but I get a lot of pleasure out of doing both.”

 

Meanwhile, Italy’s Josh Sole reckons it was an afternoon to forget as Wales ran riot in Cardiff.

The Italians trailed 6-5 midway through the first half when centre Gonzalo Canole knocked on with the tryline at his mercy.


And Italy and Viadana flanker Sole insists his team-mates must take their chances when they travel to France.


Sole said: “We should have scored that try before half time and that would have put us in the lead. But we didn’t take our opportunity.


“Then the second half was one to forget. Wales ran the ball well and we got penalised. They capitalised and destroyed us and our gameplan fell apart.


“They got their second try soon after the break and scored quickly again. Our heads didn’t drop but you only have to look at the statistics.


“We made 135 tackles and Wales made 50 – you can’t play 80 minutes of international rugby like that because guys are bound to miss tackles.


“We have to regroup and look at our mistakes on the video. We need to get this defeat out of our minds quickly because we’ve got France coming up.

 

“They will be as dangerous as Wales.”

Sapa-AFP – SixNationsweb.co.uk

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