Australia v Italy, Rugby World Cup, September 11
Wallabies look to extend flawless record
September 6, 2011
Legendary Australia wing David Campese scored six tries against the Azzurri down through the years © Getty Images
Australia kick off their Rugby World Cup campaign with a game against Italy in North Shore City on Sunday and history suggests that they will have little trouble in opening with a win.
The two sides have met 13 times in total and the Wallabies have won all 13 encounters. Their first clash came all the way back in 1983, with the Aussies triumphing 29-7 in Rovigo. David Campese kicked three conversions and a penalty that day and the legendary Australian wing always seemed to enjoy facing the Azzurri. Indeed, he scored six tries in six games against the Italians, the highlight of which was his hat-trick in a 55-6 win in Rome in 1988, which remains the Wallabies' biggest ever margin of victory over the Azzurri.
The Aussies have, for most part, had things all their own way in their games against Italy but they did suffer an almighty score in Brisbane in 1994 when the Azzurri, inspired by fly-half Luigi Troiani, who kicked five penalties, came desperately close to pulling off a sensational victory. However, the home side, for whom George Gregan was making his Test debut, eventually ran out 23-20 winners.
Australia v Italy All-time record: Played: 13, Australia won 13, Italy won 0.
Biggest winning margin: Aus: 49, 55-6 at Stadio Flaminio, 1988; Ita: N/A.
Highest score: Aus: 69 (69-21) at Docklands Stadium, 2005; Ita: 21 (21-69) at Docklands Stadium, 2005.
Most tries: Aus: 11 (69-21) at Docklands Stadium, 2005; Ita: 3 (21-69) at Docklands Stadium, 2005.
Longest winning sequence: Aus: 13 (1994-present day); Ita: N/A.
Most points (individual): Aus: 46 Michael Lynagh; Ita: 21 Ramiro Pez.
Most tries (individual): Aus: 6 David Campese; Ita: 1 13 players on one try.
Most points in a Test: Aus: 23 Michael Lynagh at Stadio Flaminio, 1988; Ita: 18 Ramiro Pez at Stadio Flaminio, 2006.
Previous Rugby World Cup meetings:: N/A.