Australia 32-6 Italy, Rugby World Cup, September 11
Skipper Horwill demands improvement
September 11, 2011
Digby Ioane's try secured the bonus point for Robbie Deans' men © Getty Images
Australia captain James Horwill says his side can improve after their hard-faught 32-6 win over Italy in their World Cup opener.
The Wallabies struggled for fluency against an aggressive Italian defence and the whsitle of referee Alain Rolland, and the sides were level at the interval thanks to two penalties apiece from Quade Cooper and Mirco Bergamasco. But the Tri-Nations champions were a different proposition after the break, running in tries through Ben Alexander, Adam Ashley-Cooper, James O'Connor and Digby Ioane to pick up a bonus point.
But Reds lock Horwill insists there is still much to do. He told ITV1: "In the first half we knew they would come out and try and scrap and kick with the wind, and we made mistakes and gave them too much ball. We didn't take our opportunities when they came.
"In the second half we turned pressure into points and when we get the ball going forward, and Will Genia and Quade Cooper can get good ball, it's deadly when that happens. It was good to see the backs get some space and score some tries. We are happy with the result but we can certainly improve."
Head coach Robbie Deans added: "We did well in the second half, we probably did well in the first half too, although it was not shown on the scoreboard. We took time to settle, Italy had the benefit of the breeze in the first half but our intensity at the contact area was better in the second half."
Deans also praised a Wallaby scrum that has so often been their Achilles heel, but which coped reasonably well with the vaunted Azzurri pack. He continued: "We are pleased with the scrum, we have worked hard there. We are happy with the progress we are making and hopefully we can continue to do so.
"It's good for the group. Getting the result was key. We have a lot of respect for the Italians, they defend well and will cause sides problems."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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