Italy v England: Italy player ratings

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15. Luke McLean: 6
Went literally head-to-head with Mike Brown at one stage, about the only time when he held his own. Wasn’t Italy’s worst, but certainly made a few uncharacteristic errors. Made an impressive 84 metres with ball in hand.

14. Angelo Esposito: 5
A couple of try saving tackles on May must put him in credit, but he too suffered from a couple of drops and one or two very poor missed tackles.

13. Michele Campagnaro: 5
Still looks the most likely to score when Italy meet a structured defence, with quick feet and a turn of pace that made Burell look foolish. However, also missed first up tackles and struggled against big Luther one-on-one, only to have to then try and stop a rampaging Tuilagi – a thankless task.

12. Gonzalo Garcia: 4
Individual mistakes, dropped balls, missed tackles. A pretty shocking day all round for Garcia. Almost no redeeming features.

11. Leonardo Sarto: 6
Once again finds himself in the tries, for which he once again showed fine anticipation, although it was a boom or bust play. Butchered a try in the first half, going alone when he should have passed, which might well have changed the game’s complexion.

10. Luciano Orquera: 5
Never had much ball to do anything with. Still looks lively and looks for half shoulders to attack with his footwork but could do little to stem the tide with a pack going backwards. Replaced after 43. Allan had some nice touches, until Manu came on rolled over him like Russian troops on the Crimean border.

9. Tito Tebaldi: 5
Tried to find tempo, but with such a poor base and ball presentation he started to feel the pressure. The errors that followed had a depressing inevitability about them after that.

8. Sergio Parisse: 4
The quietest game I can remember Parisse having in an Azzuri shirt. Outplayed and outfought by his opposite man, he looked a shadow of the player who has so often been Italy’s beacon during turgid team performances like Saturday.

7. Robert Barbieri: 6
Showed plenty of willing and made some impactful hits and the odd steal, but couldn’t really get a real foothold in proceedings for his team. Topped the tackle count with 15.

6. Josh Furno: 5
Spent so much time without the ball that we weren’t able to see anything much of his ungainly but forceful carrying. Couldn’t match England’s defensive intensity as their runners made too many yards after the tackle.

5. Marco Bortolami: 4
Put in a shift, but unfortunately was completely outplayed by his opposite number. The lineout was dreadful and he threw an awful pass behind his own line that nearly added insult to injury.

4. Quintin Geldunhuys: 3
Utterly anonymous, and has had a really average tournament. His continued selection shows you how bare the cupboards must be for Brunel.

3. Lorenzo Cittadini: 6
Scrummaged well in the first half, giving Mako Vunipola a very hard time. Tired in the second half and was unable to have much impact in the loose, apart from putting on some early pressure around the fringes.

2. Leonardo Ghiraldini: 4
As good as the Italian scrum was in parts, there is little point if isn’t accompanied by a solid lineout. Every time a penalty was won the field position would be lost due to set piece inaccuracy, which has dogged Italy for much of the tournament. It stops them relieving pressure by transferring it onto their opponents and cost them here.

1. Matías Agüero: 5
Powerful in the scrum, but totally absent in the loose, racking up only a single carry for no metres and only two tackles. Simply not good enough at this level and had Marler been playing, would have looked out of his depth.

By Patrick Cheshire (@jpcheshire)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

5 thoughts on “Italy v England: Italy player ratings

  1. It says a lot about Italy that despite being at home and absolutely thrashed, that a lot of their players still managed to pick up 5s and 6s. In fact, Garcia, who had a shocking day with almost no redeeming features managed a 4.

    I can only assume the generous nature of the marks is that, despite being in the competition for 14 years and 70 games, Italy still aren’t judged on the same level as the old 5 Nations, which is the bigger tragedy for them.

    1. To my mid every player starts a game with a 6. It means you did the job you were supposed to do. Or you had a mixed day making some mistakes but also some really good moments.

      Some Italians were okay, as in they turned up and did their job. The rest let them down, and is reflected in their marks.

  2. You say if Marler had been playing then Aguero would have been shown up – but Vunipola, Marler’s replacement, was given a ‘very hard time’ on the opposite side of the scrum, by Cittadini. Wilson, arguably a much better scrummager than Vunipola, was playing opposite Aguero.

    Also, Ghiraldini forced a turnover through one hell of a tackle early on, and the line-out’s lack of consistency was down to the timing of the jumpers. LG has had a good tournament, and has rightly been put forward as the token Italian nomination for player of the championship.

    1. I agree he has had a good tournament, but their lineout has been mediocre at best throughout the championship and some of the blame has to fall on him. It hasn’t helped that his second rows have been chopped and changed, as well as playing fairly poorly throughout.

    2. Also your right about Aguero v Wilson, not Vunipola. My bad. What I meant was that if Marler had been playing the Italian scrum in general would not have looked as good, and that was his only real redeeming feature. Both props should get credit for a scrum going forward. Otherwise he was dreadful.

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