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RLWC Preview: Italy vs. United States

Dan Talintyre

ITA v USA

After a disappointing start to their World Cup campaign, Italy will look to get back on track when they face the United States this Sunday in far North Queensland.

Blown off the park by a more committed and enthusiastic Ireland side in their opening game before a well-documented off-field situation occurred that night, Italy’s preparation for Sunday’s game has been far from perfect — and that’s just off the field. On it, they lost Terry Campese pre-kickoff last week and Jack Johns to an arm injury this week — leaving a new-look halves combination this week of Campese and Ryan Ghietti.

For all Italy’s problems, however, the United States were also poor in their opening game with the gap in class between them and Fiji apparent in their 58-12 defeat.

A loss here would formally end their hopes at qualifying for the knockout rounds, but all the United States will be hoping for is an improved showing and effort across the field.

How that will look on the scoreboard still remains to be seen.
 

Pool D: Italy vs. United States

MATCH DETAILS

Date — Sunday, November 5, 2017

Time — 5:00pm AEDT

Venue — 1300 SMILES Stadium, Townsville, AUS

 

LIVE STREAM AND TV INFORMATION

Live Stream — Channel 7’s https://7live.com.au/ (Australia only)

TV — Click here for a full country-by-country list of TV broadcasts.

 

TEAM NEWS

Italy

 

United States

James Tedesco

1

Corey Makelim

Mason Cerruto

2

Ryan Burroughs

Justin Castellaro

3

Junior Vaivai

Nathan Milone

4

Jonathan Alley

Josh Mantellato

5

Bureta Faraimo

Terry Campese

6

Kristian Freed

Ryan Ghietti

7

Tui Samoa

Paul Vaughan

8

Eddy Pettybourne

Joseph Tramontana

9

David Marando

Daniel Alvaro

10

Mark Offerdahl (capt.)

Joel Riethmuller

11

Danny Howard

Mark Minichiello (capt.)

12

Matt Shipway

Nathan Brown

13

Nicholas Newlin

Chris Centrone

14

Sam Tochterman-Talbott

Brenden Santi

15

Fotukava Malu

Shannon Wakeman

16

Steve Howard

Jayden Walker

17

Gabriel Farley

Reserves (ITA) — Gavin Hiscox, Richard Lepori, Christophe Centrone, Gioele Celerino

Reserves (USA) — Charles Cortalano, Joel Eichner, David Ulch, Joshua Rice

 

RLWC STANDINGS — POOL D

 

Played

Won

Lost

F/A

Points

Fiji

1

1

0

+46

2

Italy

1

0

1

-24

0

United States

1

0

1

-46

0

 

HISTORY

Sunday’s game will be the first time that these two sides have faced each other in an international fixture, and just the second time that Italy have played on Australian soil.

 

PLAYER TO FOLLOW — Paul Vaughan, Italy

Paul Vaughan tried his hardest to bring Italy back in to the contest against Ireland, but he got no help from his outside backs who came up with a number of errors in defence at the wrong time — allowing Ireland to kick away and win. Vaughan finished with 138 metres and 33 tackles from his 56 minutes, and he’ll be hoping for a better time in the middle this weekend against a United States pack that was simply run over by Fiji. If the Dragons go-to man is rolling this Sunday, it’ll pave the way for Italy’s halves and backs to show their talent and likely get the Azzuri their first win of the World Cup in the process.

 

PREDICTION

Italy were far from their best in the opening round, but we’re picking them to bounce back in a big way this weekend. Off-field dramas can have a way of producing a defiant performance at times, and if you combine that with the determination to put last week’s embarrassing loss behind them, Italy should be just fine here. Italy by 30. 

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