(Italy) (AP) – Italy hopes to muffle the talk of their replacement in the 60's after beating Georgia on Saturday.
The Italians took the wooden spoon this year for the 13th time in the 19th Top Ten Nations, and the commotion grew to be replaced by George, who controls the Second European Championship.
But after relinquishing the first attempt to Central Georgia Tamaz Mchedlidze, Italy pulled from the middle of the first half to the middle of the second with successive attempts to center Michel Campagnaro, wing Mattia Bellini, lock Dean Bud, and flyhalf Tommaso Allen. Georgia finished with a penalty to try but was easily second best to Italy in their first matchup in 15 years.
Italy will move back over Georgia when the world rankings are updated on Monday.
"We want to be a really excellent team," said coach of Italy, Connor Usha. "In the last 12 months we have been beating only Fiji and Japan, it was a fundamental victory for this team today against Georgia.
"After the day I'm sure people will look at our future with more faith to see that in the past year only this game has already been spoken, and after this victory, with less pressure, we are convinced that we can only get better."
Italy was without the captain and retailer Serge Sergio, who had a calf wound. And perhaps because they were once favored, Azzurri started nervously although Alan kicked the hosts forward with early penalty.
Georgia then scored, Mchedlidze touches down next to the posts after Campagnaro failed with a hopeless deal.
Camagenaro made his mistake almost immediately. A big move from a group from Italy saw them spread the ball to the left and then to the right before Campagnaro forced his way through three Georgian players. Alan converted for 10-7.
"Mistakes can happen, but I've made a really big one," said Campagnaaro. "What's important is how you react later and that's what we did.
Mathiasvili missed a fine and things got worse for Georgia when Georgi Tsotzkiridze was presented with a yellow card for a dangerous obstacle.
Italy almost immediately made the extra man count as he forced the ball over, but the experience was forbidden on video review.
Azzurri went through almost 20 stages to close on a tryline, but earned only a penalty which Alan kicked over.
Italy ended up having her second attempt at 39, after Tsutskiridze returned to the game. From a row inside 22 of Georgia, Tito Tebaldi picked up Bellini to score in the left corner for 18-7 in half.
Italy opened the second half in the same way that the first ended. Andrea Lobotti stopped close to the line, but Bud was there to take the ball and go.
Alan did not convert again, but he scored Italy's fourth attempt at 57, bursting half way and running nonstop along the left flank.
The advantage of 18 points of Italy was deserved, but it was cut to 11 for most of the last quarter after the center Tomaso Benvenuti was yellow carded and Georgia won a penalty try.
"When he was 28-7 I thought the end of the game would be different and we could play with more freedom and score again," said Usha. "There was a different finale thanks to a penalty try which gave Georgia so much energy."