Italy has held on to claim its first victory over the Wallabies, claiming a 28-27 victory in Florence.

The hosts were impressive throughout the duration of the match, with dynamic fullback Ange Capuozzo crossing for a double as they led from the start, and held on as a late conversion attempt from Ben Donaldson sailed wide.

The visitors fought their way back from a 14-point deficit in the first half, with tries to Tom Robertson and Cadeyrn Neville in the second half bringing the deficit back to one point and giving debutant Donaldson an opportunity to win it.

However, it was not to be as the Azzurri celebrated a famous win with their home fans in Florence.

“We didn’t play well enough,” Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said after the game. 

“We turned over the pill too much, too many penalties. We gave them a head start, 17-3 gave them a lot of hope of enthusiasm and bought the crowd into the game. 

“We’re well aware of the strengths of the Italian side so we needed to start well and we didn’t.” 

The Wallabies started poorly, failing to control the kick-off and giving away a penalty that saw Tommaso Allan open the scoring via the boot.

Noah Lolesio evened the scores with his own penalty kick, but Jake Gordon’s 15th-minute yellow card for a late tackle on Monty Ioane gave the Italians an opportunity to strike.

They capitalised, with Pierre Bruno tip-toeing down the sideline to score the first try of the match, then Ange Capuozzo scored his first try on the end of a great backline move, establishing the largest lead of the match at 17-3 as the Wallabies struggled with discipline.

Tom Wright got the Wallabies back into it with an athletic finish in the corner on the end of Noah Lolesio’s looping cut-out pass, with the margin narrowed to 17-8 at the half-time break.

The Australians continued their fightback to start the second half, with Fraser McReight burrowing over the line to score – Lolesio’s conversion reduced the home side’s lead to two.

The Wallabies struggled to convert their chances, gifting penalties and turning the ball over when in strong attacking positions as they struggled with their accuracy and execution.

Allan’s inability to convert penalty kicks was the only thing that kept the home side from pulling away.

Italy would pull clear again late in the match – some silky hands seeing Capuozzo steaming on to a ball out wide and swan-diving over the try line for his second as the hosts' confidence grew.

With the margin at ten points, the Wallabies responded almost immediately, with Darcy Swain forcing a turnover at the base of the ruck, and Taniela Tupou making a break that ultimately saw Tom Robertson slide over in the corner – Lolesio’s wide conversion reduced the lead to three points.

Edoardo Padovani extended the lead to six points after yet another penalty kick.

From there, the men in gold applied huge pressure, and replacement Cadeyrn Neville charged through contact to score on the left side of the field, setting up the opportunity for the debutant Ben Donaldson to shoot for the win.

His kick ultimately faded to the right, as a jubilant Italy team celebrated their breakthrough victory.

Italy 28 [Tries: Bruno, Capuozzo 2; Cons: Allan 2; Pen: Allan 2, Padovani] Australia 27 [Tries: Wright, McReight, Robinson; Cons: Lolesio 2; Pen: Lolesio]

Italy: 15 Ange Capuozzo, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Tommaso Allan 9 Stephen Varney; 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Giacomo Nicotera, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 David Sisi, 20 Toa Halafihi, 21 Alessandro Garbisi, 22 Edoardo Padovani, 23 Tommaso Menoncello.

Australia: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Matt Gibbon.
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Langi Gleeson, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Jordan Petaia.

Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland) & Adam Leal (Ireland)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)