Rampant Italy brush aside Russia

Edoardo Gori touches down for Italy in their convincing win on Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • Italy beat Russia 53-17 at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand
  • The Azzuri ran in nine tries to record their biggest World Cup win
  • Italy are now third in Pool C, level on points with Australia
  • Russia are bottom of the group, with one point from two matches

Italy recorded the biggest Rugby World Cup win in their history on Tuesday as they crushed Russia 53-17 in Nelson, New Zealand.

The Azzuri ran in nine tries against World Cup debutants Russia and now sit third on point difference in Pool C, level on five points with second-placed Australia.

Italy flew out of the blocks at Trafalgar Park, securing a bonus point from four tries in just 22 minutes. Flanker Sergio Parisse ran over the first try before a brace from Giulio Toniolatti -- his first tries in international rugby -- and an additional score from center Tommaso Benvenuti gave a commanding lead.

Italy, currently under the tutelage of former South Africa coach Nick Mallett, continued to press and were awarded a penalty try after 28 minutes when Russia were penalized for a succession of collapsed scrums.

Alexander Yanyushkin made World Cup history for Russia with 33 minutes on the clock, the flyhalf going over to score the nation's first-ever try in the quadrennial tournament.

But Russia's respite was short-lived as scrumhalf Edoardo Gori touched down Italy's sixth try of an action-packed first half with 37 minutes gone.

Nikolay Nerush's Russia rallied in the second half as they attempted to stem the Italian tide, but Benvenuti continued the scoring as he went over to make the score 43-7 on 47 minutes.

    Wing Vladimir Ostrushko and center Alexey Makovetskiy did manage to score tries for Russia, either side of fullback Luke McLean's score for Italy.

    Substitute Alessandro Zanni completed the scoring with four minutes remaining, capitalizing on powerful scrum play from Italy to score his team's ninth try.

    The convincing win keeps alive Italy's hopes of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time, with their next match against the U.S. on September 27.

    Russia sit bottom of Pool C, with just one point from their two matches ahead of a clash with Ireland in Rotorua on Sunday.