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A try for the ages lights up a thrilling opening weekend of Six Nations rugby as Scotland, Ireland and France register away wins

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The USA suffer opening World Cup defeat against spirited Italian side

By Lucy Lomax
Italy celebrate their win over the USA at the Rugby World Cup 2021

Italy recorded their first win over the USA in three attempts in their opening Pool B encounter on day two of the Women’s World Cup.

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The Northland Events Centre in Whangarei hosted a loud crowd as Italy trailed by 5-0 for the first half until a converted score on half time took them into the break 7-5 ahead. The USA had no answer to Italy’s high tempo brand of rugby in the second half with the women in blue strong in defence and making the most of any space offered to them out wide.

Lock Hallie TauFoou dived over first for the USA in only the fourth minute, before some mishandling and rustiness from both sides saw the remainder of the half scoreless until some great ball movement from Italy allowed Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi to dive over in the 39th minute.

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Their free-flowing style continued into the second half with some brilliant offloads and running rugby. This entertaining flair paid off after another score increased the Italians lead to 12-5 on 50 minutes.

The USA clung on and despite some strong line speed defence from the Azzurri, the deficit was reduced after a score from Eagles second row Jenny Kronish.

But Italy were not to be deterred and pressed on with further scores from Aura Muzzo and Maria Magatti to seal off an impressive win in a competitive World Cup pool.

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