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Italy and South Africa, both of whom lost their opening fixtures in the Autumn international series, face each other on Saturday at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence. The Azzuri opened their series with the daunting task of facing the All Blacks in Rome, the week after the record breaking winning run of their opponents had come to an end in Chicago against an inspired Ireland. A young Italy side, playing its first game under the guidance of new Head Coach, Conor O'Shea, was torn apart to the extent of 10-68, conceding 10 tries. Leaving them with just one win to their credit in 2016, a narrow 24-20 success against the USA in San Jose in June.
The Springboks were beaten at Twickenham by England 21-37, their first reverse against those opponents since 2006. After a competitive start to the game, the hosts gained control and outscored the Boks by 4-2 tries. The visitors tries coming when the game was effectively already over as a contest. The Springboks have now lost five of their last six internationals, and have yet to taste success away from South African soil in 2016. The two countries have played each other a dozen times previously, with the Springboks winning on every occasion, including five fixtures in Italy.
Posted: 22nd November 2014
Italy may have brought an end to their year long wait for a victory in the first round of matches in the Autumn International series, when they defeated Samoa 24-13 at the Stadio Cino e Lillo Del Duca, Ascoli Piceno. However, normal service was resumed last weekend, when they failed to register a try, and were beaten in Genoa by the Argentina Pumas 18-20. On Saturday, they now have their toughest assignment of the Autumn, when they host the South African Springboks at the Stadio Euganeo, Padua. The South Africans arrived in Europe having won their previous Test match against the All Blacks, and riding on the crest of a wave. However, they started their European trip with a disappointing loss in Dublin against Ireland, when they were completely outplayed by a pumped up home side.
However, they recovered last Saturday to post a 31-28 win against England at Twickenham, when the final three point margin flattered England, who were second best for much of the game. Italy have been playing against the South Africa only since 1995, in which time, the countries have faced each other on 11 occasions. All 11 internationals have been won by the Springboks, and they have averaged over 50 points per match in registering those wins.
Tags: South Africa
, Stadio Artemio Franchi
, Stadio Cino e Lillo Del Duca