Rugby: Italy survive scare against minnows Canada

Italy's scrum half Edoardo Gori (left) evades a tackle by Canada's fly half Nathan Hirayama.
Italy's scrum half Edoardo Gori (left) evades a tackle by Canada's fly half Nathan Hirayama.AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Italy held off a brave challenge from Canada for a 23-18 victory in the Pool D clash at Elland Road in Leeds to record their first win of this year's Rugby World Cup.

The Italians established a slim 13-10 lead by halftime but had to work hard in defence in the face of Canada's enterprising back line, which posed a constant threat until the final whistle.

Canada struck with fine tries from winger DTH Van Der Merwe and fullback Matt Evans, cancelled out by scores from Italy prop Michele Rizzo and centre Gonzalo Garcia.

But in the end it was the boot of Tommaso Allan that proved the difference between the well-matched sides, the flyhalf weighing in with 13 points.