Italy take home their first win of the Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series

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Italy's Ross Michael Alwyn Vintcent celebrates after the game with Matteo Rubinato Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ben Brady (©INPHO/Ben Brady)
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Italy concluded the first round of the Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series with a comfortable 36-19 win over a defiant Georgia at Stadio di Monigo.

Despite going behind inside 90 seconds, the Azzurrini rallied and secured the bonus point just after the interval, coasting home thereafter.

Italian tries came from Dewi Passarella, Andrea Cuoghi, Lapo Frangini, Ross Vintcent and Federico Cuminetti, while Nika Sutidze, Paata Galdava and Shalva Aptsiauri registered for Georgia.

Key player: Lorenzo Pani

King of the skies in Treviso, Lorenzo Pani did everything but score.

While Italy struggled to get going in the opening stages, he offered a threat in attack and composure in defence. He brought the crowd to life with an early chip and chase which very nearly led to a score in the corner, but for some late Georgian defending.

He completed a full 80 minutes too, and showed incredible fitness in the unwavering heat, even sitting on the shoulder of Cuminetti when he strode home for Italy’s final score in the dying seconds.

Play of the game: Teneggi turns it on

Some players have a knack for making rugby look easy.

Senior Italy fly-half Paolo Garbisi is in that bracket, as is their U20s playmaker, Nicolo Teneggi.

Teneggi caught the eye for more than just his floppy hair and compact frame as Italy overcame Georgia in Treviso.

Their second try was his finest piece of work in an impressive performance.

Sensing danger on the blind side, he demanded the ball from scrum-half Cuoghi.

From there, he darted through a hole in the Georgian defence and with two defenders on his tail produced a stunning back-of-the-hand pass to set Passarella clear.

As the buoyant Italian crowd stood to applaud their hero, Teneggi’s teammates appreciated his contribution too. It was one of those rare instances where the assister was mobbed before the scorer.

Key talking point: Italy to take some beating on home soil

Come kick-off, there was something of a festival atmosphere, as the home support roared their team out onto the pitch and burst with pride during ‘Il Canto degli Italiani’, the Italian national anthem.

Having gone behind, the crowd thought Italy had found a foothold in the game when Passarella’s effort put them in front.

But when Georgia’s Galdava restored the visitors lead within two minutes, fears of an upset soon began to spread. The crowd refused to let that concern fester however and instead cheered each hit and carry more than the last.

Factoring in the heat, which is more to Italy’s liking than their Pool B rivals, and having already beaten Scotland and Wales this year, Italy will fancy their chances over the next fortnight.

Key moment: Captain Vintcent breaks through

Despite coming from behind to lead, Italy never seemed to be in complete control in what was largely a frenetic first half.

That all changed within five minutes of the second half, as skipper Vintcent tore through the line and raced clear to slide under the sticks.

Passes don’t come much flatter than Cuoghi’s assist, but Vintcent’s line was just as good, taking the Georgian defence completely by surprise.

The timing of the try was significant too. Coming just five minutes into the second half, and pushing Italy’s lead to 17, Georgia were clearly deflated having matched Italy for large periods.

The Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series takes place from 24 June – 12 July. Fans can watch every match live. For more information visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJHm6BFw-9JRA1CMekNLwMg

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