Wallabies deflate in second half for unconvincing win

AN unconvincing 22-19 win against Italy in Florence has guaranteed Australia a top four seeding at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The Wallabies made all the running in the first half, a converted try to winger Nick Cummins and five penalties sending the visitors to the break with a handy 22-6 lead.

It was the second try in consecutive matches on the Spring Tour for Cummins - no other Australian player has crossed the stripe in the team's three matches in Europe.

It was a different story in the second half, however.

Italian flanker Robert Barbieri pounced on a loose pass to cross for the team's first try of the match in the 41st minute, the conversion cutting the Wallabies' lead to just 11 points.

The home team continued to apply pressure and two more penalties kicked by fly-half Luciano Oquera reduced the gap to three points with 25 minutes on the clock.

The Wallabies struggled to get out of their own half, and with just one minute remaining, Oquera had the chance to level the scores after the Italians were awarded a penalty 40m out.

Fortunately for the Australians the kick sailed wide.

The results, combined with England's one-point loss to South Africa at Twickenham, cemented New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and France as the top four ranked nations and guaranteed they would be drawn in opposite pools when the World Cup draw is conducted next month.

England will be in the next tier with Ireland, while Wales can join that group if its defeats Australia in the final match of the European Tour at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium next weekend.

If the Wallabies win, Argentina and Samoa would join England and Ireland in that second group of teams.


RESULTS: Australia 22 (Cummins try; Barnes 3, Beale 2 pen; Barnes conv) b Italy 19 (Barbieri try; Orquera 4 pen, conv). Ireland 46 b Argentina 24; South Africa 16 b England 15; Tonga 21 b Scotland 15; France 22 b Samoa 14; New Zealand 33 b Wales 10.

Topics:  nick cummins rugby union rugby world cup wallabies

Emergency vehicle damaged by flying rock

An ambulance was damaged on the Tweed over the weekend.

Police are appealing for information after an ambulance was damaged

Fundraising continues for Nash family and is $60,000+

Amanda Nash and her daugher, Bonnie, at Lennox Head.

$60,000 raised for family of woman killed in crash

WATCH: Your North Coast National experiences

Stocking up on show bags (left to right): Tyler Elford, 4; Samantha Elford; Mason Elford, 2; Paige Jackson, 5; Aiden Jackson, 3.

You told us what you liked about the North Coast National

Local Partners

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Federal grant keeps NORPA telling our local stories

ANNOUNCEMENT: NORPA's Producer Marisa Snow, Artistic Director Julian Louis, General Manager Patrick Healy, Chair David Wolff, with Member for Page Kevin Hogan.

Arts company granted almost $400,00 over two years

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track