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Berbizier ‘satisfied’ with Japanese scalp

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Italy coach Pierre Berbizier claimed he was “satisfied” with the Azzurri’s performance in their 36-12 win over Japan in a pre-World Cup warm-up match.

Italy laboured to beat a Japan team coached by Berbizier’s predecessor John Kirwan, sealing victory only with late converted tries from Andrea Lo Cicero and Mauro Bergamasco.

They had roared into a 22-0 lead with two tries from Marko Stanojevic and one from Kaine Robertson only for the Japanese to hit back with touchdowns for Tatsukichi Nishiura and Hare Makiri.

“I am pleased with the display of my team,” he said.

“I don’t want to talk of bright spots and shadows – the objective apart from winning was to assess the physical condition of Italy after the preparatory work we have done in the Valle d’Aosta.”

The Alpine area of Aosta had been the scene of Italy’s first phase of World Cup preparation.

“We knew it would not be a brilliant match,” said Berbizier. “We knew we would face difficulties which we will overcome in the long term. We have seen things we must improve for the future but overall I am satisfied.”

South Africa-born Roland De Marigny filled in at fly-half for Ramiro Pez and Berbizier revealed he might use him in that position in the World Cup.

“I think he [De Marigny] could be an option for that role,” said Berbizier.

Kirwan was pleased with Japan, saying: “I am happy with how Japan performed. We have three weeks to improve before we start the World Cup.

“The game was not easy for Italy because Japan showed courage and made Italy work harder.

“We will see how good we are at the World Cup where our ambition is to beat Fiji and Canada.”

 

365 Digital

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