June 24, 2017 / 7:14 AM / 2 months ago

Rugby-Australia labour in shaky 40-27 win over Italy

MELBOURNE, June 24 (Reuters) - An unconvincing Australia suffered a huge scare against Italy before scoring two late tries to secure a shaky 40-27 win in Brisbane on Saturday.

The Wallabies led comfortably early in the second half, but Italy roared back with 14 uninterrupted points to trail by a point with three minutes remaining.

Flyhalf Bernard Foley thwarted the comeback with a jinking run and try in the 77th minute before replacement back Reece Hodge made the result certain with a brilliant dash down the left touch-line to cross at the final hooter.

Australia rebounded from their surprise 24-19 loss to Scotland last week but the laboured win over 15th-ranked Italy will do little for their confidence ahead of bigger tests against world champions New Zealand in the Rugby Championship. (Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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