TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - Two tries from Nick Cummins helped Australia recover from an early deficit to thrash Italy 50-20 at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
The winger struck in the 31st and 50th minutes as Ewen McKenzie’s side bounced back from their defeat by England at Twickenham last weekend with a commanding display.
Scores from Ben Mowen, Tevita Kuridrani, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Joe Tomane and Israel Folau completed the rout against a spirited Italy side who scored the game’s first try through Australian-born fullback Luke McClean.
“I won’t be happy until we’ve strung a few wins together. It was a good scoreboard for us today,” said McKenzie.
“We showed some potency in attack and we worked hard through the game to score those points. To score seven tries in an away game was a good effort.”
The hosts led 10-0 before the Wallabies took over, although Italy never gave up and added second-half tries through Lorenzo Cittadini and Tommaso Allan on his debut.
“We can talk about an Australian side that maybe has physical and technical qualities that we don’t have but that’s not an excuse,” said Italy captain Sergio Parisse.
To score seven tries and win by such a big margin will be a morale boost for an Australia team who have already lost eight times in 2013, and who face Ireland in Dublin next week.
“We’ve already spoken about next week and we’re after two in a row. The thing about these spring tests is that you play strong sides week in week out. There are five huge tests in a row,” said try-scorer Mowen.
“We’re really proud of the effort we’ve put in today but we’re already prepping for next week. We know how hard that challenge is going to be.”
Australia looked the stronger side from the start but were caught on their heels in the 12th minute when a beautiful, sweeping passing move took the Italians the length of the field and was finished off by McLean.
However, it only served to anger the away side, who responded with Mowen crossing the line and Quade Cooper converting four minutes later to set up a long period of Australian domination.
Kuridrani gave them the lead when he finished off a superb passing move, but it was gifted to him by Cummins, who inches from the line had the presence of mind to lay off to the centre for a simple touch down that with Cooper’s conversion made it 14-10.
Cummins then had a try of his own just after the half hour mark after an Australia lineout ended with the ball being rapidly switched across the field.
Australia continued their domination after the break and Cummins extended their lead from another lineout, which this time led to Cooper laying off to the winger for another try.
With Italy’s backline creaking the away side pressed home their advantage and seven minutes later Ashley-Cooper extended the lead to 33-10.
The hosts responded with a Lorenzo Cittadini score but two quickfire tries from Tomane and Folau and a Christian Leali‘ifano penalty made it 50-15.
Allan’s unconverted try let the home side leave on a high note but could not cover the cracks that were exposed by a brutal Australia display.
Reporting by Terry Daley; Editing by Justin Palmer