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Summary

  1. Pool D result: Italy 32-22 Romania
  2. Italy finish third in the group and qualify for 2019
  3. Match played at Sandy Park, Exeter

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

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Arrivederci

#insieme per sempre. Grazie @MauroBergamasco

#insieme per sempre. Grazie @MauroBergamasco

Although he didn't play against Romania, Italy flanker Mauro Bergamasco was carried shoulder high by his team-mates 

The 36-year-old became only the second player to take part in five World Cups when he came off the bench against Canada.

And what better way for us to bow out of our live coverage from Sandy Park. Ciao!

Pool D as it stands

Italy 32-22 Romania

pool d table
BBC Sport

Here's the statistical proof that Italy have finished third. You will also notice - if somehow you didn't already know - Ireland and France have already qualified for the quarter-finals.

But who will face the All Blacks? And who will meet Argentina for a place in the last four? Head over here to find out. Cardiff 's Millennium Stadium is rocking...

Stats of the day

Italy 32-22 Romania

Vlaicu lies down at the end of the game
GEt
  • Romania crossed for three tries in this match, the last time they managed this in a RWC game was in 2003
  • Italy scored three first half tries in a RWC match for just the third time in their history
  • Italy remain the only Tier One side not to reach the quarter-final stage of a Rugby World Cup

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#bbcrugby

If the Romanians had turned up in the 1st half, they would have walked this game! Excellent 2nd half #ITAvROM #RWC0215 #bbcrugby

Full-time

Italy 32-22 Romania

italy scoreboard
BBC Sport

So Italy survived Romania's too-little-too-late onslaught to earn a bonus-point win which, crucially, secures third place in Pool D. That means they are automatically assured of their seat among their illustrious tier-one rivals at the 2019 World Cup.

Full-time

Italy 32-22 Romania

Romania bound forward from the Italy restart, buoyed by their late fightback and now within another score of a losing bonus point.

They make a fist of it, but Italy regroup to press them back and force an handling error. And that is game over.

Romanian players stand dejected
Reuters
Italy players celebrate
Getty Images

Try - Italy 32-22 Romania

Adrian Apostol, missed con Florin Vlaicu

Sandy Park erupts as Romania make that platform count. Florin Vlaicu is the architect, leading his team across the line to the left flank. And there is wing Adrian Apostol, who pounces for his second try of the match. 

Romania coach Lynn Howells leaps up from his seat in the stand, screaming and fist-pumping in delight. There is time for the restart...

Italy 32-17 Romania

Italy replacement full-back Carlo Canna is forced into some graft, scooping up a loose ball from a stride or two in front of his own line. But he looks up to see a pair of yellow shirts bounding towards him, before he is wrestled to the ground. Scrum deep in Italy territory...

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#bbcrugby

The standard of rugby in this World Cup by so called 2nd tier nations has been brilliant. Rugby on a good trajectory. #bbcrugby

Valentin Calafeteanu of Romania
Rex Features

Converted try - Italy 32-17 Romania

Valentin Poparlan, con Florin Vlaicu

Italy's players stand around, hands on hips, faces filled with bemusement. They don't think Poparlan has got the ball anywhere near the line. But they're wrong. The television replays inform us that he has, and Vlaicu adds the extras. If only this game was 90 minutes long...

Try review

Italy 32-10 Romania

Still the Romanians attack, pounding the Italian line with some big hits. Ref Romain Poite informs the Oaks that they have a cluster of penalties racked up in their favour. A mountain of bodies, piled three high, wrestle on the Italy try-line - it is like a scene from the Royal Rumble. Second-rower Valentin Poparlan pops out of the side and reckons he has reached out for the line. Poite has no idea and goes to his colleagues in the stand..

Romain Poite
Getty Images

Romania, Romania

Italy 32-10 Romania

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Chants of 'Romania, Romania' ring out around Sandy Park. It might be too late for a comeback, but the Oaks have certainly impressed with their fighting spirit in the past few minutes. 

Penalty - Italy 32-10 Romania

Tommaso Allan

But this is - or should I say was - a 26-point deficit. And it is Italy, not Canada. If Romania manage to turn around this deficit then I'll run topless in the public square outside the office. Which strangely two young, tanned fellas appear to be doing. Strange goings on.

Anyway...Italy keep the scoreboard - and clock - ticking as Tommaso Allan arrows a penalty through the posts.

Tommaso Allan lines up his penalty
Getty Images

Converted try - Italy 29-10 Romania

Adrian Apostol, con Florin Vlaicu

Adrian Apostol is over the whitewash. And he has grounded the ball. Try! Florin Vlaicu keeps his composure to sweetly add the extras from the left of the sticks.

Romania battled back from a 15-0 deficit against Canada remember....

Try review - Romania

Italy 29-3 Romania

As my colleague Brent rightly points out, is surely only about someone in Romanian yellow  sticking their name in the 'tries scored' column. They have a scrum on the Italy five-metre line...chance?

Yes, there is a chance! Adrian Apostol scoops up at the base of the ruck and he could - could - be over...

Can Romania get a try?

Italy 29-3 Romania

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

With the result out of the question and both teams preparing to fly home, this second half has somewhat petered out. Romania have never scored a try in all of their pool games at a Rugby World Cup before, so a score for the men in yellow would really lift this game. 

A Romanian fan supports his team
Reuters

Italy 29-3 Romania

Romania prop Mihaita Lazar  fancies himself as a fly-half, it appears. The bulky loosehead booting forward from inside his own half to put Italy under pressure. Romania have less than 20 minutes to score four tries.... Clue: it isn't happening.

Italy 29-3 Romania

As the stats show, Italy have been pretty potent today. But profligacy like that moments ago is why there remains a large gap between them and the tier one nations.

Italy 29-3 Romania

Enrico Bacchin of Italy
Reuters

How have Italy not scored here? Replacement Enrico Bacchin scampers through the Romanian line, but does not have the legs to reach the try-line. He finds the supporting Leonardo Sarto, who keeps the ball alive with a reverse offload. The Azzurri decide to open up the ragged Romanians by going out wide to the right but Tommaso Allan's little grubber kick is not cute enough to be gathered by Giovanbattista Venditti. 

Italy 29-3 Romania

Romania are still enjoying the lion's share of possession, yet Italy are the one's with four tries to their name.

possesion
Opta

Clearly the possession stats are not telling the whole picture...

Italy have won four turnovers to Romania's two while the Oaks have missed almost three times as many tackles (16-6).

Also when the Azzurri have the ball they are doing more with it.

They have run 205m with the ball to the Oaks' 148m and their players have beaten 16 defenders to six beaten by Romania.

Italy 29-3 Romania

The pressure does not disappear there though, Romania kicking to touch to tee up a line-out which is perilously close to the Italian whitewash. But the Oaks cannot make their possession count as Italy's defence - not for the first time - is watertight.

Italy 29-3 Romania

Romania rediscover their scrummaging ability in the Italy 22, which allows Florin Vlaicu - with a penalty already assured - to hoist a high kick towards the left touchline. Full-back Catalin Fercu gathers, attempts to off-load inside, but only succeeds in finding an Azzurri shirt.

The Gori and Allan show

Italy 29-3 Romania

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

Edoardo Gori
EPA

Italian half-backs Edoardo Gori and Tomasso Allans have taken control of this game. They've got 17 points between them and are at the centre of everything that is good about their attacking play. 

Tommaso Allan
Getty Images

Converted try - Italy 29-3 Romania

Alessandro Zanni, con Tommaso Allan

Alessandro Zanni
Reuters

But Italy don't have to wait long for their bonus-point try. That man Alessandro Zanni is the Romanian nemesis again, a straight run from a dominant Italian scrum doing the damage.

Romania players stand dejected
Rex Features

No try

Italy 22-3 Romania

This one takes some dissecting. We see replay after replay of Zanni's handling - no problem there. But what about Minto? He is over, but the TMO is not sure that he has got the ball touching grass. Scrum on the five-metre line...

Try review - Italy

Italy 22-3 Romania

Tommaso Allan is in the thick of the action again, bursting through the Romanian line, He looks left, plays in Alessandro Zanni, and he is held up just short. Francesco Minto appears at the breakdown to plough over - but has he grounded the ball?

Tommaso Allan runs with the ball
Getty Images

Italy 22-3 Romania

Italy quickly win back possession inside the Romanian half, with Tommaso Allan cheekily spotting a gap over Romania full-back Catalin Fercu's head. The bounce of Allan's kick favours Fercu though and he scoops up the ball to stop an Italian try.

Italy 22-3 Romania

Much better scrum by Italy. The Romanians are overpowered, the scrum turning round left, allowing number eight Alessandro Zanni to offload to scrum-half Edoardo Gori. But he is caught by his shorts and bundled into touch just a few metres out.

Giovanbattista Venditti stands by the scrum
Getty Images

Kick-off

Italy 22-3 Romania

Here we go again. Italy kick off - and Romania drop the ball. Nightmare start.

Fans inside Sandy Park
Rex Features

Azz-ured defence

Italy 22-3 Romania

With Romania on the front foot, it is Italy who are having to make more tackles.

The Azzurri have made 58 tackles to Romania's 21 in keeping the Oaks at bay.

Tackles in the game between Italy and Romania
Getty Images

Half-time

Italy 22-3 Romania

The Romanian dressing room looks pretty subdued as the television cameras peer in, Big Brother style, at the break. Their Welsh coach Lynn Howells paces around, providing his thoughts on where they need to improve. No tea cups being flung about by the amiable ex-Pontypridd, Edinburgh and Doncaster coach though.

Half-time

Italy 22-3 Romania

Leonardo Sarto's try was Italy's fourth of the tournament, incredibly that is the same amount as Romania have scored.

The Oaks' strength undoubtedly lies in their powerful pack, who don't really seem to trust their comparatively inexperienced backs. That was illustrated perfectly when Romania wasted that overlap after intense pressure on the Azzurri try-line (see 32 mins).

Could that have been the turning point?

Italy celebrate scoring their try
Reuters

Italy 22-3 Romania

Italy have barely touched the ball in the last 10 minutes but Tommaso Allan scores his side's third try at the end of the first-half and, despite all their possession, Romania just can't find a breakthrough.

possesion stats
Opta

Half-time

Italy 22-3 Romania

half-time scoreboard
BBC Sport

Referee Romain Poite signals the end of the first half with a short, sharp shrill of his whistle. Italy cruising towards victory, and closing in on third place in Pool C.

Converted try - Italy 20-3 Romania

Tommaso Allan, con Tommaso Allan

Tommasso Allan scores a try
Getty Images

Breathing space for Italy. Moments after wasting a decent opportunity, the Azzurri create something out of nothing just before the break. Fly-half Tommaso Allan cuts through the Romanian defence on a sharp angle, arcing round the Romania full-back before touching down. Allan adds the extras, seconds before the half-time whistle.

Tommaso Allan conversts his own try
PA

Italy 15-3 Romania

Romania extend their 100% line-out record to an eighth set-piece, but Italy win the turnover to go back on the attack. However, they fail to see numbers out right and the chance disappears.

Romania win the line-out
Getty Images

Italy 15-3 Romania

With that heroic Italian defending goes the best chance of a Romanian try before the interval. Or so one would assume. Italy look to pile the pressure back on their opponents, but a weak kick from full-back Luke McLean gifts a line-out to the Romanians.

They shall not pass

Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

What terrific defending by Italy. The Romanians have laid siege to their line for the past six minutes but, like Australia against Wales last night, the Azzuri held firm to keep their oppnents out. 

Ionut Botezatu of Romania struggles against the Italian defence
Getty Images

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Used to live in #Italy now live in #Romania, I'm feeling some split loyalties on this one. #bbcrugby

Italy 15-3 Romania

Incredible defence by the Italians! The Romanian pack continue trying to punch their way through on the near-side, eventually working the ball out wide on the eighth phase. Too late, one fears. And so it proves, Italy winning the penalty when Romania are adjudged to be off their feet at the breakdown. Cue some back-slapping from the Azzurri players and happy clapping from a smartly-dressed Italian couple in the crowd.

Vlaicu is tackled by the Italians
Getty Images