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Live Reporting

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  1. South Africa v Samoa

    Right, little time to digest that statistical oddity.

    Time to hop across to see how South Africa and Samoa get their groove on at Villa Park.

    More bruises than a bottom-of-the-bag banana.

  2. Lies, damn lies and statistics

    Italy 23-18 Canada

    Canada dominated the attacking stats after their exhilarating, albeit ultimately fruitless, second-half display.

    The only stats Italy led in were defensive ones, and also the only one that truly matters - on the scoreboard. 

  3. Full time

    Italy 23-18 Canada

    What is next for these two then?

    Canada have a tight turnaround, playing France on Thursday.

    Italy will play Ireland next Sunday.

  4. Full-time

    Italy 23-18 Canada

    Italy triumph over Canada
  5. Penalty

    Italy 23-18 Canada (Allan)

    Tommaso Allan pops the ball through the uprights. His side emerge victorious, but Canada surface with all the credit.

    A courageous performance from the Cannucks. But it was not quite enough.

  6. Post update

    Italy 20-18 Canada

    Italy are throttling the life out of the clock. One attempt to set the scrum fails as Eduardo Gori dallies and the packs nosedive to the turf.

    Another penalty to Italy. Tommy Allan points to the sticks and this will be the last action.

  7. Post update

    Italy 20-18 Canada

    It is even harder now.

    Italy send the Canada pack tailspinning, the scrum crabbing round.

    George Clancy decides Canada are going backwards and switches possession back into Italy scrum-half Eduardo Gori's mitts.

    Referee George Clancy talks to Canada's captain Tyler Ardron
  8. Post update

    Italy 20-18 Canada

    Spilled forward! Italy lose control of the pill and it is a scrum to Canada, five metres from their own posts.

    This is almost the last play of the game. Canada will have to do it the hard way.

  9. Post update

    Italy 20-18 Canada

    Italy, streetwise as a backroom card game, are playing for the clock. Slow recycling, short-range rumbles and a minimum of passing.

    Less than two minutes to go.

    Davide Giazzon of Italy
  10. Post update

    Italy 20-18 Canada

    DTH van der Merwe's arm has strayed high in the tackle on Leonardo Sarto. Nothing vicious in it, but it is a penalty.

    Italy kick into the corner. One eye on a try, the other on running down the clock.

  11. Post update

    Italy 20-18 Canada

    Replacement fly-half Harry Jones slings a hospital pass to a team-mate and the ball bobbles out to hand possession back to Italy.

    Canada need some go-forward and fast.

  12. Post update

    Italy 20-18 Canada

    Michele Campagnaro scampering towards the posts, Canada shirts choking on his fumes. Saved by the whistle!

    Referee George Clancy has spotted the pass to the Italy replacement was forward.  

    Michele Campagnaro is tackled by Nathan Hirayama
  13. Post update

    Italy 20-18 Canada

    Arggh! The Elland Road crowd groan as the balls dribbles forward out of Nathan Hirayama's hands.

    That is his final contribution as well. Harry Jones is on at fly-half in his place.

  14. Post update

  15. Post update

  16. Penalty

    Italy 20-18 Canada (Nathan Hirayama)

    Nine minutes left. Two points in it. Strap in tight.

  17. Post update

    Italy 20-15 Canada

    Canada are up to within three metres. Italy loading the fringes. But they are offside. Advantage Canada and a free phase to play through.

    Kyle Gilmour is snagged out wide. Play is called back for the penalty and Nathan Hirayama points to the posts.

  18. Post update

    Italy 20-15 Canada

    Give it! Give it!

    Phil Mack with men outside him and an overlap, but he delays his pass a little too long and an Italian hand gets in there to wreck a promising position for Canada.

  19. Post update

    Italy 20-15 Canada

    DTH van der Merwe is having a stormer. Low-slung as a sportscar, as fast as a dragster and as wide as a juggernaut.

    He breaks through another tackle and Italy have to scramble to pull him down short. 

  20. Missed drop-goal

    Italy 20-15 Canada

    Italy's Tommaso Allan drops back into the pockets, sets his sights and then shanks a horrible eyesore of a drop-goal attempt wide.

  21. Post update

    Italy 20-15 Canada

    Canada are straining at the leash to get back into Italy.

    Jamie Cudmore, Phil MacKenzie and DTH van der Merwe all make half-breaks, but a scrambled Italy defence just about holds before nicking the ball via a pass that goes to ground.

    Phil MacKenzie
  22. Italy 20-15 Canada

    Having made 143 metres across the whole of the first half, Canada have already made 228 in the opening 16 minutes of the second.

    Italy, who led most of the attacking stats at half-time, have made just 38 during the same period.

    Italy's Luke McLean is tackled by Canada's Jamie Cudmore and John Moonlight
  23. Replacement

    Italy 20-15 Canada

    A change for Italy as Michele Campagnaro replaces Tommaso Benvenuti.

  24. Converted try

    Italy 20-15 Canada (Garcia, con. Allan)

    Italy have hardly got out of the dressing room so far in this second half, but they show a clinical edge when they belatedly make a trip to the Canada third of the pitch.

    A short line-out routine sees the ball popped straight back to hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini who trundles down the wing and is stopped just short.

    Canada's defence never gets itself shipshape though and Gonzalo Garcia punches over from short range as the ball is recycled.

    Tommaso Allan adds the extras with a decent kick.

    Gonzalo Garcia scores a try
  25. Replacement

    Italy 13-15 Canada

    War horse Mauro Bergamasco probably applies WD40 more than heat spray nowadays. The Italian cranks the limbs into life and trots on for his 105th cap. 

  26. Replacement

    Italy 13-15 Canada

    Canada injects some fresh legs into the fray.

     Phil Mack and the magnificently named Djustice Sears-Duru are on. 

  27. Italy 13-15 Canada

    Canada have made five clean breaks already in this second half while Italy, very much on the back foot at Elland Road at the moment, have failed to make a single one.

    Canada's Phil MacKenzie
  28. Post update

    Italy 13-15 Canada

    Canada are running hard and running through the phases, but are not making many inroads.

    DTH van der Merwe gets isolated and Italy number eight Samuela Vunisa clamps down over the top.  

  29. Post update

    Italy 13-15 Canada

    Canada spill the ball forward. Momentum lost. But only temporarily.

    Italy don't look like they fancy this much. They surrender possession at the next scrum and Canada are sniffing around the 22m again.

  30. Post update

    Italy 13-15 Canada

    Canada up on the Italy 22m line. Elland Road are sensing Tier-One blood here. They are bellowing the men in red forward.

    A Canada fan
  31. Post update

    Italy 13-15 Canada

    Tommaso Allan hoists the high one. That will come down with snow on it. Matt Evans is solid underneath it though. Ping-pong. Back and forth go the kicks.

    Allan appeals for a shoulder block on the part of Tyler Ardron as he chases up. No dice from the referee. 

    And Canada come out on top in that little exchange as DTH van der Merwe offloads to Ciaran Hearn who gallops into the Italy half before being hauled down.

  32. Italy 13-15 Canada

    Italy scrum-half Edoardo Gori has certainly been in the thick of things going forward, setting up Michele Rizzo's try and having made the most metres and beaten the most defenders for his side.

    But in defence? Not so good - four missed tackles in the opening 47 minutes.

    Edoardo Gori
  33. Post update

    Italy 13-15 Canada


    Martin Castrogiovanni and Matias Aguero are on to beef up the Italy front row. Michele Rizzo and Lorenzo Cittadini give way. 

  34. No try

    Italy 13-15 Canada

    A let-off for Italy. 

    Conor Trainor's pass is judged to have drifted forward. A marginal call to be honest. It was impossible to tell from the camera angle provided.

  35. Try review

    Italy 13-15 Canada

    Another for the Canadians?

    Nothing wrong with Phil MacKenzie's grounding. It is Conor Trainor's final pass under the microscope.

  36. Try

    Italy 13-15 Canada (Matt Evans)

    Give it to the gas man.

    Matt Evans shows Italy a clean pair of heels, bursting outside Tommaso Benvenuti via a mighty hand-off and then beating Leonardo Sarto to the corner.

    A lovely break, but the conversion goes begging.

  37. Post update

    Italy 13-10 Canada

    Eduardo Gori's box-kick is well claimed by Phil MacKenzie on the Canada 22m. The Canada wing comes bustling inside. Tyler Ardron rumbles up another few metres, Matt Evans stabs a grubber kick into the Italy 22m and Canada have made a strong start to the second half.

  38. Kick-off

    Italy 13-10 Canada

    Canada's Ciaran Hearn gets the second half up and running. 

    No changes for either side.  

    Elland Road
  39. Post update

    Italy 13-10 Canada

  40. Italy 13-10 Canada

    Matt Evans
  41. Post update

    Italy 13-10 Canada

    The Mountie always get his can.

    Or plastic pint pot in this case.

    Canada fans dress up as mounties
  42. Post update

    This Canadian Olympic Bobsledder is getting behind his team

  43. Italy 13-10 Canada

    Action areas

    Italy finished the stronger of the two teams at Elland Road, though Canada still enjoyed marginally more of the possession across the 40 minutes.

  44. Post update

    Italy 13-10 Canada


    It has been an entertaining game. 

    Both sides keen to run the ball and neither tight enough in the tackle to ruin the running-rugby party.

  45. Half-time

    Italy 13-10 Canada

    A young Italy fan watches the action
  46. Penalty

    Italy 13-10 Canada (Allan)

    Canada were hanging on to the ropes, grappling, and hoping for the whistle to send them back to the dressing room level.

    But they cop another penalty as they infringe and Tommy Allan, who has popped back into the action from somewhere, sticks it through the uprights.

    Still tantalisingly poised.

  47. No try

    Italy 10-10 Canada

    The video confirms the naked-eye opinion. Carlo Canna was well outside the whitewash and the scores remain level.

    Carlo Canna and Matt Evans
  48. Try review

    Italy 10-10 Canada

    Carlo Canna in at the corner after a neat little dummy scissors with Leonardo Sarto, but it looks like he has been forced out of play by the cover before his outstretched arm grounds the ball.

  49. Post update

    Italy 10-10 Canada

    Canada overcook the drop-out and the ball flies out on the full.

    Italy with a scrum on the 22m line with time ticking down on the half.

  50. Italy 10-10 Canada

    Canada's pack have perhaps surprisingly had the better of Italy's front eight here, winning five out of five scrums so far - including that last one on the Azzurri's put in.

    Jamie Mackenzie throws the ball
  51. Missed penalty

    Italy 10-10 Canada

    Italy with a kickable penalty, but Tommy Allan is off the pitch.

    Carlo Canna steps up, throws some blades to the wind, but his kick is pushed wide of the sticks.

  52. Post update

    Italy 10-10 Canada

    Some superb work from Canada flanker Nanyak Dala who gets in under Lorenzo Cittadini, hoisting the Italy prop backwards, dumping him on the seat of his pants and then snaffling the ball at the breakdown.

  53. Replacement

    Italy 10-10 Canada

    Italy are forced into a change. Off comes fly-half Tommaso Allan and on comes Carlo Canna.

  54. Missed penalty

    Italy 10-10 Canada

    Big scrum from the Canada pack as they keep the pressure on and Lorenzo Cittadini's studs slide out from beneath him.

     Referee George Clancy rules that he has taken it down deliberately. Bit harsh.

      Nathan Hirayama steps up but his effort from distance and a tricky angle drops well short.  

    Nathan Hirayama
  55. Italy 10-10 Canada

    The stats suggest there's really not been much in this one so far. The same number of rucks won, the same number of tackles made, and Italy only edging the metres gained column 138-115.

    Canada are giving as good as they're getting.

    Edoardo Gori of Italy is tackled by Canada's Matt Evans
  56. Post update

    Italy 10-10 Canada

    Canny from Canada as they stand off Italy's attempt to set up a driving maul from the line-out.

    The Italians look a little confused by the lack of opposition, a prop strays in front of the catcher and is accidentally offside as Canada pile in to make the point.

    George Clancy agrees and awards the scrum to the Maple Leafs.

  57. Penalty

    Italy 10-10 Canada (Allan)

    Canada prop Doug Wooldridge puts on a bit of a spurt to get in some effective lazy running - blocking Eduardo Gori's pass with his considerable retreating bulk. 

    Penalty and Tomasso Allan slots to square up the scoreboard.

  58. Post update

    Italy 7-10 Canada


    Superb work from Canada full-back Matt Evans who joins forces with second row Jebb Sinclair to hold up an Italian attacker just short.

    Canada survive and keep their lead.

  59. Post update

    Former world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene enjoying the Canuck classic from DTH van der Merwe there. 

  60. Italy 7-10 Canada

    DTH van der Merwe, the orchestrator and scorer of Canada's opener against Italy, was very much their go-to man in the opening-weekend defeat by Ireland too, topping his team's charts for metres, carries, defenders beaten, clean breaks - and tries.

  61. Italy 7-10 Canada

    Canada haven't necessarily enjoyed swathes of territory in the opening 20 minutes or so, but they have had 59% of the possession.

    Action areas
  62. Post update

    Italy 7-10 Canada

    Canada are under the pump once more. Defence stretched thinner than budget emulsion.

    Italy five metres out...

  63. Converted try

    Italy 7-10 Canada (Michele Rizzo, con Allan)

    And Italy hit right back.

    Some flimsy tackling in there, John Moonlight, I'm looking at you, but Eduardo Gori is sniping like its Stalingrad. 

    A classic jinking run from the scrum-half and prop Michele Rizzo is somehow on hand to take the pop and flop over after the nine is stopped just short.

    Michele Rizzo
  64. Converted try

    Italy 0-10 Canada (DTH van der Merwe, con Hirayama)

    What a score! DTH van der Merwe catches the kick-off and disappears up the line in a puff of chalkdust. Inside it goes to Ciaran Hearn, Van Der Merwe loops round and takes a return pass at warp speed. Italy's defence torn to shreds and the winger is in under the sticks.

    DTH van de Merwe
  65. Penalty

    Italy 0-3 Canada (Nathan Hirayama)

    Routine kick from the Canada fly-half.

    Canada coach Kieran Crowley applauds his team
  66. Post update

    Pick-up from number eight Tyler Ardron, centre Connor Braid on the charge. Canada piling on the pressure and, somewhat inevitably, Italy infringe.

    Penalty bang in front for Canada. 

    Canada's Connor Braid kicks the ball
  67. Post update

    Italy 0-0 Canada

    Elland Road is the first of the established football grounds to see World Cup action. Stadium MK, St James' Park and the City of Manchester Stadium will follow.

    There are plenty of fans in and in good voice. The locals are getting behind Canada who have a scrum five metres out.

    Canada fans dressed up as mounties
  68. Post update

    Italy 0-0 Canada

    Penalty reversed! More Italy indiscipline and the linesman has spotted Eduardo Gori's needless little stamp on the arm of Nanyak Dala.

    No harm done to Dala and no harm done to the scoreboard as Italy see a kickable penalty chance slide down the swanny. 

    A young Italy fan
  69. Post update

    Italy 0-0 Canada

    Italy rig up a rolling maul up around the halfway line and Samuela Vunisa burst off the back as the momentum begins to slow. Jamie Cudmore gets back to make the tackle, but does not roll away. 

    Penalty Italy.

    Italy's Samuela Vunisa
  70. Post update

    Italy 0-0 Canada

    A lovely deft bit of leather from Nathan Hirayama as the Canada fly-half punts a delicate little kick in behind Giovanbattista Venditti and forces Italy to throw into a line-out inside their own 22.

    Canada have made a strong start. This match has plenty of legs in it.

  71. Post update

    Italy 0-0 Canada

    Italy gave away 19 penalties in their defeat by France.

    They have coughed up two in three minutes so far today. 

    Good work from Italy wing  Giovanbattista Venditti but Canada captain Tyler Ardron smashes into the resulting ruck and does enough to persuade the referee that Italy are infringing.  

    Giovanbattista Venditti is tackled by Jebb Sinclair
  72. Post update

    Italy 0-0 Canada

    Italy regather the kick-off and build a bit of pressure on the Canada 22m. But a slip. Man down before contact and the red shirts swarm over the top.

    The Italian cavalry is not there quickly enough to salvage the ball and it is a penalty to the north Americans.

  73. Kick-off

    Italy 0-0 Canada

    Referee George Clancy blasts the starting horn and Tommaso Allan goes for a sneaky switch kick-off to his back division.

  74. Kick-off imminent

    The Italian tune blares out, jaunty and jingoistic. A last long note, a quick squeeze of the arms and then the men in blue split for the sidelines to shed their last layers before kick-off.

    An Italy fan
  75. Anthems...

    Jump to it lads. The teams are out and the Canada team are standing on guard for their nation.

    Canada fans
  76. Post update

  77. Not even the biggest Cudmore

    Daniel Cudmore

    By the way, Canada second row Jamie Cudmore's younger brother Daniel is a successful actor who played Colossus in the X-Men trilogy.

    It was not a role that they were going to cast Danny DeVito in.

    The Cudmore brothers are probably still paying down the bank loan their parents took out to cover the food bill.

  78. Post update

  79. Post update

  80. Line-ups

    Italy: Luke McLean; Leonardo Sarto, Tommaso Benvenuti, Gonzalo Garcia, Giovanbattista Venditti; Tommaso Allan, Edoardo Gori; Michele Rizzo, Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), Lorenzo Cittadini, Quintin Geldenhuys, Josh Furno, Alessandro Zanni, Francesco Minto, Samuela Vunisa.

    Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Matias Aguero, Martin Castrogiovanni, Marco Fuser, Mauro Bergamasco, Guglielmo Palazzani, Carlo Canna, Michele Campagnaro

    Canada: Matt Evans; Phil Mackenzie, Ciaran Hearn, Connor Braid, DTH Van Der Merwe; Nathan Hirayama, Jamie Mackenzie; Hubert Buydens, Ray Barkwill, Doug Wooldridge, Jebb Sinclair, Jamie Cudmore, Nanyak Dala, John Moonlight, Tyler Ardron (captain).

    Replacements: Aaron Carpenter, Djustice Sears-Duru, Andrew Tiedemann, Evan Olmstead, Kyle Gilmour, Phil Mack, Conor Trainor, Harry Jones.

  81. Team news

    You'll notice a shorn and smart Sergio Parisse making a tackle in the picture below from 2003.

    The statesman-like Italian number eight is still out with a calf injury.

    Captain Tyler Ardron returns for Canada after missing the defeat by Ireland.

  82. We've met before

    Italy v Canada at the 2003 World Cup

    Italy beat Canada 19-14 at the 2003 World Cup; the five-point margin was the narrowest victory Italy have recorded over Canada in their seven Tests against them.

  83. Post update

  84. Losing starts

    Pool D

    Both these sides lost their opening World Cup matches.

    Italy gave away 18 penalties in a 32-10 defeat by France.

    Canada were steamrollered 50-7 by Ireland.

    All to do for either side to make a surprise escape out of Pool D. Lose this one and they can start planning their flight home movie choices.

  85. Post update

  86. Rough reward

    Jamie Cudmore

    "When things could've gone really bad, rugby caught my interest and I really stuck with it," Cudmore said.

    "The sport brought me off the streets where we'd be fighting, into putting in a good effort in the rugby field where you're kind of rewarded for that rough behaviour."

    Well, sometimes rewarded. Cudmore sat out an incredible 110 days of the 2010-11 season through suspension.

    He starts today against a combustible Italy pack.

    Light fuse. Stand back.Take cover. 

  87. 'Cuddles' Cudmore

    Jamie Cudmore

    Meet Jamie Cudmore.

    And be thankful you are making his acquaintance now and not 18 years ago.

    Back then he wasn't putting his six foot five inch, 18 stone frame to use in the Clermont and Canada second row.

    Instead he collected dues for drug dealers.