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Live Reporting

Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

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  1. Arrivederci

    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!

  2. Pool D as it stands

    Italy 32-22 Romania

    pool d table

    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...

  3. Stats of the day

    Italy 32-22 Romania

    Vlaicu lies down at the end of the game
    • 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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  5. Full-time

    Italy 32-22 Romania

    italy scoreboard

    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.

  6. 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
    Italy players celebrate
  7. 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...

  8. 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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    Valentin Calafeteanu of Romania
  10. 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...

  11. 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
  12. 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. 

  13. 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
  14. 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....

  15. 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...

  16. 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
  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Italy 29-3 Romania

    Enrico Bacchin of Italy

    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. 

  20. 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

    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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. The Gori and Allan show

    Italy 29-3 Romania

    Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

    Edoardo Gori

    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
  24. Converted try - Italy 29-3 Romania

    Alessandro Zanni, con Tommaso Allan

    Alessandro Zanni

    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
  25. 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...

  26. 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
  27. 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.

  28. 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
  29. Kick-off

    Italy 22-3 Romania

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

    Fans inside Sandy Park
  30. 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
  31. 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.

  32. 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
  33. Post update

    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
  34. Half-time

    Italy 22-3 Romania

    half-time scoreboard

    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.

  35. Converted try - Italy 20-3 Romania

    Tommaso Allan, con Tommaso Allan

    Tommasso Allan scores a try

    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
  36. 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
  37. 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.

  38. 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
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  40. 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
  41. Italy 15-3 Romania

    Romania continue to batter the Italy line, but the Azzurri defence remains rock solid. Heavy pressure. The Romanians know they have a penalty on the cards, centre Florin Vlaicu kicking into touch to set up the line-out.

  42. Italy 15-3 Romania

    Romania have got a comeback in their locker - as illustrated by their fightback against Canada earlier in the week. Now the Oaks have their full complement of players, captain Valentin Ursache held up on the line as he tries to bash a hole in the Azzurri defence.

  43. Grab a pizza the action

    Italy 15-3 Romania

    Some tasty fancy-dress outfits being modelled by the Italian fans at Sandy Park today....

    Fans in fancy dress at Sandy Park
  44. Converted try - Italy 15-3 Romania

    Edoardo Gori, con Tommasi Allan

    Finally the Italian pressure pays. The 14 men of Romania are driven back by the Azzurri scrum, conceding another set-piece, from which scrum-half Edoardo Gori spins out of the base of the Italian drive. He bumps off a couple of yellow shirts before diving over the try-line.

    Edoardo Gori scores Italy's second try
  45. Italy 8-3 Romania

    Back to the line-out and Italy think they have stolen it. But Romain Poite doesn't. Knock on, he rules. Romania are hanging on by the skin of their teeth here though...

  46. Italy 8-3 Romania

    Giovanbattista Venditti

    Oooh, clever. Italy wing Giovanbattista Venditti picks up the ball as Romania run it out, throwing in from the five-metre line for Alessandro Zanni to cross unimpeded. But ref Romain Poite furiously pips his whistle - "not straight" he yells.

  47. Michele making an impression

    Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

    The locals certainly like what they see of new Exeter signing Michele Campagnaro. A lovely bit of skill to draw three Romanian defenders before giving the ball to Sarto for that try. 

    Michele Campagnaro
  48. Penalty - Italy 8-3 Romania

    Tommaso Allan

    Italy, unsurprisingly, decide to go for the posts. And Tommaso Allan, after stiffing his opening kick, finds his target from a straight angle.

  49. Sin-bin - Italy 5-3 Romania

    Johann van Heerden (Romania)

    Not what Romania need. Referee Romain Poite loses patience with Romania second-rower Johann van Heerden who illegally stops an Italian opponent in his tracks. Poite has a word in his ear, and he knows what is coming. A yellow card and 10 minutes to cool off.

  50. Post update

    Italy 5-3 Romania

    Italy may have the all important try, but it is honours even in terms of the possession.

    Though tellingly, the Italians are seeing more of the ball in the Romanian half.

    Italy
  51. Italy 5-3 Romania

    Great to see The Hoff getting excited about the game. Wonder if he's sat on an LA beach somewhere, wearing those famous red short shorts, following the action. Anyway...

    Another onlooker, Italy captain Sergio Parisse looks quite content as his side escape after more pressure from the Romanian scrum.

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  53. Try - Italy 5-3 Romania

    Leonardo Sarto, missed con Tommaso Allan

    Quality. Italy know they can stretch this bulky Romanian side if they get the ball moving out wide quickly - and that is exactly what they do. Edoardo Gomi starts the move from the breakdown, the ball finding Exeter-bound Michele Campagnaro who bursts through a gap to impress his soon-to-be home fans. A simple offload finds wing Leonardo Sarto who saunters in down the line.

    Leonardo Sarto scores a try for Italy
  54. Even the Hoff is tuning in

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  55. No try

    Italy 0-3 Romania

    No messing about from the TMO, pretty clear that Edoardo Gomi did not ground the ball correctly. The Italy scrum-half knocks on, Romania scrum.

    A no try is awarded for not grounding the ball
  56. Try review - Italy

    Italy 0-3 Romania

    Pacy Italy scrum-half Edoardo Gori scampers after his own kick forward after the Azzurri win a line out. But did he ground the ball? TMO time...

  57. Penalty - Italy 0-3 Romania

    Florin Vlaicu

    Routine stuff from Romanian centre Florin Vlaicu. He slots over the opening kick, the face of his Welsh coach Lynn Howells doesn't even crack.

    Florin Vlaicu
  58. Italy 0-0 Romania

    Here we go then! Our first glimpse at that powerful Romania scrum. Rarely do we see the Italian scrum backpedalling quickly, but that is what happens as Romania win an early penalty just inside the Italian half. Florin Vlaicu gives the nod - he's going for the sticks...

  59. Post update

    Italy 0-0 Romania

    Cracking start from Italy as they overpower the Romanians before winning an early penalty as their opponents are punished for not releasing. Italy try to move the ball through hands to the left, but Tommaso Allan spills the ball in midfield.

  60. Kick-off

    Italy 0-0 Romania

    Romania, decked out in their own traditionaltricoloreof yellow, blue and red, have the honour of starting this crucial Pool C game. Game on!

    An Italy fan
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    A Romanian fan in the crowd
  62. Post update

    Italy v Romania (14:30 BST)

    Anthem time. Romania's ditty is enthusiastically belted out by the Oaks players and fans...but they are soon beaten on the decibel meter by the Italians. Azzurri fans wave their mini Il Tricolore flags as arguably the finest national anthem in the world is sung with gusto.

    The national anthems take place
  63. In the tunnel

    Italy v Romania (14:30 BST)

    So it is an unfamiliar scene at Sandy Park as Romania stand-in skipper Valentin Ursache and his counterpart for the day Quintin Geldenhuys stand at the front of the two teams. Plenty of Azzuri blue and Oaks yellow is packed into the World Cup's smallest stadium.

    A Romania fan
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  65. Romania team news

    Italy v Romania (14:30 BST)

    And, for all of you on tenterhooks after our little teaser about Romania missing their own captain, here's the lowdown...

    Mihai Macovei has been suspended for two weeks for a dangerous tackle in the 17-15 win over Canada on Tuesday.

    Daniel Carpo takes up Macovei's number eight role with flanker Valentin Ursache named as captain.

    Italy v Romania
  66. Welcome to your new home

    Italy v Romania (14:30 BST)

    Brent Pilnick, BBC Sport

    Italy centre Michele Campagnaro gets the biggest cheer so far. Unsurprising though, seeing as he moved to Exeter this summer. This will be the first game he has ever played at Sandy Park and he'll no doubt be hoping to make a good impression as his new boss Rob Baxter looks on from the stands. 

  67. Italy team news

    Italy v Romania (14:30 BST)

    Italy head coach Jacques Brunel makes just two changes to the starting line-up that lost 16-9 to Ireland last Sunday.

    As we've just informed you, captain Sergio Parisse drops out of the match-day 23, and is replaced in the back row by Alessandro Zanni.

    The other change sees Tommaso Benvenuti come in at inside centre for Gonzalo Garcia.

    Italy v Romania
  68. Parisse out for Italy

    Italy v Romania (14:30 BST)

    However, there is a huge captain-shaped hole in each of the teams in Exeter today.

    Sergio Parisse's World Cup is over after he was ruled out of Italy's final Pool D match against Romania with a recurrence of a calf problem.

    The 32-year-old missed Italy's first two matches before managing 65 minutes in Sunday's 16-9 loss to Ireland.

    "I would only be at about 55% for a match which you need to be near 100%," says the Stade Francais number eight.

    Italy v Romania
  69. Comeback kings

    Italy v Romania (14:30 BST)

    Of course, Romania's task might have been more difficult had they not earned a morale-boosting win against Canada. And it wasn't just any bog-standard win. It was a biggest-comeback-in-World-Cup-history kind of win.

    The powerful Romanians scored 17 points in the final 28 minutes to beat Canada 17-15 on a dramatic afternoon in Leicester.

    Italy v Romania
  70. Battle for third place

    Italy v Romania (14:30 BST)

    Admittedly, it is hardly as mouthwatering as an outright scrap for a place in the knockout phase. But for Italy and Romania, finishing third in Pool D is equally important.

    The Azzurri currently have their mitts on that important spot, having earned a bonus point more than the Romanians.

    So that means that whoever wins today will clinch third place - behind Ireland and France - and be able to plan ahead to Japan 2019 without having to faff about with the inconvenience of the qualification process.

  71. Mamma mia!

    Abba

    "The winner takes it all...the loser's standing small...beside the victory...that's her destiny."

    Swedish supergroup Abba clearly did not pen their pop classic 'The Winner Takes It All' with a Rugby World Cup pool match in mind.

    But the players of Italy and Romania might well be humming the chorus in their minds today. Because it is winner takes all between the two nations.

    Their destiny? An automatic spot in the 2019 tournament.