International Friendlies  Saturday 19th October 2013  Salford City Stadium  Att: 4,382

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Sam Tomkins

Sam Tomkins

Carl Ablett

GOAL SCORERS:

Gareth Widdop

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Dean Parata

Anthony Laffranchi

GOAL SCORERS:

Ray Nasso

Josh Mantellato

Josh Mantellato

DROP GOAL SCORERS:

Josh Mantellato

Full Report

Match Official: R Silverwood


Italy embarrass sorry England

England\'s World Cup hopes were dealt a devastating blow when they suffered a shock defeat by minnows Italy in their friendly at a sodden Salford City Stadium.


Steve McNamara\'s men failed to build on a 14-12 half-time lead as a drop goal from winger Josh Mantellato two minutes from the end condemned them to a 15-14 loss.


The huge embarrassment was witnessed at first hand by Tim Sheens, the Australia coach who must be rubbing his hands at the prospect of his Kangaroos opening their World Cup bid against a sorry-looking England at the Millennium Stadium next Saturday.


Sheens was among the 4,382 crowd, unlike his players who preferred to watch Manchester United at nearby Old Trafford.


The only bright spot was provided by full-back Sam Tomkins, England\'s record try-scorer who lit up the drab proceedings with a brace before witnessing his side\'s demise from the sidelines.


He was withdrawn as McNamara gave run-outs to 20 members of his World Cup squad in readiness for the tougher tests to come.


Italy\'s Salford-born coach Carlo Napolitano continually rang the changes to take a look at all 24 of his players and, despite insisting in advance that the result was not important, encouraged his side to level the scores with a penalty on 69 minutes before celebrating a famous victory at the final whistle.


The first-half rainstorm, which was accompanied by thunder and lightning, was clearly a sign of what was to come for a lacklustre home side, who were left to rue a series of early defensive lapses that enabled the Italians to build a 12-4 lead.


McNamara would have been particularly concerned at the way his defenders fell off the tackle to allow St Helens prop Anthony Laffranchi a soft early try and the ease with which hooker Dean Parata burrowed his way from dummy half for the Italians\' second.


Mantellato added both conversions but there was little hint of the drama to come when centre Carl Ablett scored England\'s first try on 19 minutes, touching down at the corner, despite juggling with the pass from Liam Farrell, after winger Ryan Hall had collected Kevin Sinfield\'s crossfield kick.


As the storm clouds broke over Salford, England\'s World Cup hopes began to resemble the gathering gloom, but Tomkins was there to provide a bright spark.


He took James Roby\'s superb pass to score his first try and then got on the end of Widdop\'s lofted kick for his second.


Sinfield was wide with his first conversion attempt and hit the woodwork with his second but his replacement Widdop found the target to convert Tomkins\' second try and put England in front for the first time four minutes before half-time.


If the sight of a double rainbow at the start of the second half lifted the spirits of the spectators, it did not permeate to the England players, who struggled to find any cohesion.


They missed a scoring chance when Hall failed to take Gareth Hock\'s pass 10 metres away from the Italian line and McNamara removed his side\'s main threat when withdrawing Tomkins from action 16 minutes from the end.


As the stalemate continued, the Azzurri took the opportunity to draw level on 69 minutes with a penalty from in front of the posts by substitute Ray Nasso.


England had a chance to win it when Widdop broke clear with five minutes to go but he failed to find the supporting Rob Burrow and the missed opportunity proved costly.


When Josh Charnley knocked on inside his own 20-metre area, the Italians seized their chance and Mantellato was accurate with a 30-metre drop goal that will live long in the memory of Napolitano\'s men.


Match Action

  • 79m
    dropgoal

    Josh Mantellato

    Italy

  • 71m
    goal

    Ray Nasso

    Italy

  • 57m
    interchange_on

    Rob Burrow

    England

  • 57m
    interchange_off

    Rangi Chase

    England

  • 41m
    interchange_off

    James Saltonstall

    Italy

  • 41m
    interchange_on

    Chris Centrone

    Italy

  • 41m
    interchange_on

    Fabrizio Ciaurro

    Italy

  • 41m
    interchange_off

    Josh Mantellato

    Italy

  • 38m
    try

    Sam Tomkins

    England

  • 38m
    goal

    Gareth Widdop

    England

  • 35m
    interchange_off

    Ryan Hall

    England

  • 35m
    interchange_on

    Josh Charnley

    England

  • 35m
    interchange_on

    Gareth Widdop

    England

  • 35m
    interchange_off

    Kevin Sinfield

    England

  • 33m
    interchange_off

    Tim Maccan

    Italy

  • 33m
    interchange_on

    Ray Nasso

    Italy

  • 32m
    interchange_off

    Liam Farrell

    England

  • 32m
    interchange_on

    Kallum Watkins

    England

  • 31m
    interchange_on

    George Burgess

    England

  • 31m
    interchange_off

    James Graham

    England

  • 29m
    interchange_off

    Anthony Laffranchi

    Italy

  • 29m
    interchange_on

    Sam Gardel

    Italy

  • 26m
    try

    Sam Tomkins

    England

  • 25m
    try

    Dean Parata

    Italy

  • 25m
    goal

    Josh Mantellato

    Italy

  • 22m
    interchange_on

    James Roby

    England

  • 22m
    interchange_off

    Michael McIlorum

    England

  • 21m
    interchange_on

    Chris Hill

    England

  • 21m
    interchange_off

    Lee Mossop

    England

  • 20m
    try

    Carl Ablett

    England

  • 9m
    try

    Anthony Laffranchi

    Italy

  • 9m
    goal

    Josh Mantellato

    Italy