Italy flatters in record opening win over Namibia at Rugby World Cup

SAINT-ETIENNE, France (AP) — Italy has made a bonus point-winning start to the Rugby World Cup against a Namibia team that made the Azzurri sweat for every point in Saint-Etienne. The 52-8 scoreline was Italy’s best ever against Namibia. But the seven-try victory with perfect goalkicking from Tommaso Allan was given a flattering sheen by three tries in the last nine minutes as Namibia finally flagged. First-game nerves, the baking sunshine, and the Namibians’ never-say-die attitude stymied the Italians for an hour. A Namibia yellow card gave Italy the break it needed to score two tries in the first 15 minutes. But when it was back to 15 on 15, Namibia grew into the game and scored its only try and worried Italy well into the second half.

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