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Italy vs USA

2017 Rugby League World Cup

1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
Italy USA
46 SCORE 0
8 Tries 0

Match result:

Italy have formally knocked the USA out of the finals race at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup with a 47-point smashing.

Final score
Italy 46
USA 0

Match preview:

Having both lost their opening games of the tournament, Italy and the United States are hanging on a knife’s edge in Group D as they clash heads in Townsville in search of a much-needed win. Catch all the live scores, highlights and action on The Roar from 5pm (AEDT).

With only three group games to book a ticket into the finals, both sides find themselves playing catch-up after just one.

The United States were absolutely rolled last week by the flying Fijians, letting in 11 tries to just two for possibly the worst start to their campaign they could have asked for.

That has immediately left the US reeling in last in their Group with a -46 points difference and really needing two big wins from their last two games to make it through.

For the Italians, they weren’t quite hit that hard, but the result was still a bad one nonetheless in their tournament opener against Ireland.

Despite being ranked lower than the Irish, the Azzuri were coming into the game as firm favourites with a line-up full of NRL talent.

Trailing by eight at halftime, Italy were never able to get into the contest as Ireland ran away 36-12 winners, leaving them in the same position as the US needing to win both of their last two games, one of which is against Group leaders Fiji.

Simply, whoever loses today is out.

To add to the chaos for the Italians, teammates James Tedesco and Shannon Wakeman have been embroiled with in-team fighting throughout the week.

Their heavy 58-12 loss to Fiji has only added to the pain of the USA’s recent World Cup run of losses.

They have conceded a massive 142 points to just 20 in their last three RLWC games, averaging nine tries a game against them.

In saying that though, things aren’t a whole lot better for Italy who have gone winless from their last six international games leading into the tournament and including the aforementioned Ireland defeat.

Team News
Both sides have made changes leading into the do or die clash.

For Italy, coach Cameron Ciraldo will welcome back Terry Campese after the former Raider was ruled out before kickoff against Ireland with a calf injury.

It’s not such good news for the Italians other half Jack Johns who went off in the second half last week and has been ruled out with a fractured arm.

Ryan Ghietti will partner Campese in the halves, while Colin Wilkie is also out of the side and will be replaced by Chris Centrone on the bench.

For the US, Sam Tochterman-Talbott, Fotukava Malu and Gabriel Farley have all been brought onto the bench in place of Joshua Rice, Joe Eichner and Andrew Kneisly.

Prediction
Both sides are playing to keep their tournament alive, plain and simple.

These two nations have never played each other before but you’d have to think the Italians look the better side, despite their off-field dramas, and have a case to answer for after last week’s disappointing performance.

While the US have plenty of flair when they kick into gear, I don’t think they’ll be taking home the points this afternoon.

Italy to win by 22