Italy 19-10 Fiji: Italians snap nine-Test losing streak with victory at the Stadio Angelo Massimino
Last Updated: 11/11/17 5:27pm
Italy ended a nine-Test losing streak when they beat Fiji 19-10 in the first of their November Tests on Saturday.
Italy's first win since their historic victory over South Africa nearly a year ago finished on a remarkable moment, when replacement back Ian McKinley kicked a last-minute penalty on debut, six years on from retiring after losing the sight in his left eye.
McKinley returned to playing rugby in 2014 using specially manufactured goggles and played for Viadana and Zebre before joining Benetton in 2016.
Italy sought revenge after losing in Fiji 22-19 in June, when Ben Volavola kicked a dropped goal two minutes into injury time.
This time, Volavola's yellow card in the 64th minute undermined Fiji's comeback hopes while trailing 16-10.
Italy's Carlo Canna and Volavola opened with penalty kicks, and Italy also scored the first try after half an hour.
From a five-metre scrum, No 8 and captain Sergio Parisse and scrum-half Marcello Violi combined to give prop Simone Ferrari his first international try.
Fiji leveled at 10-10 on the stroke of half-time when lock Leone Nakarawa evaded an Italian tackle and outpaced the defence to touch down by the left post.
Italy thought they had reclaimed the lead immediately after the break when Canna grabbed a loose ball following a Fiji lineout and crossed over, but the TMO ruled he had been offside.
Italy nevertheless pulled away with two quick penalties from Canna - the second from a difficult angle on the left - before the fly-half was replaced by McKinley shortly after the hour mark.
Volavola was then sin-binned and Italy defended well to close the game out.