England Fall to an Italian Job

Date published: Monday, October 21, 2013

A drop-goal by Josh Mantellato two minutes from the end of a gripping match gave Italy a shock 15-14 victory over England by the narrowest of margins.

It was little more than an Italy team coached by Salford-born and raised Carlo Napolitano deserved at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford as England suffered the ultimate fate for what their coach Steve McNamara suggested was a complacent performance.

A week before they open Rugby League World Cup 2013 with a match against Australia in Cardiff, England needed an intense test and that is just what they got.

The Kangaroos have not played a warm-up game this weekend and can expect to come up against battle-hardened opponents with much to prove.

On a rain-swept afternoon, England never got going throughout and were punished by a clinical display by St Helens forward Anthony Laffranchi who scored two first half tries.