Tonga stun Italy with last-gasp penalty


Italy were brought crashing back down to earth as they followed up their famous victory over South Africa with a last-gasp 19-17 defeat to Tonga in Padua.

Conor O'Shea's men recorded a history-making win in Florence last weekend, stunning the Springboks in a 20-18 triumph.

However, a starting XV sporting just one change from that match fell well short of those standards, with Sonatane Takulua's late penalty clinching the win.

Lorenzo Cittadini crossed early on, before Dries van Schalkwyk was denied a try by the TMO for a knock-on as Italy looked to take control.

Tonga were reduced to 14 men when Valentino Mapapalangi was sent to the sin bin after 24 minutes, but the visitors emerged from being a man down, having reduced the deficit to four thanks to a Takulua penalty.

Takulua was again on target after Sami Panico was yellow-carded, before Siale Piutau's touchdown sent Tonga in front for the first time, with Takulua adding the extras.

Tommaso Allan steadied Italian nerves by converting his own try to move Italy 14-13 in front, but Takulua set up an enthralling finish with a penalty seven minutes from time.

Edoardo Padovani had a drop goal attempt charged down before splitting the posts from the tee, but Takulua was not done yet.

Faced with a long-range penalty kick with the seconds ticking away, the scrum-half held his nerve to secure a famous win for the Pacific Islanders.