Italrugby heads down, Kieran Crowley tough on referee

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Italrugby defeated in the most anticipated match

It was the most expected match, in light of the values expressed in recent months as positively by Italy as negatively by Wales. To win at the Olimpico, however, were the Dragons, able to impose themselves 29-17 thanks mainly to a first half of 22 points made and only 3 conceded, which inevitably affected the rest of the match.

Speaking to official FIR channels, coach Kieran Crowley says he does not believe the Azzurri underestimated their opponent in the last home match of the 2023 Six Nations: “There was no lack of focus or inadequate preparation for the match, I categorically rule that out,” he said. “Undoubtedly we had problems in the accuracy of our executions, and the approach to the early part of the match continues not to work as it should.

The New Zealand coach then addressed harsh words in regard to the match direction by referee Damon Murphy: “I honestly do not understand how the referee could give us 17 kicks against us,” Crowley remarked, “nor what yardstick he adopted in his assessments of the penalty goals. Let me be clear, I pay the greatest compliments to Wales, who won deservedly, but the fact remains that some refereeing decisions weighed on the course of the match.”

Some regrets also for the absence of Ange Capuozzo due to injury: “Clearly a player with his characteristics can always make a difference, and perhaps with him a couple of attacking actions could have had a different outcome, but of course there is no proof otherwise. Instead, let me thank the crowd for their support today, they were fantastic, even in the toughest moments for us,” Crowley concluded.

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