Back

Wallabies survive late Italian scare

The Wallabies have narrowly escaped with victory on the back of two tries in the final three minutes to seal a 40-27 win over Italy at Suncorp Stadium.

Some late heroics from 'The Iceman' Bernard Foley have lifted Australia to a narrow victory, while Israel Folau and Sefa Naivalu chipped in with two tries each.

Australia struggled in the early stages of the match, allowing Italy to open the scoring only two minutes into the match through a Tommaso Allen penalty goal.

Italy continued their early pressure, and the men in blue looked like they had their first try at the six minute mark, when Dean Budd crashed over on the left wing.

After a lengthy review from the television match official, it was ruled that the Giovambattista Venditti was dragged into touch before releasing the final pass to Budd - letting the Wallabies off with an early reprieve.

Australia's fortunes shifted in the 13th minute when winger Sefu Naivalu roared down the left touch-line to score the first five pointer of the afternoon for Australia.

Three minutes later, Israel Folau crashed over in the left corner and pushed the Wallaby lead to 14-3.

Folau struck again in the 30th minute when he latched onto a brilliant cut-out ball from Karmichael Hunt to nab his second try of the match and extend the lead to 15 points.

In the process, Folau wrote his name in the history books by becoming the first Wallaby to score multiple tries in three consecutive test matches.

Italy brought the margin back to 8 before halftime after Michele Campagnaro snatched a try after a being put into space from a beautiful short ball from Giovambattista Venditti.

Australia went into the sheds leading 21-13, but came out ready to attack in the second half - as they reached into their bag of tricks to score their next try in the 43rd minute through Sefa Naivalu.

The try was highligted by a stunning between-the-legs pass from Bernard Foley to Dane Haylett-Petty, who then put Naivalu into space in the corner to crash over.

This gave Australia a 15-point lead, but some ill-discipline and costly mistakes allowed Italy to stay in the contest, as the Wallabies were left defending their line for large stretches in the second half.

Two tries in four minutes from the Azzuri allowed the visitors to draw within one point of the lead with 10 minutes remaining.

Things went from bad to worse for Australia when Toby Smith was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements in the ruck with seven minutes remaining, giving Italy a chance of a boilover in Brisbane.

However, some late heroics from Bernard Foley lifted Australia to victory in the 77th minute - when the fly-half found the try line and pushed the margin out of reach by adding the extras.

In the final minute, Reece Hodge added a consolation try to clinch a 13-point victory for the Wallabies.