Italy struggle to come to terms with 'really bad' New Zealand hammering

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Italy struggle to come to terms with 'really bad' New Zealand hammering
Italy were outclassed by their opponents
Italy were outclassed by their opponents
Reuters
Italy head coach Kieran Crowley said his team had been "monstered" by New Zealand following their 96-17 mauling in a World Cup Pool A encounter on Friday.

Crowley had declared before the game that other nations had caught up with New Zealand but on Friday in Lyon it was clear Italy, for now, was not among them.

"They just monstered us. It was like a training run for them," Crowley told reporters.

"I think we won 33% in the scrum and 50% in the line out.

"They played bloody well but we gifted them a few tries in a few areas, but we just need to chuck it in the bin and go next week (against France in our final pool game).

Crowley said they cannot dwell on Friday's result as they need to focus on advancing in the tournament.

"Will we be able to bridge the gap? I hope so. But that's in the future. At the moment we can only concentrate on what we can concentrate on, and this group, we've got another game next week.

"We've still got a chance and there's a number of teams that don't."

New Zealand had come in for criticism after losing their opening game to France. They will surely have impressed many with Friday's performance.

"They'll be pretty pleased with their performance because it was a bit of a statement from them," the Italy coach said.

"We're not worried about them, we're worried about us. We've got to pick ourselves back up and we'll see how it goes."

Crowley could not deny the fact that his team had played poorly, but remained philosophical in defeat.

"Yes, it was a really bad game for us, but you know, one bad game doesn't make a bad team, so yeah, we have to improve.

"As far as the coaches go, we'll probably lock ourselves in a room and have a few beers I suppose. That might be the best way to get rid of it."

Italy captain Michele Lamaro found it difficult to digest his team's performance.

"Obviously it's tough to even say something. We've learned a very big lesson. We have to stick together," Lamaro said.

"Obviously it didn't go our way. Sometimes you have to focus on your basics. We didn't perform at the scrum, line-out, we didn't perform with the front five, the front eight."

Despite the massive loss, Italy still have another opportunity to make the knockout stages if they can beat hosts France in their final game.

"We have got another chance and we have to prepare well now. Obviously, sometimes it is not your day but we have to stick together," Lamaro said.

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