Italy vs France 23-18 Six Nations 2013
In the past few weeks we have seen Bradford City football club defy both Arsenal and Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup. We have seen Luton Town, a non-league football side, defeat Norwich City of the glorious Premier League. These are only a few of the many sporting upsets to have been had in recent weeks. But only last week, another one was to be added to the list.
Italy's unlikely but confident rugby union side were pitted with great anticipation against France's well-respected and talented squad. The 80,000 spectators in the Stadio Olimpico of Rome were awaiting what they hoped to be a strong performance having come off from a solid performance against the All Blacks and a narrow loss to Australia in recent tests.
Well the audience certainly got what they came for! The first half was an excellent display from the Italians with the fly-half Luciano Orquera displaying brilliant style and highlighting his somewhat hidden talent which yet he flaunted in excellent fashion for the home crowd. The video below collects all his contributions to the game in under 2 minutes.
However it wasn't just Orquera's performance which won Italy the game. For the first time in all the games I have seen of Italy, they really looked like a solid 6 Nations contender and not a ripe contender for the wooden spoon. Martin Castrogiovanni and particularly Sergio Parisse proved great leaders and mighty players as always, tying the forwards together while Luciano Orquera commanded the backs.
If the Italian squad continue to put in these kinds of strong performances and most importantly, if they channel their passion for their country into solid belief that they can beat anyone then I believe the Italians will flourish and this could mark the start of a big turn around for Italian Rugby.
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