Serbia’s men ran in ten tries, five of them to outstanding full back Dragan Jankovic, to defeat Italy 52-4 at the Pasian Di Prato stadium near to the city of Udine, in hot conditions.
Serbia head coach Darren Fisher, who has now won all four of his games in charge, commented: “We’ve managed to put in some great structures and credit to the squad for taking that on board with commitment and desire, we’ve scored almost 200 points in those matches and I’m proud of that, things are really positive in the camp. The young players selected have gone well which stands us in good stead for the future.”
Aleksandar Pavlovic maintained his fine form after his hat trick against Greece with the opening try but Italy hit back in the seventh minute, second rower Giona Toffoletti crossing for what was to be their only score. Dragan Kokanovic extended the visitor’s lead before Partisan captain Dragan Jankovic took charge.
He posted three tries in 15 minutes either side of half time, the Serbians in a white hot period just after the break with three touchdowns in eleven minutes, Dragan Jankovic picking up his fourth and going nap in the final minute to seal a convincing win.
Italy head coach, Salvatore Pezzano, said: “We had a lot of debutants and it was a very good match against a top team. We wanted to see where we were with domestic players and this was a perfect test for us and our championship and we are very proud of this. It is a fitting tribute to our former vice president Tiziano Franchini who had that dream that the country would be fully represented. We are looking to arrange more games now because the players are so enthusiastic.”
Riccardo Crocella, Mishel Shmai, Emiliano Buraschi, Francesco Vallone, Lorenzo Sosta, Alessandro Corte, Giordano Arena, Giovanni Rizzo, Ippolito Occhialini, Davide Colla, Giona Toffoletti, Gioele Celerino
Subs (all used): Mauro Quarino, Tommaso Zuliani, Kevin Fadini, Alex Rojatto
Try: Toffoletti (7)
Goal: Corte 0/1
Dragan Jankovic, Rajko Trifunovic, Denis Cengaj, Aleksandar Pavlovic, Dragan Kokanovic, Dzavid Jasari, Vojislav Dedic, Mihajlo Jovic, Vladislav Dedic, Enis Bibic, Miodrag Tomic, Nikola Djuric, Milos Calic
Subs (all used): Stefan Arsic, Strahinja Stojiljkovic, Marko Jakovljevic, Marko Jankovic
Tries: Pavlovic (3), Kokanovic (15), D. Jankovic (27, 32, 42, 51, 79), Vo Dedic (47), Tomic (57), Vl Dedic (64)
Goals: Jasari 6/10
Half time: 4-20
Referee: Gajulete Ciprian (Italy)