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Italy 48 (Braam Steyn, Dean Budd, Sebastian Negri, Mattia Bellini, Federico Zani, Matteo Minozzi tries; Tommaso Allan three conversions & a penalty, Carlo Canna one conversion) Canada 7 (Andrew Coe try, Peter Nelson conversion).
FULLTIME - Impressive display from the Italians against a disappointing Canadian team. Check out the highights above and a full wrap here.
79 mins - TRY ITALY - Manozzi gets another well deserved try, cashing in on another damaging Pellodri run to streak into the corner and seal a big win. (Italy 48-7)
77 mins - Canada look to snare another kate try, much to the crowd's pleasure. Crossfield kick for the wing bounce just out of reach. Italy restart from the 22m.
72 mins - TRY ITALY - The Italians strike back immediately with yet another clinically executed 5m lineout drive, Frederico Zani on the end of it this time. (Italy 43-7)
70 mins - TRY CANADA - Nelson breaks at the 40m courtesy of a huge fend, links with Andrew Coe who finishes with flair, swerving the fullback to dot down in the corner. Finally, they've crossed the chalk. Conversion over from the sideline. (Italy 36-7)
68 mins - Canada scrum near their own line and it is comprehensively punished, somehow they escape with a penalty.
64 mins - Bomb goes high with Canada on the attack, bounces into a Canadian hand...has he got their first try? Nope, knock on red. Nigel Owens apologises as he makes the ruling.
61 mins - TRY ITALY - That man Polledri again, bursts through two tackles to start the movement. They shift it wide, Bellini on the end of a great ball from Negri and he streaks 30m to dot down. (Italy 36-0).
58 mins - TRY ITALY - Straightforward drive from the lineout sees Italy crash over for a bonus point. There's a try-scorer somewhere in there, they refer it upstairs. they've called it a penalty try for pulling down the maul, and it will earn Heaton a yellow card for his troubles. (Italy 36-0).
57 mins - Italy with the offensive lineout, 22m out. Ruzza pumps his legs and goes close, ball hacked away but penalty advantage was being played. Italy will opt for a 5m lineout.
55 mins - Minozzi steps his way past three tacklers, Italy through the phases into Canada territory but they've knocked on at the ruck. Canada scrum near halfway.
53 mins - Italy concede the penalty at the ruck, going off his feet. Players sucking the big ones in out there, can almost see the heat.
52 mins - Italy clear as far as their own 10m line. Canada move back inside the Italy 22m but Italy turn the ball over. Polledri breaks free, finds Hayward but his pass is to the deck. Italy 22m out...
50 mins - Van de Merwe into acres of space, draws and passes for his winger who looks to link off the deck but can't find his support - great covering tackle. Italy scrum 5m from their own line.
48 mins - Defensive penalty won by Canada, and they escape the danger. Win the lineout at their 10m line and hoist the bomb, Italy knock on - Canada scrum at halfway.
47 mins - Italy swing right back on attack after the restart penalty, rolling a maul close to the Canada line.
44 mins - TRY ITALY - Well-timed pass from the close rnage ruck to a stroming Sebastian Negri and he crosses for Italy's third try. Ideal start for the Azzurri. Conversion is over, and this game probably is too. (Italy 24-0)
43 mins - Great metres from the setpiece move, just inches out now...
42 mins - Italy earn a penalty for offside at the Canada 10m line. To the touch line they go, lineout at the Canada 22m.
41 mins - Italy with some lovely interplay to cross halfway from the restart.
Second half underway...
40 mins - Another 5m scrum now, can Canada hold out before the halftime break? Italy keep it tight, rumbling slowly to the line. Turnover won by Canada at the breakdown... two quick carries then they find touch to end the half.
39 mins - Italy roll the maul close, can't quite get over the line. Canada have a hand in the pass again, called a knock on. Owen wants a look upstairs, this one certainly looks deliberate. Yell card is mentioned, but the referees opt just for the penalty.
37 mins - Huge shunt in the scrum from Italy, Steyn breaks off the back and rumbles 15m ahead. Penalty advantage blown up in Italy's favour, they'll look to cash in here with a 5m lineout.
35 mins - Canada clear, Italy take a lineout at the Canada 10m. Dubious intercept attempt goes to ground, Italy scrumfeed at halfway.
34 mins - The sides exchange kicks, the final one finds touch at the Canada 22m.
32 mins - Italy clear but only as far as their own 22m. Canada need to make this count... loose ball is hoofed off the deck and staraght into referee Nigel Owens. By the letter of the law, that's an Italy scrum.
30 mins - Van der Merwe set free after a horror bounce, links with his support but the cover defence is up to the task. Italy throw a lineout on their own 5m.
28 mins - Another simple handling error from the setpiece move from Canada. Italy scrum just outside the Canada 22m, in the centre of the pitch.
27 mins - Great line from Hearn, who's pulled down 5m out after hitting a short ball. But the ball is lost in the next move, Italy escape with a clearance to their 10m line.
26 mins - Campagnaro beats one and bolts clear, well tackled at halfway and the referee says he's hung on to the ball too long. Canada penalty, we'll go to a lineout at the Italy 22m.
23 mins - Canada work it wide from the kick reception and find plenty of space, Van Der Merwe peels off 30m but the ball is fumbled in the tackle. Italy scrum 10m from their own line. Canada starting to find their feet in this contest.
21 mins - But they've muffed the throw and Polledri continues his storming game with a huge run out of his redzone. Aerial ping-pong ensues, Canada with an excellent chase, Canda earn a lineout at the Italy 22m.
20 mins - Canada win a penalty, turn down the shot to find touch 10m out for the lineout.
17 mins - Phase 12 now... Ardron into a gaping hole! Has plenty of support but dummies and takes the tackle, offloads to sub Heaton who drops it cold with the line wide open. Ouch.
16 mins - Nelson with a touch of magic, chips and regathers, finds support on the inside and Canda are inside the Italy 22m...
15 mins - Another NZ Italian Jayden Hayward now into open spaces, reels off 30m before being pulled down 30m out. Ensuing pass is called forward, Canada claim a scrum. Red jerseys falling off tackles everywhere.
13 mins - TRY ITALY - None other than NZ's own Dean Budd to the fore, marks his first test as skipper by breaking clear through a week tackle to dot down under the crossbar. The points keep on coming. (Italy 17-0)
12 mins - Penalty Italy, they relieve the pressure as far as halfway.
10 mins - Finally some pill for Canada, phase six as they move past the Italy 10m. Crossfield kick doesn't come off, Italy throw the lineout 15m from their line.
8 mins - TRY ITALY - Classic No.8 try from Braam Steyn who picks it up at the back of the scrum and explodes through two tackles to crash over near the posts. Conversion is over. What a start for the Europeans. (Italy 10-0)
7 mins - Canada put themselves right back under the pump with a crooked lineout throw. Italy will feed the scrum, 10m out from the tryline.
6 mins - Italy through the phases, 15m out now... rampaging run from flanker Polledri, who bounces off tackles, links with his outsides but the final pass is bungled by the wing with space ahead. Italy looking dangerous early. Line out Canada 10m from their line.
5 mins - Italy work to halfway, Canada flying into the tackle. Penalty advantage cashed in for Italy. We'll move to a lineout at the Canada 22m.
3 mins - Penalty from the scrum and Italy will look to the posts. Handy range here, 15m on the slightest of angles....Allan makes no mistake. (Italy 3-0)
2 mins - Italy chip and chase, the race is on but it seems Canadian fullback Parfrey has beaten Bisegni to the ball right on the chalk. TMO confirms it was carried back though. Great early attacking chance for Italy with a 5m scrum.
1 min - Referee Nigel Owen blasts his pea and it's Canada who receive the opening kickoff. Canada clear from the first ruck and Italy work their way inside the Canada half.
7:42pm - Anthems underway. Budd's Italian is clearly on point.
7:40pm - Both sides are in the tunnel and on their way to the pitch, Italy proudly led by Whangarei native Dean Budd. Read more about the Azzurri's Kiwi skipper right here.
Commentary will be available from 7:45pm.
In the meantime, enjoy the latest from The Cup 19 podcast team below.
Referee: Nigel Owens
TAB betting odds: Italy - $1.07 Canada - $7.40
Italy: 15-Matteo Minori, 14-Tommaso Benvenuti, 13-Michele Campagnaro, 12-Jayden Hayward, 11-Giulio Bisegni, 10-Tommaso Allan, 9-Callum Braley, 8-Andrea Lovotti, 7-Luca Bigi, 6-Simone Ferrari, 5-David Sisi, 4-Dean Budd (capt.), 3-Sebastian Negri, 2-Jake Polledri, 1-Braam Steyn
Reserves: 16-Federico Zani, 17-Nicola Quaglio, 18-Marco Riccioni, 19-Federico Ruzza, 20-Maxime Mbandà, 21-Guglielmo Palazzani, 22-Carlo Canna, 23-Mattia Bellini
Canada: 15-Patrick Parfey, 14-Jeff Hassler, 13-Ben Lesage, 12-Nick Blevins, 11-DTH Van Der Merwe, 10-Peter Nelson, 9-Gordon McRorie, 8-Huburt Buydens, 7-Eric Howard, 6-Matt Tierney, 5-Conor Keys, 4-Josh Larsen, 3-Michael Sheppard, 2-Lucas Rumball, 1-Tyler Arron
Reserves: 16-Benoit Piffero, 17-Djustice Sears-Duru, 18-Jake Illnicki, 19-Luke Campbell, 20-Matt Heaton, 21-Jamie Mackenzie, 22-Ciaran Hearn, 23-Andrew Coe
La bella vita: NZ-born Budd prepares to lead Italy
It goes without saying that NZ-born Dean Budd never expected the windy road of his professional rugby journey to bring him here - on the cusp of captaining Italy at a Rugby World Cup.
The Whangarei-native grew up - like any aspiring Kiwi rugby-playing youngster - with dreams of a black jersey in his future.
As it transpired, that black has turned into the trademark 'Azurri', and the 33-year-old couldn't be prouder as he prepares for the biggest moment of his career against Canada in Fukuoka on Thursday.
"For it to be a reality now is just incredible," Budd told Newshub. "And it's a massively proud moment for myself and the family.
"It's been a hell of a long journey, and not somewhere I'd predicted id ever be."
That journey has taken him from the national provincial championship - short stints with Auckland and Northland - to Super Rugby's Blues (again, briefly) through an "up and down" experience in Japan, before settling in Treviso with Bennetton, where he's been since 2012.
The obvious challenges that come with adapting to life in a foreign country presented themselves, though nothing the ubiquitous pleasures of Italy couldn't remedy.
"The first few years were quite hard with the language and other barriers. But having good food and good wine made life a lot easier, and made learning the language a lot easier too."
While he'd always believed he had the ability to lead within him, Budd's coach at Bennetton - former All Black Kieran Crowley - gave him his first chance to put them to the test as a captain.
The leadership naturally came to the fore, which had a significant impact on Budd both on and off the field.
"It really just changed a lot of how I approached my game, how I approached my life, and made me think a lot more about my actions and others and I really enjoyed that."
He also had to find a way to ramp up his typically laidback Kiwi persona to match the emotional Italian flair of his peers - a fine line he's since learned is a balancing act.
"At the start, a lot of that came into me, because it had to…. if you don't get fiery and you don't put your foot forward then you just get left behind, so it was a part of making my way. I had to adopt that nature.
"But through leadership and stuff I've almost had to turn back to my older ways because what we need a lot of the time is a calmer head with the fire that we have.
"There's never a doubt that the boys are giving 100% but we need to make sure we keep the fire in the heart and the ice in the head and have that kind of mentality."
Having qualified for selection via residency, Budd now has 23 test caps under his belt for Italy, which includes a clash against the All Blacks on their European tour last year, and soon he'll be facing them on the sport's biggest stage.
"Hopefully New Zealand is comfortable that they've already qualified and we can go out there and really give them a fright."
Budd will likely step aside to allow veteran skipper Sergio Parisse to retake the helm for their Pool B clash on October 12. But the 36-year-old has only so much rugby left, and Budd appears the heir apparent.
First and foremost come the Canadians, who will be raring to go in their first match of the tournament. Having played a season there in 2010, Budd has fielded plenty of text message banter over the last week, and he only needed to look at Uruguay's shock upset over Fiji on Wednesday for a reminder against complacency.
"We know that we're going to have to really stop the Canadians early, because if they get their tails up it's going to be all go."
"But we've got our sights set on big things this World Cup."
Win or lose, Budd's beaming mother will be on hand with a smile and plenty of encouragement.
"I'm the proudest mum in New Zealand and Italy," she says with a smile.