"We were a bit naïve against New Zealand" - Italy scrum coach

"We were a bit naïve against New Zealand" - Italy scrum coach

Comments from Italy's scrum coach Andrea Moretti and winger Paolo Odogwu at a media briefing on Tuesday, 3 October.

Andrea Moretti, scrum coach

On how the team have recovered after the Italy defeat:

“Of course, last Friday has been a very hard day for us. A heavy defeat is something that we can’t change. There are always one or two days when you are hurting and down, but we can’t control what has gone, so the most important thing is focusing on the next challenge, which will be as hard as last Friday. We are working strategically and technically on the things we can control against France.”

On how France compare to New Zealand:

“Yes, we’ve been playing [more] against France, but in terms of score and results, we haven’t been successful. There is not going to be any little mistakes like we did against the All Blacks or France will punish us as well, with the same power and intensity.”

On if he was surprised by New Zealand’s forward power:

“I wasn’t surprised. Yes, when they play against the Springboks – and France in the first game - they’ve been put under pressure, but they’ve always been strong in the set-piece. Obviously we had a few front-row injuries early in the game, which didn’t help. We’re going to have the same challenge against France in the scrum. In terms of lineouts, we’ve lost 50 per cent, but at least 80 per cent of them was because of our accuracy – this is something that will help us going into the French game. We need to not waste our chances and gift possession to France.”

On if the players have a spirit of redemption:

“I think it’s about embracing and accepting we had a bad game. It’s the first time ever since Kieran [Crowley] took over we’ve had a washout like that. In the 2015 quarter-final, they lost 62-13 against the All Blacks – and this is France. We were a bit naïve so we conceded a few points that we shouldn’t, but the All Blacks can put 50 or 60 points on anybody. The biggest challenge that we have to address is that, under pressure, to take our chances.”

Paolo Odogwu, wing

On how to move on from New Zealand:

"I think it's well and truly gone now. It was a freak game and they don't happen often. For us we had to realise that is not our standard, we know we are better than that. We have come in this week, had one meeting about it and now we have reset and are focusing on France."

On where it went wrong against New Zealand:

"I think the main thing for us was we looked a bit nervous out there and our whole mindset is about being fearless when we play, whether that's in attack or defence. We might have respected them a bit too much to the point we were just sitting off and so coming into this week we need to go 100 per cent in everything and try and dominate everything."

On France:

"It is knock-out rugby for us now, if we win we're through, it is as simple as that. There are no excuses, that is what we have to try and do."

On why he thinks Italy can beat France:

"I think we have to go into every game believing we can win and against New Zealand, we don't play against them as much but with France we play them every year in the Six Nations. So we are a bit more familiar with their style so I think it's easier for us to prepare for that kind of game. We know what to expect, we know what they are going to come with and we know how we are going to try and counteract that."

On the team building something:

"I think if you look at our team right now, the core heart of the squad are so young, they are still going to be around in four years time. You look at the U20s and all of those players doing so well and you have them coming through. So when we start to put all of that together and the younger players get to 20, 30, 40 caps everyone is going to get better and better and we will have that solid team."

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