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Conor O'Shea suffers defeat in first match in charge of Italy

Published 11/06/2016

Conor O'Shea is the new Italy coach
Conor O'Shea is the new Italy coach

Conor O'Shea suffered defeat in his first match in charge of Italy as Argentina ran out 30-24 winners in Santa Fe on Saturday.

Former Harlequins director of rugby O'Shea, who has replaced Jacques Brunel as Azzurri coach on a four-year deal, saw his charges put on a competitive display but it was hosts Argentina who emerged victorious.

Pumas fly-half Nicolas Sanchez slotted over six penalties and also converted Matias Moroni's second-half try for a personal 20-point haul.

Manuel Montero got Argentina's other points with a 25th-minute try as last year's World Cup semi-finalists got their 2016 season off to a winning start..

Italy responded through tries in either half from Leonardo Sarto and Simone Favaro plus 14 points from the boot of Carlo Canna but it was not enough.

O'Shea said on "We're here to win the games, not lose them.

"Today I saw a team that played with heart for 80 minutes. The team's desire to recover, the spirit they showed should make us proud. Our journey together had begun, we will become a winning team."

Italy next face USA in San Jose while Argentina take on France in a double-header before beginning their Rugby Championship campaign.

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