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We're ready for Italy battle - Kiss

Les Kiss empathises with the decision of Italy coach Nick Mallett to throw down the gauntlet to Ireland at the scrum.

Mallett, who could be overseeing his final match as Italy boss in Sunday's critical Pool C showdown at Otago Stadium, has warned the Irish to expect a torrid encounter in the set piece, saying: "Ireland dominated Australia physically but we know perfectly well that we've got a better front row than them, and we're going to go in there to prove that on Sunday."

"Coaches are always going to talk up what's good for them. There's no doubt it, no mystery behind it, they've got a good scrum - but we'll back our guys as well, there's no doubt there," said Ireland defence coach Kiss. "The scrum is one part of the game, it's very important and it's going to play its part at some stage. But we've got other parts in our game that we'll bring as well."

He added: "There's a lot of discussion that will be around the scrum and it's no surprise Mallett is going to talk that up. But the scrum is just one part of it."

Italy secured a try-scoring bonus point in their 27-10 triumph over the United States on Tuesday to set up the shoot-out for a place in the quarter-finals.

"You've just got to give credit to the way the USA went about their business and they were the same with us. They were physical and up for the battle," said Kiss.

"The end result was Italy won the game with four tries and that will always stand, so it's history now.

"The big thing for us is we've done our analysis on it, we know this is a massive battle and that there's a lot at stake.

"It's winner-takes-all and that's what it's about this weekend."

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