Osaka: Sergio Parisse started his fifth Rugby World Cup by guiding Italy to a 47-22 win over Namibia on Sunday, and going close to celebrating the milestone with a try.
The veteran backrower was denied a chance at five-pointer when his forward pack was awarded a penalty try, before crashing into referee Nic Berry as he was about to cross the line.
The Italians conceded a try in the sixth minute to Namibia scrum-half Damian Stevens against the run of play and wasted three good scoring chances but recovered to post three tries for a 21-7 lead.
The Italians scored four more tries in the second half, after some heavy rain, and Namibia added another two to cut the final margin to 25.
“There was a lot of tension among the team — we have been preparing a long time for this game,” said Parisse. “The important thing was to win, to take the five points. Congratulations to Namibia as well because they never gave up, they played until the end, so congrats to both teams.”