Italy claim historic first win over Springboks

Sergio Parisse Flippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Italy claimed their first-ever victory over South Africa with a nail-biting 20-18 success in Florence.

South Africa had won the previous 12 games between the two countries and were ahead inside five minutes as the returning Bryan Habana finished Willie le Roux's clean break.

But Italy were soon ahead when Andries van Schalkwyk crashed over from a rolling maul and Carlo Canna converted. Damian De Allende's converted try regained the lead for South Africa, who were 12-10 ahead at the break following an Edoardo Padovani penalty.

Italy were reduced to 14 men at the start of the second half by Marco Fuser's yellow card and a Patrick Lambie penalty gave the Springboks a five-point lead.

But Giovanbattista Venditti's converted try put Italy 17-15 ahead, and the Azzurri held on for a famous victory after Elton Jantjies and Canna exchanged penalties in the final quarter.