There was a great deal of pride for Michele Lamaro at the way his Italy side battled despite a heavy defeat to Ireland in Dublin.
Reduced to 13 men early in the match following Gianmarco Lucchesi’s injury and Hame Faiva’s red card that led to uncontested scrums, the Azzurri eventually went down 57-6.
But considering they were down two men for much of the game, and even reduced to 12 for the final ten minutes, the visitors never let up in defence.
Lamaro led from the front, with 19 tackles in all, and while there was obvious disappointment, he was pleased at the spirit shown by his team.
He said: “We had to react and we did. Obviously it was hard before and it was even harder with 13. But I think the boys showed a lot of pride so I’m happy with that. But they scored 57 points so it’s hard.
“With 13, we had to adapt to the match and we did pretty well. We managed that pretty well but you have to leave something. We went for 50/50 decisions and if in one situation it goes your way, and one goes the other way. On one phase you might defend well, but the next time it’s another 50/50 so they will go the other way.”
It was a difficult situation for the Azzurri, who trailed 7-3 when Faiva was sent off for a high tackle on opposite number Dan Sheehan.
From there, it was largely about damage limitation but with Scotland in Rome next up in Round 4, Lamaro believes the team are growing.
He added: “I think we’ve grown since the first Six Nations game, every week we are fixing something else. Now we can concentrate on the performance of each individual player for the team.”