Tommaso Allan wants Italy to convert pleasing performances into victories after they were narrowly beaten 29-24 by France in their Guinness Six Nations opener.
Despite conceding three tries within the opening 26 minutes, improving Italy managed to stay within touching distance and led when Allan kicked his fourth penalty with 18 minutes to play.
Les Bleus restored their lead via a try from replacement Matthieu Jalibert before Allan missed a difficult but crucial penalty chance with seven minutes to play.
That error forced Italy’s hand, and with a five-point margin between the sides, they had to go for broke late on – a pursuit which ultimately proved fruitless.
“It is quite tough to swallow this defeat,” said Allan. “We had our chances first half, there were a few too many errors, we gave away 19 points to them from our mistakes.”
On the missed penalty attempt, he said: “I need to make those kicks and next time we can kick to win as well. It’s those small margins we talk about.”
But it was another step in the right direction from Kieran Crowley’s side, who came oh so close to toppling the defending champions.
Ange Capuozzo once again proved his class, capping another precocious showing with a score and he was backed up by an excellent team effort, with Italy responding time and time again when France threatened to pull away.
With that in mind, Allan feels that another Championship victory is just around the corner.
“We are improving every week but we’ve got to start winning as well now,” said Allan.
“We know we can win, we showed some really good rugby today.”
Next up for the Azzurri is a trip to Twickenham to face England, who also started their campaign with a close defeat, against Scotland on Saturday.
Italy have never won against their Round 2 opponents but will feel this is their best opportunity to break their duck against a team in transition with a new coach at the helm.
If nothing else, it will be an entertaining affair, with Italy set to stick to their guns and run the ball out from deep.
And Allan hopes that with a little refinement, that aggressive and ambitious approach will soon prove a winning one.
“We’ve just got to find a balance or have that execution or be more diligent,” he said.
“We gave away too many balls to the French, and they are a class side so they’re going to score tries off our mistakes, but there are a lot of positives to take and we’re very confident for next week’s game.
“We’ll look at the mistakes we made in the first half, and we’ll see what happens on Sunday.”