Sergio Parisse started his fifth Rugby World Cup by guiding Italy to a 47-22 win over Namibia on Sunday, and going oh-so-close to celebrating the milestone with a try.

The veteran backrower was denied a five-pointer when his forward pack was awarded a penalty try, when he lost the ball in a tackle, and when he was called back by the referee after diving over from the base of a five-yard scrum. And from the very next movement, he picked up from the base of a scrum and crashed into the referee Nick Berry — the Australian official who may claim he deserves to be credited with a tackle on the statistics sheets.

Italy conceded a try in the sixth minute to scrumhalf Damian Stevens against the run of play and wasted three scoring chances but recovered to post three tries before halftime for a 21-7 lead at the break.

The bonus point was secured four minutes after halftime when winger Edoardo Padovani ran onto an angled grubber kick to the left corner and the result was beyond doubt in the 47th when replacement Carlo Canna reached over to score and converted to make it 35-7.

Advertisement

Starting flyhalf Tommaso Allan finished 13 points from a try and four conversions for Italy before he was replaced early in the second half.

CJ Greyling and Chad Plato scored second-half tries for Namibia to keep the margin to 25.