The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
The Italians opened their campaign in New Zealand with a 32-6 defeat at the hands of Australia on September 11 but dusted themselves down and responded with a nine-try demolition of Russia in Nelson.
A five-point haul was a must if the Azzurri were to face shock group leaders - and conquerors of the Wallabies – Ireland on October 2 still in contention for a quarter-final place.
Giulio Toniolatti and Tommaso Benvenuti both crossed the whitewash twice with further scores from Sergio Parisse, Edoardo Gori, Luke McLean, Alessandro Zanni and a penalty try completing the rout.
And while Russia, ranked 21st in the world, were never going to pose the same threat as one of the pre-tournament favourites Australia, Mallett admitted he was unsure what to expect from the eastern Europeans.
“I thought we started the game very well and I was very happy with the first half,” he said.
“Give them credit they played some very nice attacking rugby, they held onto the ball and ran at us.
“If they had too much more ball it might have been a bit more difficult for us.
“This was a nervous game for us because we needed to get five points from this game to make sure we went into that Irish game with a good shot.
“We spent 20 days here and only had one game which was against Australia which was a tough game to start off with.
“We haven’t often played against sides ranked lower than us. This is only the second time in four years that I have faced a side below us and I was a bit nervous about how it would go.”