Italy have dismissed suggestions of defence shortcomings which could be exposed in their must-win remaining World Cup pool games against the United States and Ireland.
The Italians remain an outside chance to make the quarter-finals but their ability to score bonus-point wins in their next two games was questioned after they let World Cup newcomers Russia score three tries on Tuesday.
Although the 53-17 thrashing of the valiant Russians was a positive the defensive lapses were an embarrassment for the Six Nations side with much tougher games ahead.
However, 68-Test centre Gonzalo Canale, playing in his third World Cup, said the problem lay with individuals and denied there was a serious issue with their defensive patterns.
“It was a positive game against Russia. We took a lot of confidence from that and we have improved from the Australia game,” he said.
Against Australia, Italy were level 6-6 at half-time before conceding four second-half tries in a 32-6 defeat.
“It is not a general problem of our defence but individual mistakes. We only need to fix some minor issues and keep our game plan which was very good against Australia,” he said
Even if Italy can overcome their defensive lapses they still have a daunting task ahead especially against Ireland who upset Australia 15-6 in a tryless encounter.