Scrumhalf Sonatane Takulua kicked an 81st-minute penalty as Tonga stunned Italy 19-17 in Padova on Saturday.
In a frantic end to the match, with Italy leading 17-16, Tonga worked their way downfield to win a penalty and Takulua stepped up to slot the match-winning kick.
Tonga dominated the opening exchanges thanks to a superior forward display, but a defensive lapse saw prop Lorenzo Cittadini burrow over for a converted try. Tonga, despite conceding a yellow card, closed the gap with a penalty for a 7-3 half-time scoreline.
The second half was more action-packed. Tonga made better use of their dominance after the break and a 10-point haul put them 13-7 up. There was another converted effort for Italy before the kickers traded penalties which landed the hosts a slender one-point lead with three minutes remaining. Tonga, however, won back possession from the restart and made it count with Takulua’s all-important penalty kick.
The defeat will be especially disappointing for Italy, after last week’s victory over the Springboks.
Italy – Tries: Lorenzo Cittadini, Tommy Allan. Conversions: Carlo Canna, Allan. Penalty: Edoardo Padovani.
Tonga – Try: Siale Piutau. Conversion: Sonatane Takulua. Penalties: Takulua (4).
Italy – 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Giulio Bisegni, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Luke McLean, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Giorgio Bronzini, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Sami Panico.
Subs: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Simone Ferrari, 19 George Biagi, 20 Abraham Steyn, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Thomas Allan, 23 Michele Campagnaro.
Tonga – David Halaifonua, 14 Nafi Tu’Itavake, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Latiume Fosita, 11 Fetu’U Vainikolo, 10 Kali Hala, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Tevita Koloamatangi, 7 Jack Ram, 6 Dan Faleafa, 5 Jon Tu’Ineau, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Siua Halanukonuka, 2 Paula Ngauamo, 1 Tevita Mailau.
Subs: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Paea Fa’Anunu, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Valentino Mapapalangi, 20 Kotoni Ale, 21 Tomasi Palu, 22 Tevita Taufui, 23 Cooper Vuna.