Conor O'Shea fumed at the decision to disallow Tito Tebaldi's first-half try as Italy came up short against Australia on Saturday, the Azzurri losing 26-7 in Padova.
Italy's eighth defeat of 2018 extended their losing streak against the Wallabies to 18 matches as O'Shea's side were unable to convert late pressure into points on the board.
Their struggles in the second half were in stark contrast to an impressive start that saw them have two tries ruled out by the officials.
Braam Steyn's seventh-minute effort was scratched off due to his foot being in touch, but Tebaldi's disallowed score soon after angered O'Shea.
The scrum-half intercepted a loose pass from the back of the lineout to race free and touch down under the posts, but he was denied the try as the referee deemed him to have been offside.
#ITAvAUS : termina 7-26 il secondo, combattuto #CattolicaTestMatch— Italrugby (@Federugby) November 17, 2018
Congratulazioni all’Australia, che si è dimostrata un avversario di livello #insieme #rugbypassioneitaliana #instarugby #igersrugby #rugbygram #rugbyfan pic.twitter.com/2ng4z5nCJ0
"I am very proud of the effort and behaviour of the boys," O'Shea said.
"Perhaps if we had been more accurate we would have had a better chance, but I am proud because today is an important step for us towards the highest level.
"But I'm angry because we were denied the try of Tebaldi in the first half. When we play like that and we are not rewarded, I'm angry.
"Would that change the game? I cannot say. Perhaps the result would not have changed but the mentality changed.
"In any case, I am proud of this group because we played well."
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