14 Jun 2009

O'Connor scores hat-trick as Australia beat Italy

6:59 am on 14 June 2009

Teenage Wallabies fullback James O'Connor celebrated his first full Test rugby appearance with a hat-trick of tries in Australia's 31-8 win over Italy on Saturday.

The 18-year-old made a dream start to his first run-on match for the Wallabies, scoring his opening try in the fourth minute then crossing twice more.

First five Matt Giteau also scored in the first half to help the Australians to a 17-3 lead at the break before Wallaby captain Stirling Mortlock barged his way over in the second term.

The Italians, yet to beat Australia in 11 encounters, scored a consolation try in the first minute of the second half through wing Kaine Robertson after fullback Luke McLean landed a penalty on the stroke of half time.