Italy winger Giovanbattista Venditti has backed Treviso’s Tobias Botes to put his horror kicking display behind him ahead of the RBS 6 Nations clash against Ireland.
Botes took the kicking tee from Kris Burton – his Treviso half-back partner in the RaboDirect PRO12 – in the second-half of the Azzurri’s 19-15 defeat to England but was way off target with two kicks that could have brought the hosts a first ever defeat of England.
He was not the only player whose performance tailed off as Italy led slip a 12-6 halftime lead.
But Venditti, who scored a try on his home debut, says people should not judge Botes too harshly with the Stadio Olimpico caked in snow.
“Hopefully we can sort out these little errors and take the match all the way to the death against Ireland,” he said.
“I am sure Toby will make a strong come back as well. To come of the bench and have to immediately take a kick at goal from afar and on the angle isn’t easy.
“The elements weren’t helping either and poor guy he slipped too. It doesn’t matter he’ll be back.”
Despite their defeats to the defending champions along with France, Italy have shown plenty of positive signs in their opening two performances.
Not least in the displays from Tommaso Benvenuti and Venditti who admits Italy now need a complete 80-minute performance.
“I was so happy to score in front of all those people at home and also because there was another try for Tommy straight after, which made me very happy again,” he said.
“The tries showed we are growing and I thought we would bring the game home but it didn’t happen.
“There we were at half-time suddenly in front but in the second half we relinquished possession and England come at us with ball in hand.”