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Italy happy with win, but want improvement before All Blacks visit

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James Mortimer     11 Nov 2012     Getty Images

The All Blacks will open their Air New Zealand End of Year Tour against Scotland tonight (Monday morning NZT), before heading to Italy's capital to play the Azzurri.

Tonga looked the better side early on, making a mockery of the poor conditions to play a controlled game, while cult hero and prop Sona Taumalolo opened the scoring, taking advantage of Parisse being in the sin bin.

Italy opted to go into this match without a full strength team, and their 18-16 halftime lead was enforced when they shoved Tonga over for a penalty try late in the third quarter.

Tonga kept threatening throughout the match at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti, but at the conclusion of the contest Parisse was just content to register an all important win.

"The most important thing tonight was the victory," Parisse said.

However the inspirational captain said that the team hadn't executed the plan, and were wary of putting in such a performance against the All Blacks.

"But at the end of the game I felt we hadn't done everything we'd set out to do," he said.

"It's an important week for us, we'll regroup and train for next week in calm conditions but we can't play like that for 80 minutes against the All Blacks."

Italy's French coach Jacques Brunel said it was good to get the rust out.

"It's always difficult to get the engine running the way you want it to at the start of international series," he said.