In Treviso, the Isuzu Southern Kings were in the game until a try either side of halftime caused a slump and saw them fall 36-9 behind before three tries in the last quarter saw them fight back to a respectable 36-30 loss.

But in the process they lost kingpin and flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis to injury, with the extent still to be determined.

Coach Robbi Kempson was not happy with the performance and hinted a number of the younger players would get an opportunity in their next game against Glasgow Warriors.

“I’m disappointed,” Kempson said, “there were a lot of individual errors and a lot of what we spoke about at half time, they didn’t do in the second half. From a team perspective we are losing out because of those individual errors. We are creating opportunities but we aren’t converting them.

He said Catrakilis was a big loss for the side.

“Demetri is huge for us. He is going for X-rays now and we will always hope for the best. It will be a knock for us but we have a lot of youngsters, and we ended the game with a lot of youngsters on the field that really produced the last three tries.

“The next guy must step up and fill the breach and for our next game against Glasgow the youngsters will certainly get an opportunity.”

The Kings will play Glasgow Warriors on Friday night in Scotland before their final match of the three-week tour against Ospreys in Wales.

Points scorers:

TRIES: Angelo Esposito, Ian Keatley, Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara, Nacho Brex, Federico Ruzza.
CONVERSIONS: Keatley (3), Antonio Rizzi.
PENALTY: Keatley.

TRIES: Rossouw de Klerk, Christopher Hollis, Bobby de Wee.
CONVERSIONS: Siyabonga Masuku (3).
PENALTIES: Demetri Catrakilis (3)