Harris’ men led 16-14 in the second half, but after surrendering the lead, conceded three late tries as the Italians added gloss to the scoreline.
Harris said: “I thought the best side won. They had a little bit more class in a few areas, but we’ve got a great spirit and I won’t say anything against my players, because they’ve always given me everything they’ve got, and they did again today.
“When they got to the edges, they caused us problems. Both centres caused us a lot of trouble.
“I thought we had an opportunity when we put our noses in front, and we dropped a couple of balls. We had the momentum, and when you have momentum in games, you’ve got to take advantage.
“I didn’t think we kicked well enough, we didn’t get the right territory, and ultimately when you don’t get the position you want, you have to do a lot of defending at the wrong end of the field.
“They had a lot of possession where they did want it, and we had a lot of possession where we didn’t want it.
“If we’re at our best, we’ll challenge anybody, and unfortunately we weren’t at our best. What you don’t do is throw everything out the window and change the script.
“We’ve got to improve and get ourselves ready for the USA. It means we’ve got to win our next two games, we’ve still got a good chance of going through. You don’t want to lose any game, but if we could afford to lose one, this was it.”
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