Hosts Wales thumped in their tournament opener.
Italy followed up on their shock warm-up victory over England with a convincing 32-16 win over Wales at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Man-of-the-match Josh Mantellato scored a hat-trick of tries, Aiden Guerra a brace, and Chris Centrone and Mark Minichiello bagged one apiece as the Welsh defence was breached time and time again in this cross-pool fixture.
“I don’t think reality is going to set in until I have to show up to Roosters training sometime in December – and hopefully not too early,” said Guerra, who played in the centres against the home nation
“I don’t think the grand final’s really sunk in yet and I don’t know if the magnitude of a World Cup will really sink in for a while yet either.
“We’re definitely aiming to meet New Zealand in the first quarter-final. If we can get there, that would be a good achievement and if we can go further, that would be even better.”
Ben Evans, Rhodri Lloyd and Eliot Kear all crossed the whitewash for the home side, who now face the Cook Islands and the United States in Pool D.