Up to date:
Mar 13, 2023
Italy 17 v 29 Wales
Wales halted their dropping streak with a hard-earned victory in Rome, offering Warren Gatland along with his first victory since returning to the new seat. Arriving on the Stadio Olimpico as underdogs, Wales produced a streetwise and scientific efficiency, guided across the box by way of the superb Rhys Webb. Ratings from Rio Dyer, Liam Williams, Talupe Faletau, and a penalty take a look at sealed the bonus level win as Wales avenged ultimate yr’s defeat in Cardiff. It’s been a dark Six International locations marketing campaign off and on the sphere for Wales, with the avid gamers hampered by way of problems past their keep watch over, however they confirmed immense personality to place away a much-fancied Italian facet.
It was once a deflating afternoon for Italy in the end the optimism preluding the sport, as they slipped to their twenty fifth consecutive house defeat within the event. Italy have been as infuriating as they have been thrilling, many times capturing themselves within the foot. Regardless of carving out a number of alternatives, making 11 line breaks to Wales’s 4, Italy by no means regarded on the subject of profitable, incessantly hampered by way of dealing with mistakes. The Azzurri struggled to deal with the effectiveness of Wales’s kicking sport, and as captivating as their attacking ambition is, it proved to be their undoing on a number of events. Two yellow playing cards didn’t lend a hand both, with Lorenzo Cannone and Pierre Bruno spending time within the bin.
As soon as once more, Gatland rang the adjustments forward of the sport, with six alterations from their workforce that misplaced to England as he desperately looked for a profitable formulation. His variety regarded vindicated within the first ten mins as Wales took keep watch over of the sport, attacking with a lot larger vigour and closing down any area for Italy to construct assaults with their spectacular line velocity. Owen Williams gave them the lead with a penalty, as they began to dominate ownership, producing fast ball and taking a look to assault Italy throughout the heart. Scrum-half Rhys Webb’s affect was once transparent, bossing his forwards round with authority on his first Six International locations get started since 2017. Webb created the primary take a look at, his kick in at the back of the Italian defence bouncing wickedly, leaving Pierre Bruno floundering and Rio Dyer scampering in beneath the posts.
Italy regarded tentative and anxious, whilst Wales regarded cohesive and practical, their line velocity denying Italy area at the out of doors. The Azzurri were given at the board due to the facility in their scrum, Tommaso Allan slotting over a penalty, however the makeshift full-back was once partly at fault for Wales’s 2nd take a look at. Looking for to play from deep, Allan’s knock-on offered Wales with a chance, which Liam Williams took with a slippery end, even though one of the crucial Italian tackling left so much to be desired. Allan virtually atoned mins later as Italy began to fizz, however after cutting throughout the Welsh defence, his go to the supporting Luke Varney was once too prime, and Liam Williams’s turnover curtailed the assault.
There have been encouraging indicators for Italy, even though, as their assault began to reason issues, they usually virtually scored what would have probably been the take a look at of the championship. Paolo Garbisi sparked the transfer with a usually incisive destroy, and a chain of excellent offloads resulted in Ignacio Brex stretching in opposition to the road, however the Italian centre misplaced keep watch over of the ball. There was once a touch of the talk about Owen Williams’s quilt take on, however it was once any other example of Italy failing to transform a line destroy. Wales made them pay brutally; after kicking themselves deep into the 22, their maul proved too tough for the Italians, Cannone pulling it down illegally and conceding the penalty take a look at. Cannone’s yellow card made it the double whammy, and handiest a very important turnover from Giacomo Nicotera stopped Wales from clinching the bonus level a minute later.
Beginning the second one half of 22-3 down, the Azzurri wanted a quick get started, and Sebastien Negri’s take a look at gave them simply that, the industrious flanker conserving onto Allan’s suave chip to attain. However no faster had Italy been restored to 14 males than they have been as soon as once more left a person down, Bruno despatched to the sin bin for handoff at the neck of Wyn Jones. Bruno was once in all probability fortunate to not be off completely, even though the officers’ verbal exchange was once superb all through the decision-making procedure. Wales wrestled again the momentum and shortly had their fourth take a look at, Webb cleverly recognizing area throughout the ruck and blasting via sooner than feeding Faletau to attain.
Italy didn’t surrender, however a litany of mistakes stopped them from development any momentum as they many times coughed up ownership. They looked as if it would have butchered any other alternative when Justin Tipuric stole a line out at the Welsh 5-metre line, however Italy controlled to power a scrum, in any case taking one in all their probabilities as Bruno’s half of destroy fed Brex to attain. With the Welsh beginning to tire, Italy began to dominate the ball, however once more deficient execution persevered to allow them to down. Attention-grabbing breaks from substitutes Manuel Zuilani and Edoardo Iachizzi in the end ended without a issues, and with the clock ticking, Italy’s desperation began to upward thrust. However the Welsh defence repelled the whole lot the Italians threw at them, conserving on for a deserved victory.
Wales’s efficiency was once a dramatic growth from their contemporary presentations, taking part in with a lot larger readability. Their senior avid gamers stood out for them, with Liam Williams and Faletau impressing; whilst Webb was once a revelation, the accuracy of his field kicking allowed Wales to dominate the aerial struggle. On the other hand, regardless of the development, there are nonetheless spaces of outrage for Wales, with self-discipline once more a subject as they conceded fourteen consequences. Defensively they scrambled excellently, however they have been cut up open a number of occasions and ignored 38 tackles. Joe Hawkins was once busy in assault, and his and Grady’s partnership is unquestionably thrilling, however there’s a touch of defensive vulnerability to it. Wales will want to sharpen up defensively, dealing with an impressive French facet subsequent week, however they’re making steps in the best course. Warren Gatland summed it up completely after the sport: “There are nonetheless a variety of issues to paintings on, however I believe we deserved to win the sport”.
Regardless of all their sense of growth, the overpowering feeling will probably be unhappiness for Italy. Heading into the fit stuffed with self assurance, the Azzurri would have felt the sport was once there for the taking, however too ceaselessly on Saturday, they have been the architects of their very own downfall. On the other hand, the cruel grievance is a mirrored image in their contemporary growth and the way they’ve raised ranges of expectation. Italy’s formidable and expansive taste of rugby has you prepared them to do nicely, however infrequently they want to stem their journey with some pragmatism. They face a tricky ask on Saturday towards Scotland, however Italy’s growth has been a heartening part of this yr’s championship, although they finally end up with the picket spoon.