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BBC Sport's Ian Robertson
"Scott Gibbs was outstanding"
 real 14k

Wales coach Graham Henry
"There's a good feeling in the camp a new maturity"
 real 56k

Man-of-the-match Wales' Scott Gibbs
"I'm happy to be part of a winning team"
 real 56k

Italy coach Brad Johnstone
"At times we seemed to panic"
 real 56k

banner Sunday, 8 April, 2001, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Welsh win leaves Italy down and out
Gareth Cooper scores for Wales
Debutant Gareth Cooper scores Wales' first try
Italy 23-33 Wales

Wales proved too strong for Italy despite a brave second half effort from the home side at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome.

It was Wales' second away victory in this year's Six Nations - but it left Italy without a point and probably questioning their future in the championship.

  Match facts
Tries:
Italy: Checchinato
Wales: Cooper, Gibbs (2)
Conversions:
Wales: Jenkins (3)
Penalties:
Italy: Dominguez (5)
Wales: Jenkins (4)
Drop goals:
Italy: Dominguez
Gareth Cooper, who came in as a late replacement for injured scrum-half Rob Howley, scored his first try for his country, while inside centre Scott Gibbs bolstered his chances of a Lions place, with a brace of tries.

In the end it was a comfortable victory for Wales - but it should have been a much more convincing one.

Wales had dominated in the forwards and looked dangerous in attack throughout the first half but the second turned into a scrappy affair as the visitors failed to take better advantage of the Italians poor handling.

Christian Stoica for Italy and Craig Quinnell for Wales were sin-binned late in the game as both sides became frustrated with the dying pace of the game.

Early penalties
Scott Gibbs
Gibbs scored two tries

Italy put their first points on the board within a minute of the kick-off after Scott Quinnell was penalised for crossing. Diego Dominguez made no mistake with the penalty kick.

But the Welsh pack hit back from the kick-off, running the ball deep into the Italian half.

The pressure ended in a ruck just five yards from the Italian line, the ball eventually making its way out to Darren Morris who popped up to Cooper to score.

Jenkins hit the conversion to put Wales back out in front.

Dominguez and Jenkins traded penalties, before Italy had a great chance to move ahead mid-way through the half.

Flying flanker Mauro Bergamasco was put clear by centre Giovanni Raineri but the pass was ruled to be forward by referee Paul Honiss.

Controversial try

Wales though looked more convincing in attack and after another period of concerted pressure in the Italian half they scored again - this time with a try off the back of a five-metre scrum.

No.8 Scott Quinnell broke from the base of a scrum and popped the ball to Scott Gibbs to score from close range. But it could have been different had referee Honiss seen Colin Charvis trip Bergamasco on the side of the scrum, hindering his tackle on Quinnell.

Italy were right to feel agrieved and the disappointment seemed to put a sting in their tail.

Dominguez and Jenkins again traded penalties as the minutes ticked away to half-time but the home side had the better of the final stages.

Carlo Checchinato
Checchinato (l) scored Italy's only try
Bergamasco and Ranieri featured again as the Italian backs found themselves with a clear overlap just yards from the Welsh line.

But Bergamasco could not hold on to the centre's pass and the visitors went to the break with an eight-point buffer.

Italy kept up the pressure in the second spell, coming within five points of the visitors with a Dominguez drop goal.

Yellow cards

But again Wales hit back. This time the ball was recycled from another ruck deep in the Italian 22 - and Gibbs ran over for his second try, Jenkins adding the conversion

Dominguez and Jenkins added a penalty apiece - but from there the game deteriorated into a scrappy affair with both sides making too many handling errors.

The two yellow cards were almost inevitable as the frustration grew.

Stoica went off first for punching, while Craig Quinnell followed soon after for using an elbow in the tackle.

Italy, though, have proved during this championship that they are not a team to lie down - and five minutes from the end Carlo Checchinato barged through Jenkins and Morris for Italy's only try of the match.

The try injected a bit of life back into the match but in the end it was another Jenkins long range penalty which settled it.


Italy: Stoica, Perziano, Pozzebon, Raineri, D. Dallan, Dominguez, Mazzantini, Lo Cicero, Moscardi, Properzi-Curti, Visser, Gritti, Persico, Bergamasco, Checchinato. Replacements: de Carli, Perugini, Caione, Zaffiri, Mazzi, Martin, Pilat.

Wales: R. Williams, G. Thomas, Taylor, Gibbs, James, N. Jenkins, Cooper, Morris, McBryde, Young, Gough, Moore, Charvis, M. Williams, S. Quinnell. Replacements: A. Lewis, Anthony, C. Quinnell, G. Lewis, Harries, S. Jones, Bateman.

Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)

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