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Wales 33-10 Italy

Wales (12) 33
Tries: Hook 2, Williams Cons: Jones 3 Pens: Jones 4
Italy (0) 10
Try: McLean Con: Bergamasco Pen: Bergamasco

By Sean Davies
BBC Sport at the Millennium Stadium

Stephen Jones

Highlights - Wales 33-10 Italy

Wales ran riot in the second half to end a poor Six Nations campaign on a high against limited Italy in Cardiff.

They had a Lee Byrne try disallowed and had to be content with four penalties from man-of-the-match Stephen Jones as Wales eased to 12-0 at the break.

As the Azzurri tired their discipline went and a James Hook brace was split by Mauro Bergamasco's yellow card.

Shane Williams sniped over from close range before a late Luke McLean consolation score for Ita;y.

Italy's ploy of demanding that the Millennium Stadium roof remained open looked to have been foiled as the morning storms above Cardiff cleared, but the impressive hordes of travelling Azzurri fans ensured a hot atmosphere.

Wales winger Shane Williams

Williams try finishes fluent Wales move

Their team responded with complete domination of the early territory and possession, and simple passing along the line found Gonzalo Canale in acres of space on the left wing.

The centre charged forward, only to be met by Wales debutant Tom Prydie with a tackle that ended the Italian's game, Matteo Pratichetti replacing him.

Craig Gower missed with a drop-goal before Wales cleared the pressure, creating the first attacking chance for Prydie who, at 18 years 25 days, had become Wales' and the Six Nations' youngest player.

Sam Warburton was another youngster enjoying a fine game - having taken the place of veteran flanker Martyn Williams - and he fed Prydie with a delightful pass to the right wing.

The Ospreys teenager gathered well and won an attacking scrum with a chip over the top, Stephen Jones and Mike Phillips then attacking with intent to win a penalty.

Professional display pleases Gatland

Jones, breaking Neil Jenkins' Wales fly-half record by winning his 88th cap, made no mistake with the kick to open the scoring.

Mirco Bergamasco missed the chance to level as he struck the upright with a penalty won by strong ball-carrying from flanker Josh Sole.

The home side looked to have cured their line-out woes but lost lock Bradley Davies to injury on 20 minutes, Ian Gough taking his place.

Wales' pressure increased as the Azzurri killed the ball when Jones ran through a weak Gower tackle, the resultant penalty allowing the Scarlets man to double the lead.

Stephen Jones kicks at goal
Man-of-the-match Jones kicked 18 points and 63 in the 2010 Six Nations

Returning Gethin Jenkins had made a big impression with his work-rate and his fellow British and Irish Lions star Phillips was also shining on his comeback from injury, a quickly-taken penalty getting his team back on the front foot.

In a relentless attack Byrne was brought down yards short, before Phillips, Jenkins and Adam Jones all went close.

The ball was spun back across field and Williams sent Byrne over only to see the try ruled out by linesman Marius Jonker for a forward pass.

Wales came back for a penalty as the Azzurri were warned for their negative play, but when they went for a five-yard scrum the visitors' pack - who had been on top at the set-piece - were awarded a clearing penalty.

Some consolation for Wales came as Martin Castrogiovanni was penalised for yet another ruck offence and Jones made no mistake with a long-range kick.

The impressive Hook gathered a loose kick in midfield, darted forward and chipped over Luke McLean.

Mallett proud of Italy despite defeat

The Azzurri full-back scrambled back to ground the ball just ahead of Hook but Wales won a penalty from the resultant scrum-five, and Jones kicked his fourth penalty to make it 12-0.

Turnovers in Italy's 22 had repeatedly cost Wales in the first 40 minutes and another from the otherwise impressive skipper Ryan Jones saw the Azzurri end the half on the front foot.

But their lack of attacking ideas was summed up as a Gower drop-goal dribbled wide.

After the break Wales soon looked to up the tempo again, Phillips, Warburton and Williams scything through the defence from a quickly taken penalty.

A Williams pass sent Hook into space on halfway, the centre backing himself on a sizzling run to the corner, rather than releasing Prydie in space on his outside, only to be denied at the death by a superb Gower tackle.

Luke Charteris charged down Italy's clearance kick to win a scrum five, Byrne then taking the ball into contact from a three-quarter move.

Swift recycling saw the ball spread left and Hook barged over from short range to finally register the long-sought try that was improved by Jones' boot.

606: DEBATE
Saarraaahhh

As the Azzurri visibly tired Wales went for the jugular, booting two kickable penalties to touch.

Yet another Italy ruck offence in their 22 saw Mauro Bergamasco - who became Italy's most capped forward with 84 appearances - sent to the sin-bin.

Wales chose to scrum, then moved the ball right were Jones sent Hook into acres of space for his second try - and Jones again added the extras.

Italy had lost Pablo Canavosio in the first half and to compound their problems replacement scrum-half Tito Tebaldi also succumbed to injury.

Phillips thought he had broken away for a try but was called back for an Italy penalty - the fired-up scrum-half clashing with Mirco Bergamasco before the Italian wing, at last, got his side on the scoreboard with the kick.

Byrne and replacement Tom Shanklin combined to send Phillips flying for the line but the Ospreys star was denied under the shadow of the posts by his nemesis Bergamasco.

The Italian relief was short-lived as Williams sneaked over from the ruck to extend his Wales try record to 51, in his 73rd Test, before Jones kicked the conversion.

Jones delighted as Wales win at last

The Azzurri staged a late rally, as they had in heavy defeat against France last week, a superb Warburton tackle denying Kaine Robertson in the corner.

As the ball came left, McLean cut back on the angle to cross for a try converted by Mirco Bergamasco.

Wales might have scored again late on after dazzling footwork from Hook saw him find a gap and then release the supporting Warburton, but the flanker was denied a deserved try by an ankle tap.

That meant that Italy had the last word on the scoreboard, but they were condemned to the Wooden Spoon when Scotland beat Ireland in Dublin.


Wales: Byrne, Prydie, Hook, J. Roberts, S. Williams, S. Jones, M. Phillips, Jenkins, M. Rees, A. Jones, B. Davies, Charteris, Thomas, Warburton, R. Jones.
Replacements: Shanklin for J. Roberts (63), Bishop for S. Jones (70), Peel for M. Phillips (70), Bennett for M. Rees (63), P. James for A. Jones (63), Gough for B. Davies (15), Delve for R. Jones (67).

Italy: McLean, Robertson, Canale, Garcia, M. Bergamasco, Gower, Canavosio, Perugini, Ghiraldini, Castrogiovanni, Geldenhuys, Bortolami, Sole, M. Bergamasco, Zanni, Tebaldi.
Replacements: Pratichetti for Canale (4), Tebaldi for Canavosio (25), Aguero for Perugini (55), Ongaro for Ghiraldini (65), Bernabo for Bortolami (73), Vosawai for Sole (55), Bocchino for Tebaldi (63). Sin Bin: M. Bergamasco (56).

Attendance: 70,000

Referee: W Barnes (RFU).



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see also
Wales v Italy match stats
20 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Wales v Italy photos
20 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Warburton bolsters Wales' options
20 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby results, 2009/10
12 Jul 09 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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