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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 October, 2003, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Wales make last eight
MATCH SUMMARY
Wales captain Colin Charvis
Wales 27
Tries: M Jones, Parker, D Jones
Con: Harris (3)
Pens: Harris (3)
Italy 15
Pens: Wakarua (5)
Wales 27-15 Italy

Wales have booked their place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a hard-fought win over Italy.

Mark and Dafydd Jones and Sonny Parker scored the only tries of a tense game, while the ever-reliable Iestyn Harris kicked 12 points as the Azzurri's World Cup dreams were ended.

The result has probably lined-up the Welsh for a quarter-final against England, unless they can win their pool by beating New Zealand next weekend.

Italy dominated the first half in terms of possession but some stout Welsh defence throughout the match and a lack of Italian invention in the backs halted their try-scoring hopes.

In the end the Azzurri relied on the boot of Rima Wakarua once more, who scored all of his side's points with five penalties.

In stark contrast, the Welsh looked immediately dangerous when they found themselves on the attack.

That first paid in the eighth minute when Mark Jones slid into the corner after Martyn Williams broke from the scrum, popped it to Duncan Jones, who in turn fed it to his namesake.

They did damage again on the stroke of half-time as Ceri Sweeney ripped through Italy's defence. The ball was spread rapidly out to Sonny Parker, who scored with men to spare on his outside.

Harris converted both tries and added another two penalties as Wales went into half-time 20-9 ahead.

It's great to secure our way through to the quarter-finals
Welsh captain Colin Charvis

With the re-start came a flurry of changes from Italian coach John Kirwan, which seemed initially to make a difference as Wakarua quickly added two more penalties.

Wales' only point-scoring opportunity in the third quarter came when Harris sliced a penalty.

But it all changed in the 62nd minute when flanker Dafydd Jones touched down for his first international score.

After a good 10 minutes of intense pressure, the Italian forwards finally capitulated as Jones forced his way over at the back of a Welsh maul.

From there, Wales never looked in danger of losing as the Italians felt the effects of playing their fourth game in 14 days.


Wales: K Morgan; M Jones, S Parker, I Harris, G Thomas; C Sweeney, D Peel; D Jones, R McBride, A Jones, B Cockbain, G Llewellyn, D Jones, M Williams, C Charvis (capt)
Replacements: M Davies, G Jenkins, R Sidoli, J Thomas, G Cooper, S Jones, R Williams

Italy: G Canale; N Mazzucato, C Stoica, A Masi, D Dallan; R Wakarua, A Troncon (capt); M Castrogiovanni, F Ongaro, A Lo Cicero, S Dellape, C Checchinato, S Parisse, A Persico, A de Rossi
Replacements: C Festuccia, S Perugini, M Phillips, S Palmer, C Bezzi, F Mazzariol, M Bergamasco

Referee: Andrew Cole (Australia)



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