Six Nations - Nervy Wales scrape past Italy

Sat, 26 Feb 16:20:00 2011

Wales grabbed a nervy 24-16 win over Italy thanks largely to some costly missed kicks by the hosts at the Stadio Flaminio.

- 0

Clumsy Welsh passes early in both halves led to Italian tries for Gonzalo Canale and captain Sergio Parisse, and had Mirco Bergamasco landed more than just two penalties, the home side could have beaten Wales for the first time since 2007.

Morgan Stoddart and Sam Warburton went over for Wales in a first half dominated by the visitors though the second half was a different story.

Further missed kicks from Bergamasco and Luciano Orquera's failed penalty attempt with little over 10 minutes remaining, plus a James Hook drop goal after 74 minutes, helped earn Wales their second win of the tournament and leave Italy pointless.

"We kept Italy in the game by gifting them a couple of tries," Wales coach Warren Gatland said afterwards.

"They put us under a lot of pressure in the scrum as well.

It was a tough game."

Wales next host Ireland on March 12 when Italy, hammered 59-13 by England two weeks ago, welcome France.

"We were a little bit slow out of the blocks...so we were behind the whole way though," Italy coach Nick Mallett said before bemoaning the missed kicks.

"For Italy to beat someone we are going to win by three or four points so we need every single point. But it was a much better performance than against England."

Reuters

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account