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Wales 24 - Italy 3

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  1. Wales beat Italy, get Grand Slam shot

    Wales beat Italy, get Grand Slam shot

    Wales are one match away from a Grand Slam after grinding out a 24-3 victory in their Six Nations clash against Italy. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:80'
    • Wales
    • Italy
    • - Thanks for joining us - Wales will have a Grand Slam match against France next week after a brilliant win that would have been much more emphatic if not for a heroic defensive showing.
    • 80' That's it! The ref blows up for a knock-on, and Alex Cuthbert's try at the death has added a bit of extra emphasis to a well-deserved win. But full credit to Italy: that was a rare and brilliant defensive performance, and they were only breached by two fantastic pieces of opportunism by Wales.
    • 80' North tries the batternig ram approach now to get through the line, but he's stopped by three men at once.
    • 80' Wales come again and North looks like he might break the line, only to get hauled into touch!
    • 79' Priestland misses the extras, but it was a tough one from the edge of the field.
    • 78' Jenkins releases Alex Cuthbert from the tap penalty, and the winger goes it alone! A magnificent run-in by Cuthbert who beat three tackles to touch down in the corner and it's 24-3!
    • 77' Wales win the throw and will have another go at getting this try... Italy penalised on the half-way line for offside... and it's a quick penalty!
    • 76' Wales still look like breaking through until Roberts hangs on to the ball in the tackle, and Italy kick for a touch to give themselves a breather.
    • 75' Wales win the lineout and fling it out, probing for a gap but still finding blue shirts tackling like demons.
    • 74' Hook comes on for the last five minutes...
    • 73' George North takes on the entire Italy side and makes 30m, and as Wales keep on coming Roberts appears to have set up a brilliant try that Ryan Jones 'scores' - but the whistle has gone, Webb had blocked off one Van Zyl and it goes back to an earlier Wales penalty. The Welsh go for the corner! They want another try!
    • 72' Wales win the scrum but Italy win a turnover straight away - they keep coming in waves until an Italian loses the ball in the tackle and Wales will hit on the break...
    • 71' From the restart Wales win a scrum, and Phillips comes off to give Rhys Webb his debut in a Wales shirt.
    • 70' Peanlty! 19-3 to Wales! Italy penalised for coming into a ruck from the side, and it's a penalty to Wales 35m out and slightly to the right. With Halfpenny off the pitch, Priestland steps up and nails the kick through the middle.
    • 69' Wales try to maul it up the pitch but are halted, and Italy win the ball back as Priestland tries a chip-and-chase.
    • 68' Wales regain the ball as Italy kick for touch, Wales throw 30m out.
    • 67' Tipuric almost pulls off a miracle try! Great kick and chase after winning the ball on an Italian throw, and he very nearly takes the ball off Masi deep in the 22m. It's a knock-on, but it's livened up the Wales team after Italy were getting on top.
    • 66' Wales trying to tick the clock down, but a huge error from Priestland as he kicks straight into touch from just outside his own 22m.
    • 65' Parisse is getting booed every time he touches the ball - the crowd did not appreciate his overzealous reaction to being upended by Halfpenny.
    • 64' Luke Charteris, freshly on, puts a huge hit on Canale to halt Italy's progress up the field.
    • 63' From the penalty Italy have a throw 30m from the Welsh line.
    • 62' A chink of light for Italy as they look to try to get back into this: Halfpenny has been outstanding this afternoon.
    • 61' Halfpenny will be off the pitch here! Bergamasco gets away with a knock-on during a stint of punt ping pong, but on the next round Parisse gets taken out in mid-air by Leigh Halfpenny. 10 minutes in the sin bin for the full-back who had no chance of getting the ball, and earned his yellow with pride.
    • 60' Priestland tries an up-and-under, Burton takes it well and hits it to Masi whose kick-and-chase goes wrong when he puts the ball into the try area.
    • 59' Italy win the ball back and end up clearing, but Burton misses touch and Halfpenny runs back at them.
    • 58' It's back and forth, Italy's defence still superb here - but how long can they keep up this level of tackling?
    • 57' Italy punt upfield and Cuthbert tries to return it with interest. Italy bring him down and get the ball back, but Italy under pressure are forced to kick for touch - Wales throw in just outside the 22m.
    • 56' Wales keep probing, Italy keep defending brilliantly, but the ref sees a Welsh infringement in the ruck.
    • 55' Wales fling it out the other side and this time it's Cuthbert who is hauled down on the line! Great stuff from both sides!
    • 54' Wales get penalty advantage and will try to find a gap, but North and Priestland rnu into trouble - Tipuric is there to pick up and is stopped on the line!
    • 53' Wales win the linout and are mauling it.
    • 52' Italy pick themselves up and win the ball from the restart, trying to make something happen - but they're quickly penalised for hanging on in the tackle, and Priestland punts to the 22m. Great touch and Wales have a great attacking platform here.
    • 51' Roberts adds the extras, and it's suddenly 16-3 to Wales. The home side will surely now start turning it on.
    • 51' Stunning cut inside by Roberts to completely wrongfoot Bergamasco, and the only other chasers were forwards who were never in the foot race as Roberts touches down under the sticks.
    • 50' TRY TO WALES! Wales turn the ball over after an Italian fumble and hit on the break! Roberts finds a gap and is through! It's an amazing try from 75m out!
    • 49' Italy hanging on to the ball very well after that scrum - eight phases and counting.
    • 48' A Welsh error now - Evans dropping a pass - and Parisse kicks a loose ball down field. North gathers it, and is lucky not to give away a penalty as he dives on it; the ball doesn't come out though, and it's a scrum to Italy.
    • 47' Italy regather the ball, and a bit of aerial ping pong between the full backs ends when the visitors try to run it - only to give it away with a forward pass.
    • 46' Italy spin it wide, massive tackle by North on Masi.
    • 45' The scrum collapses, and it's Gethin Jenkins who is singled out for angling in by the ref as he gives a peanlty to Italy.
    • 44' Wales lose the ball in a failed maul and Italy have the put-in at the scrum.
    • 43' Excellent line out by Italy, but a handling error sees the ball thrown straight to Jonathan Davies and Wales storm back up the pitch.
    • 42' From the restart Sgarbi gives away a penalty which almost sees Mike Phillips break through, but Faletau was penalised for holding Parisse back from tackling the scrum-half. Italy kick for the Wales 22m.
    • 41' We're back in action in Cardiff - can Wales begin to turn their pressure into points, or will the blue defensive machine carry on? History suggests that the Welsh will cut loose sooner or later...
    • - First-half stats - Possession: Wales 62-38 Italy. Territory: Wales 71-29 Italy. Tackles made: Wales 14-76 Italy. For once the stats really do say it all.
    • - At the end of the first half it's 9-3 to Wales, but the Italian defence's efforts have been equal to everything the Welsh backs have thrown at them so far.
    • 40' The clock goes into the red after Wales clear upfield, and somehow Italy are only six points behind at the half-way stage.
    • 39' Italy win the lineout and are burrowing for the line, but they hand the ball straight back as Lo Cicero is penalised for hanging on in the tackle. Chance gone just like that.
    • 38' Wales look like giving it away as Matthew Rees goes over the top immediately after the restart. Surely it'll be 9-6 - but no, the Italians go for the corner! They want a try!
    • 37' 9-3 to Wales! Halfpenny slots over from inside the 22m, but the Welsh probably should have made a try out of that one.
    • 37' Italy steal the ball well but then go down over the top of it and it's a penalty - Wales, now, will take the points.
    • 36' Italy hold firm as Wales go through the phases until Faletau breaks the line! Is he through? No! Offloads to Davies but he too is stopped.
    • 35' Italy kick for the throw, but Wales pinch it - yet more pressure for the defence, and Cuthbert's run up the right pushes them straight back in to the 22m.
    • 34' Jonathan Davies almost breaks the line, but is hauled down - and Gethin Jenkins storms in from the side to give away a penalty, and not for the first time.
    • 33' North charges for the line but is hauled down - by four men - 10m out and Wales will build again from the ruck.
    • 32' Italy manage to get clear but give away a scrum quickly, and again Wales are into the 22m...
    • 31' Italy finally win the scrum but almost give it back as Masi gets caught in possession almost on his own line. Wales are doing everything but scoring, again and again... if they keep this up they will destroy Italy when the dam finally bursts.
    • 30' The scrum is another bloomin' mess. Italy ball, 10m out.
    • 29' Fabulous move by Wales! Faletau almost breaks through, offloads, and then Leigh Halfpenny looks set to be on his way through - but it's a try-saving tackle by Parisse! Halfpenny spills the ball in the tackle.
    • 29' Italy win their lineout but Burton ends up kicking it straight back and Wales begin to run again.
    • 28' Priestland kicks for touch in the 22m - a neat one that bounces out just 10m from the Italy line.
    • 27' Jonathan Davies goes it alone while running the free kick, with North outside - but he's tackled before he can pass and Wales have to build through the phases again.
    • 26' Another interminable scrum ends in collapse, and it's a free kick to Wales to turn the ball over again.
    • 25' Burton kicks away Italian possession with an awful up-and-under, but Adam Rhys Jones spills it while trying to take the catch.
    • 24' Italy win their line-out and manage to drive over the half-way line for a rare excursion into enemy territory.
    • 23' Wales fumble the lineout slightly but get the ball down the line in any case, and Roberts comes close to the line before hanging on in the tackle. Penalty Italy and Burton clears the lines to the 10m.
    • 22' Another penalty for Wales as Van Zyl is penalised for lying down in the ruck on the wrong side. Wales again turn their noses up at points and go for the corner once more.
    • 21' The scores are tight, but Italy have shown no signs of breaking the Welsh line, while the men in red look well capable of cutting their opponents open at any moment.
    • 20' Halfpenny smashes the ball into the second tier of this great stadium to give Wales the lead again.
    • 20' Wales still have penalty advantage as they probe for gaps, but after four cycles the ref blows up - it's a kick right in front of goal, less than 15 from the sticks. Might as well chalk the points on now.
    • 19' Wales win the attacking lineout but don't turn it into a maul and it'll be up to the backs to break the wall of blue shirts.
    • 18' Italy give away a penalty deep in their own 22m but on the left flank, and Priestland kicks for touch rather than going for goal. Attacking stuff!
    • 17' Lovely work up the right from Roberts gets Wales back into the Italy 22m - North eventually runs into a wall of men, but the switch back across the pitch almost releases Cuthbert in the left corner... but he can't hang on to the pass and it's a knock on.
    • 16' Italy defence now digging in much better, and they're beginning to peg back the hosts... but here come Wales on the break.
    • 15' Cuthbert breaks one tackle but is then pushed out into touch.
    • 14' Wales win the ball back after the restart, and Alex Cuthbert gets on the end of a kick for him to chase.
    • 13' 3-3! Mirco Bergamasco slots the simplest of kicks through the middle, and those two silly mistakes by the Welsh have seen them give up their early advantage.
    • 12' Wales deemed to have collapsed the scrum, and Italy will have a gimme penalty to level the scores. Matt Rees totally failed to bind on.
    • 11' Straight from the restart Wales knock on, giving Italy a scrum dead in front, on the 22m line.
    • 10' 3-0 to Wales! Halfpenny's very long effort - 45m out and on the 15m line - is superb, dropping just over the posts but dead-centre through the middle.
    • 8' Italy kick the penalty into touch and win the lineout, but then give away a penalty themselves as Mirco Bergamasco drfits in front of Semenzato while he's kicking. Halfpenny will have a go at the sticks.
    • 7' Priestland puts up a big kick into the 22m to chase, and George North blatantly tackles Kris Burton while he's in mid-air for the catch - well before the ball has even dropped into his hands.
    • 6' Italy come into the Wales half for the first time, but Ghiraldini is immediately penalised for hanging on in the tackle.
    • 5' Wales run back into the Italy 22m, but it's another penalty as Ian Evans comes into a ruck at the side. Ref having none of that whatsoever so far.
    • 4' Wales now within 10 yards of the line and they keep probing for gaps... But Zanni puts in a great tackle on Roberts that sees Italy win a penalty, which they clear to touch.
    • 3' Italy kick that hard-won ball straight back to Leigh Halfpenny, and Wales run it straight back. Great pressure from the hosts already.
    • 2' Wales quickly win a turnover, and though they get pushed back George North makes a run through the middle, breaking four tackles and getting into the 22m. But the Italians win a turnover!
    • 1' Rhys Priestland gets the match under way with a drop kick deep into the Italian 22m.
    • 14:30 A rousing ovation for the Welsh national anthem, and as the various brass band members, cheerleaders and advertising board holders clear off the pitch we're just a minute or two from kick-off.
    • 14:28 Welsh great Shane Williams foresees a 15-20 point victory for his old comrades in arms today, but fellow pundit Jeremy Guscott says it "could be 40" if the home side click in the first half... though he did warn that Italy have started every match strongly this season.
    • 14:25 The spread betting suggests Wales will win by 23 points today. Considering the balmy weather that should favour Wales's superb backs, and that Ireland beat them by 32 points a fortnight ago, that frankly seems a little low.
    • 14:22 Italy have two wins over Wales - both in Rome, in 2003 and 2007 - but their only away win ever in the Six Nations came against Scotland in 2007. But Italy did manage an 18-18 draw against Wales on this very turf back in 2006.
    • 14:20 Warren Gatland's message for his men today: "Don't underestimate them. They've made it tough for every team they've played so far."
    • 14:15 Today's ref is an Irishman, George Glancy, taking charge of his sixth Six Nations match.
    • 14:15 ITALY: Andrea Masi, Luke McLean, Gonzalo Javier Canale, Alberto Sgarbi, Mirco Bergamasco, Kristopher Burton; Fabio Semenzato, Andrea Lo Cicero, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Lorenzo Cittadini, Quintin Geldenhuys, Cornelius van Zyl, Alessandro Zanni, Simone Favaro, Sergio Parisse (capt)
    • 14:15 WALES: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North, Rhys Priestland, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Matthew Rees, Adam Rhys Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau.
    • 14:13 Italy are around 14-1 with most bookies to pull off an upset, with the draw 40-1.
    • 14:10 Having said that, Wales soaked up huge pressure against Ireland, Scotland and England to get to this point, and on a perfect day in Cardiff they're red-hot favourites to run the visitors ragged. Wales are as short as an amazing 1-50 on to win. Yes, that means that to win a solitary quid you'll need to stake £50!
    • 14:06 It would be a third Grand Slam in eight years for Wales if they did it this season - but with Italy having been a banana skin team for Wales once or twice in recent years, they're taking nothing for granted about having a crack at a Grand Slam until this match is over.
    • 14:02 After Wales enjoyed a thrilling win over England at Twickenham last week, all the talk is about another Grand Slam in the offing for Wales.
    • 14:00 Welcome to our LIVE coverage of Wales's Six Nations clash against Italy.
  • Summary

    Wales versus Italy
    Roberts 50’, Cuthbert 78’ Tries  
    Halfpenny 51’ Conversions  
    Halfpenny 10’, 20’, 37’, Priestland 70’ Penalties Bergamasco 13’
      Drops  

Live Team Line-Up

  • Wales

    Manager: Warren Gatland

    On the Field

    Subs

    • James Substitution In (71′)
    • Williams Substitution In (69′)
    • Jones Substitution In (63′)
    • Charteris Substitution In (63′)
    • Hook Substitution In (76′)
    • Owens Substitution In (63′)
    • Webb Substitution In (71′)

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

  • Italy

    Manager: Jacques Brunel

    On the Field

    Subs

    • Bortolami Substitution In (52′)
    • Staibano Substitution In (49′)
    • Barbieri Substitution In (63′)
    • Botes Substitution In (66′)
    • Toniolatti Substitution In (71′)
    • Benvenuti Substitution In (66′)
    • d'Apice Substitution In (53′)

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

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