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Finished Millennium Stadium

Wales 23 - Italy 15

  1. Six Nations - Wales start title defence with unconvincing win

    Six Nations - Wales start title defence with unconvincing win

    Wales began their quest for a record third consecutive Six Nations title with an unconvincing 23-15 victory over Italy. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:80'
    • Wales
    • Italy
    • 80' And that's our lot. Wales open their title defence with an unconvincing 23-15 victory. Italy can take a lot of positives from this match and look to have a gem of a player in Michele Campagnaro.
    • 79' Warburton locks on to a team-mate and attempts to drive a Welsh pack into the opposition half. We're into the final minute.
    • 78' Priestland attempts a very ambitious chip which is claimed by Campagnoro who calls 'Mark' before hitting the turf with cramp.
    • 76' The visitors fumble and Wales have it back are start slowly going through the phases. The nerves have vanished from the Millennium Stadium.
    • 75' The belief is starting to slip away from Italy. They've got it on halfway but can't build any forward momentum.
    • 74' PENALTY WALES! 23-15! Halfpenny drives his kick through the posts to send his side's lead beyond a converted try score.
    • 72' Wales drive at the Italians, intent on putting this contest to bed. Italy concede a penalty. Three more points coming up for the hosts. Such a shame for the neutral.
    • 71' Can Italy claim one of the greatest results in their history? This is very exciting...
    • 70' CONVERSION ITALY! 20-15! The gap is down to five...
    • 69' TRY ITALY! 20-13! Halfpenny's long pass is intercepted by Campagnaro and the Italian is away! No one in red can get anywhere near the kid and he's got another try. Wow - there is hope for Italy after all!
    • 68' PENALTY WALES! 20-8! Halfpenny succeeds in adding another three points to scoreboard. The lead is up to 12. Should be enough.
    • 67' Italy guilty of not driving straight in a scrum. Penalty to Wales.
    • 66' And a change for the Italians too. Edoardo Gori comes off to be replaced by Tobias Botes.
    • 65' Here comes the big man: Sam Warburton. Judging by the reception, it appears the home fans are rather fond of this chap.
    • 64' McLean... Campagnaro... Chance to run down the right... The young Italian - who has been superb - doesn't offload and it's not long before the visitors concede a penalty.
    • 63' McLean boots the ball downfield into space. Cuthbert picks it up but is quickly set upon by a wall of blue. It's a bit lethargic from the Welsh.
    • 62' It's been a constant theme of today's match: Wales survive. Italy lacking a bit of cutting edge. Do they really believe they can pull this one off?
    • 60' Wales have a line out in a very precarious position. Italy are refusing to give this one up... They probably deserve something from this contest.
    • 58' Italy have the ball in hand and start racking up the phases. Allan attempts a cheeky chip. Too cheeky - no one in blue reads it.
    • 57' The Italians are a bit jumpy in defence but, just as it looked as though the Welsh would have a free run at the posts, Parisse makes an important tackle.
    • 56' Priestland weaves through the Italy defence after a slow dummy buys him some space. He must be six inches away from the try line but is forced to blindly play the ball infield. It bounces around, falls to a surprised red shirt who proceeds to accidentally kick the ball out of play.
    • 54' Sarto tries to chest-push the ball inside but Priestland anticipates the pass. That was a chance from Italy. You sense they won't get many more.
    • 53' Finally. Wales absolutely nail a line out routine. Not that it matters, though, as Italy steal possession back.
    • 52' Here comes the noise from the Millennium Stadium as the crowd tries to rouse their troops. Italy run out of patience after flirting with the Welsh twenty two. Penalty to Wales. Cue huge roar.
    • 51' Italy have numbers on the left but the ball is worked to the imposing figure of Michele Rizzo. Not the man to launch a lightning attack...
    • 50' MISSED PENALTY (ITALY). Allan tries to curl it between the posts but strikes the left upright. Massive chance squandered and a let off for the hosts.
    • 49' Paul James is wearing a guilty face after being penalised for coming in at the side. The referee points to the posts...
    • 47' What a start to the second half. Drama, exciting attacking play and a touch of controversy. Great advert for the Six Nations.
    • 46' MISSED PENALTY (WALES). He is human after all - Halfpenny misses from a tight angle.
    • 45' MISSED CONVERSION (ITALY). Allan can't find the centre of the posts and we stay at 17-8.
    • 44' TRY ITALY! 17-8! Unbelievable. The pass is quite clearly forward but the video referee interprets it differently, deciding the hands moved backwards. It's a funny rule, that one. Regardless of the pass, it was a cracking score.
    • 43' TRY REVIEW! Campagnaro goes over after a stunning kick through from Sarto. But was their a forward pass in the build-up?
    • 42' Hmmm. Wales need to sort out their line outs. It's all a bit suspect. Yet again, they escape and start to build up some attacking momentum.
    • 41' We're back underway!
    • 40' Italy almost profit on a clever kick over the Welsh defence but Rhys Priestland gets back to see out the danger and bring the first-half to a close. Wales lead 17-3 at the break.
    • 39' CONVERSION WALES! 17-3! Halfpenny sends it between the posts. Game over already?
    • 38' TRY WALES! 15-3! The hosts get away with another shaky line out and work it to Roberts who bursts through the Italian defence! He has team-mates left and right, chooses Williams on his left and the Welsh have bagged their second try.
    • 37' The spell of Italian pressure comes to an end as the hosts win a penalty and clear downfield. Can Wales add a late score?
    • 36' Parisse clearly knocked the ball on with his left hand. No try. And, to be fair to the Italian, he had already walked back to contest a scrum. We remain at 10-3.
    • 35' And it's North vs. Parisse again... The Welshman fumbles and Parisse is in! He goes over but is wearing a rather guilty face. Did he knock that on? We're going to the video referee.
    • 34' North vs. Parisse in a jumping duel... They clash in mid-air before thumping down to the turf. Injuries? Absolutely not. The pair get up instantly.
    • 32' Great turnover from Italy - led by Leonardo Sarto - just as it looked like Wales would break through. McLean with the clearing kick towards the halfway line.
    • 31' Scott Williams flings it out wide to Cuthbert who has an opportunity to attack the Italian defence but, just as he attempts a kick, McLean gets back to make the tackle.
    • 29' PENALTY WALES! 10-3! Parisse's error is punished by Halfpenny. The seven point gap is restored.
    • 28' A needless infringement from Sergio Parisse at a line out hands Wales a penalty. It's very kickable.
    • 27' Italy work it behind their own try-line – a dangerous move as a sea of blue swarms upon the ball carrier. Hoofed clear… Just.
    • 25' McLean sends a delightful kick into the corner which bounces just infield, before heading into touch. Wales have a tricky line out to see out.
    • 23' Wales collapse the crum. Italy have a penalty just inside their own half and launch it downfield.
    • 22' One of the odder line out routines from Wales results in an Italy scrum. Hibbard probably won't want to see that one again.
    • 21' North tiptoes through the blue shirts before spraying it out to the left flank where Wyn Jones lurks. It's not the greatest pass and Italy haul him into touch.
    • 20' Jamie Roberts shrugs off one challenge, then another, and a third... Finally he's hauled to the deck.
    • 18' Italy concede a penalty. This time it's Wales' turn to breathe a sigh of relief as they smash the ball downfield.
    • 17' Angelo Esposito bombs after a stray pass but loses a foot-race with North. Undeterred, the Italian thumps into the Welsh back. The hosts are wobbling.
    • 16' Italy charge forward again. They fancy this! A few nervous faces in the home crowd.
    • 14' PENALTY ITALY! 7-3! Allan pops it between the posts. Robbie Williams' 'Let Me Entertain You' booms out around the ground. Great stuff.
    • 13' Wales penalised for not rolling away. Italy have a simple chance to get on the scoreboard. It’ll be Tommaso Allan to take…
    • 12' Italian fans: breathe. The onslaught is over (for now). Luke McLean whacks the penalty into touch and Wales must defend the line out.
    • 10' The referee is kept busy as the scrum collapses twice... Third time lucky? Nope, it drops to the floor and Italy have a penalty.
    • 8' Can Italy survive the lineout? They can, force a knock-on and have the put-in at the scrum.
    • 7' First chance for Welsh superstar George North to run at the opposition defence. He skips past one challenge before attempting a low kick and sprint combo. Almost brilliant but Italy hack it into touch.
    • 5' CONVERSION WALES! 7-0! Leigh Halfpenny glides a beautiful kick through the posts and Wales are seven ahead.
    • 4' TRY WALES! 5-0! An innocuous kick from Rhys Priestland bounces toward Angelo Esposito who can easily gather. Hold on, he completely misses the ball! Terrible mistake from the debutant and Alex Cuthbert has the simple job to grasp the loose ball and go over. Nightmare start for Italy.
    • 3' Early dart forward from Richard Hibbard almost proves fruitful before he's finally hauled down by the third Italian shirt.
    • 2' Bright start from the Italians, shifting it left and right confidently. Small problem: they’re not going forward.
    • 1' Italy launch the ball high into the Welsh sky. Alun Wyn Jones rises highest. The Six Nations has begun!
    • 14:30 The majority of the 74,500 seats in the stadium slam shut as the red contingent rise as one to roar Hen Wlad fy Nhadau (Old Land of My Fathers). It’s an absolute belter. Here we go…
    • 14:25 Strobe lights flash, flames of a volcanic nature erupt and the crowd bellows as the Welsh team emerges onto the Millennium Stadium turf. Time for the anthems… Is there a better chant than Il Canto degli Italian?
    • 14:20 Unsurprisingly, this year’s tournament has been described by just about everyone of a rugby persuasion as ‘the most open Six Nations in years’ – a tagline it seems to receive every year. Want to get the low-down on each team? Then read our guide and pick your favourite… Six Nations: Team-by-team guide and star men
    • 14:15 Can Wales make history and become the first nation to win the Six Nations crown outright three years on the spin? Chances are we won’t have a clear answer after today with the Welsh expected to stroll past Italy, but a resounding victory would set them up nicely for a title charge. Think we’re being unkind on the Azzurri? Well, consider this: the Italians have lost their last 15 away games in the Six Nations. Not the cheeriest of stats.
    • 14:10 ITALY: 15 McLean, 14 Esposito, 13 Campagnaro, 12 Sgarbi, 11 Sarto, 10 Allan, 9 Gori; 1 Bergamasco, 2 Zanni, 3 Bortolami, 4 Geldenhuys, 5 Castrogiovanni, 6 Ghiraldini, 7 Rizzo, 8 Parisse... Replacements: 16 Giazzon, 17 De Marchi, 18 Cittadini, 19 Furno, 20 Minto, 21 Botes, 22 Orquera, 23 Iannone.
    • 14:05 WALES: 15 Halfpenny, 14 Cuthbert, 13 S. Williams, 12 Roberts, 11 North, 10 Priestland, 9 Phillips; 1 James, 2 Hibbard, 3 A Jones, 4 Charteris, 5 A-W Jones, 6 D Lydiate, 7 J Tipuric, 8 Faletau... Replacements: 16 Owens, 17 Bevington, 18 Jones, 19 Coombs, 20 Warburton, 21 Webb, 22 Hook, 23 Williams.
    • 14:00 It’s Six Nations time! Welcome to LIVE coverage of the tournament opener between Wales and Italy in Cardiff. We get underway at 14:30 GMT.
  • Summary

    Wales versus Italy
    Cuthbert 4’, Williams 38’ Tries Campagnaro 43’, 69’
    Halfpenny 5’, 40’ Conversions Allan 70’
    Halfpenny 29’, 67’, 74’ Penalties Allan 14’
      Drops  

Live Team Line-Up

  • Wales

    Manager: Warren Gatland

    On the Field

    • James Substitution Out (78′)
    • Hibbard Substitution Out (68′)
    • Jones Substitution Out (65′)
    • Charteris Substitution Out (58′)
    • Jones
    • Lydiate Substitution Out (65′)
    • Tipuric
    • Faletau
    • Phillips Substitution Out (68′)
    • Priestland
    • North
    • Roberts
    • Williams Try
    • Cuthbert Try
    • Halfpenny

    Subs

    • Hook
    • Owens Substitution In (68′)
    • Webb Substitution In (68′)
    • Warburton Substitution In (65′)
    • Bevington Substitution In (78′)
    • Coombs Substitution In (58′)
    • Jones Substitution In (65′)
    • Williams

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

  • Italy

    Manager: Jacques Brunel

    On the Field

    • Rizzo Substitution Out (56′)
    • Ghiraldini Substitution Out (58′)
    • Castrogiovanni Substitution Out (69′)
    • Geldenhuys
    • Bortolami Substitution Out (69′)
    • Zanni Substitution Out (74′)
    • Bergamasco Substitution In (74′) Substitution Out (58′)
    • Parisse
    • Gori Substitution Out (66′)
    • Allan
    • Sarto Substitution Out (77′)
    • Sgarbi
    • Campagnaro Tries×2
    • Esposito
    • McLean

    Subs

    • Orquera
    • Cittadini Substitution In (69′)
    • Botes Substitution In (66′)
    • Minto Substitution In (58′)
    • Furno Substitution In (69′)
    • De Marchi Substitution In (56′)
    • Iannone Substitution In (77′)
    • Giazzon Substitution In (58′)

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None