Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Wales beat Italy to stay in Six Nations contention

Wales kept themselves firmly in contention to defend their Six Nations title, after brushing aside Italy 26-9 on a wet afternoon in Rome.

Jonathan Davies and Alex Cuthbert scored second-half tries and Leigh Halfpenny kicked 16 points in another near-flawless personal performance.

Jonathan Davies crossed shortly after half time to put Wales in the driving seat. Credit: PA

It was a fourth away win in a row in the Six Nations - a record Wales have never managed before in the competition's 13-year history - and sets them up for games with Scotland and England next month.

I am very pleased. We adapted really well to the conditions and the deluge. We showed patience and composure and we took our opportunities.Our scrum was very impressive and gave us the platform.

International rugby is about fine margins, and it was testament to the attitude of the players today and their application in difficult conditions.

– Rob Howley, Wales Interim Coach

The first half was scrappy, attacking rugby limited by heavy rain which made both the ball and the turf slippery propositions.

Wales led 9-6 at the break, Halfpenny's three penalties to Kris Burton's two.

Davies scored four minutes into the second half.

Mike Phillips pushed through a box kick, and when two Italian defenders failed to gather and fell over one another, Davies took advantage, nudging the ball through before touching down.

Halfpenny converted, and he and Burton added another penalty apiece.

Italian prop Martin Castrogiovanni was then sent to the sin bin, as the referee lost patience with the hosts' inferiority at scrum time.

Wales took immediate advantage, with Dan Biggar feeding Cuthbert, whose excellent running line saw him through the Italian defensive line, and he slid home in the corner.

Halfpenny bisected the posts to make it 26-9, and the scoreboard's work for the day was done.

Alex Cuthbert added a try against Italy to the one he got against Ireland on the opening day of the tournament. Credit: PA

The first half was tough. The conditions had a huge impact on the way both teams played, but our game-management was excellent.

All 23 players showed composure and maturity. It was a good day at the office in the scrum - there are six very happy front-row forwards in our changing room.

The attitude was superb. You can never question that. We dug really deep today, and it showed in the way we played.

– Ryan Jones, Wales Captain

Wales rung the changes in the final quarter, with regular captain Sam Warburton replacing current skipper Ryan Jones, and Alun Wyn Jones making a welcome return after injury.

They held on comfortably, ending a second successive game without conceding a try.

Wales' travelling fans have now had victories in Paris and Rome to cheer. Credit: PA