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Wales lose out on Six Nations title after Ireland beat Scotland

Wales have missed out on claiming the 2015 Six Nations title after Ireland beat Scotland 40-10 at Murrayfield.

Credit: PA Images

It was all to play for after Wales managed an impressive 61-20 victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico.

Wales' triumph meant the Irish needed at least a 21-point win to keep hold of their crown and captain Paul O'Connell wasted little time, bulldozing over for a fourth-minute try.

Sean O'Brien touched down either side of half time, and Jared Payne also scored, with Finn Russell replying for Scotland.

England must now beat France by 26 points at Twickenham to deny Ireland successive Six Nations titles.

At it stands: Wales set England & Ireland tough targets

After Wales thrashed Italy in Rome, all attention now turns to Murrayfield - where Ireland face Scotland, and then to Twickenham - where England face France, on the final day of the Six Nations.

Here's how it stands:

  • Wales - points difference +53
  • England - points difference +37
  • Ireland - points difference +33

So, what Wales' rivals need to do to deny Warren Gatland's side:

  • England - beat France by more than 16 points
  • Ireland - beat Scotland by more than 20 points


Full time: Italy 20 - 61 Wales

Wales scored eight tries against Italy to put themselves in a strong position to claim another Six Nations title, after a simply sublime second half display.

Leading by just one point at half-time, after only Jamie Roberts' try in a poor start in Rome, a devastating period after the break saw Liam Williams touch down and George North score a hat-trick.

George North scored three tries for Wales in a stunning start to the second half. Credit: PA

In the final 20 minutes, after Italy had a player sent to the sin bin for the second time, Rhys Webb bundled over in the corner after a driving maul.

Two minutes later, captain Sam Warburton raced clear to touch down, after Wales put together several passes out of the tackle.

Sam Warburton ran in another trilling try for Wales. Credit: PA

After 72 minutes, Wales got perhaps the best try of the lot, breaking from their own try line, through Jonathan Davies, Gareth Davies and then Scott Williams to score. Biggar kicked yet another tricky conversion to make it 61-13.

There was one final twist, in the final minute, as Italian winger Leonardo Sarto raced away to score in the corner, and dent Wales' hopes slightly.

60mins: Italy 13 - 42 Wales

Wales scored four tries in the first 20 minutes of the second half against Italy, to raise the prospect that they could rack up the points difference needed to win the Six Nations.

The visitors broke through after 47 minutes, when scrum half Rhys Webb took a penalty quickly, and fed Liam Williams to cut through the defence and touch down under the posts. Dan Biggar added the extras to move Wales 21-13 ahead.

Just two minutes later, Williams claimed a kick through and fed George North to race home. Biggar again kicked the conversion to put Wales 15 points ahead.

George North scored a quickfire hat-trick for Wales in the second half. Credit: PA

Alun Wyn Jones then claimed an Italian lineout in the hosts' 22, and Wales fed it wide left, to North, who finished in the corner. Biggar again kicked a difficult conversion

On 59 minutes, North broke weak Italian tackles to touch down under the posts. Biggar kicked an easy conversion.

As it stands, with 20 minutes to play in Rome, Wales' points difference for the tournament is +41, narrowly ahead of both Ireland and England.

Half time: Italy 13 - 14 Wales

Wales lead Italy by just one point at half time in Rome, on the final day of the Six Nations.

All the attention has been on how many points Wales can rack up, but Italy got a try of their own after 24 minutes, when winger Giovanbattista Venditti wriggled through and over the line. Luciano Orquera kicked the conversion to put Italy 13-11 ahead.

Dan Biggar and co. have run into an Italy side desperate to record their first win of the Six Nations. Credit: PA

Leigh Halfpenny then had to be taken off with a suspected concussion, after trying to tackle giant Italian number eight Samuela Vunisa.

Halfpenny needed lengthy treatment after a bang to his head. Credit: PA

In the closing minutes of the first half, Wales twice turned down kickable penalties, but couldn't force the try. They finally did opt to kick a penalty, and Dan Biggar made no mistake, to put Wales 14-13 ahead at the break.

20mins: Italy 6 - 11 Wales

Wales' efforts to record a big points difference against Italy to claim the Six Nations got off to a bad start - as they gave away a penalty within the opening 10 seconds of the game in Rome.

They were penalised for blocking off the Italians when claiming the kick-off, and fly-half Kelly Haimona kicked the points.

Leigh Halfpenny knocked over two penalties for Wales, and Luciano Orquera another for Italy, as both sides were repeatedly penalised early on.

Wales made their breakthrough after 19 minutes, though, when Halfpenny's kick through was gathered by Jamie Roberts to touch down. Halfpenny couldn't kick the conversion from out wide, but Wales lead 11-6 after 20 minutes.

Jamie Roberts got the first of what Wales hope will be many tries in Rome. Credit: PA


Welsh fans criticise rendition of national anthem in Italy

Credit: PA Images

Rugby fans have taken to Twitter to complain of the way the Welsh national anthem was played at the Stadio Olimpico.

Many criticised the anthem for being played too fast that the team and people watching couldn't keep up.

Italy are currently in the lead 3-0.

Howley: Six Nations scheduling puts Wales at a disadvantage

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has called for the final round of Six Nations matches to be played simultaneously, to avoid teams having the advantage of a later kick-off.

Howley has said the final day scheduling puts Wales at a disadvantage. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Tournament leaders England play France at Twickenham in the late match tomorrow, knowing exactly what they need to do to lift the trophy with Wales and Ireland having already played.

Howley claims that scheduling puts Wales at a clear disadvantage to reclaim the trophy they last won in 2013, while preventing a more exciting conclusion if the final games were played at the same time.

"I do really enjoy the last day of the Premiership football where you have everyone listening to their radios for the scores...The drama of that situation is unique. It would be unique in rugby and it should be the case in the Six Nations...In terms of all of us kicking off at the same time there would be some drama in the game knowing what changes had to be made and the message that needed to be got onto the pitch."

– Rob Howley, Wales Assistant Coach
Wales picked up an impressive win over Ireland in their last Six Nations encounter. Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Wales have won on their last three visits to Rome, but Howley believes that recent record counts for nothing heading into tomorrow's game.

"Going first up it's important we win the game, although I am not too sure what we will do will be enough...Ireland and England will have the opportunity after our game to know what they have to do, which is always a good thing...That could be a hindrance to us but we have to focus on our game and make sure we win."

– Rob Howley, Wales Assistant Coach

Wales kick off their game with Italy tomorrow afternoon at 12:30.

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