Wales 21-24 Italy: A first wooden spoon for Warren Gatland's side in 21 years

Cameron Winnett in action against Italy
Cameron Winnett in action against Italy Credit: PA

Wales have picked up their first wooden spoon in 21 years after suffering a 24-21 defeat to Italy in Cardiff.

The scoreline doesn't tell the full story as Wales were comfortably the second side, with two late tries from the home side making things look a little more generous than they ought to be.

The visiting fly-half Paolo Garbisi gave his side the lead inside the first six minutes with a penalty after Tomos Williams was penalised for holding on.

Wales did enjoy a spell inside the Italian half but struggling to cause too many problems before a handling error from Gareth Thomas forced George North - playing his final game for Wales - to retreat and dive on the loose ball.

Isolated, he was penalised for holding on and Garbisi knocked over his second penalty in the 13th minute.

Midway through the first half, Italy made it stick. Despite having less of the ball, they looked the more dangerous with it and cut Wales to pieces with clever running lines and offloads to sweep 50 metres up the field.

Then, when they were close to the Welsh line, Monty Ioane was put into space and cantered over the line for the opening try. The only saving grace for Wales is that Garbisi missed a fairly straightforward conversion.

Try as they might, Wales were simply unable to stress their visitors, undermined by basic errors, slow ruck ball and a watertight Italian defence.

Gatland's side had one last chance to make a dent in the first half when Josh Adams' work at the breakdown earned a penalty that Sam Costelow kicked into the 22. But Nick Tompkins fumbled the ball in midfield.

Italy went in 11-0 ahead at the break and Wales looked lost.

Rio Dyer got the crowd excited with a break early in the second half but soon the Italian's would strike again.

A set piece move from just inside their own half had the Welsh defence chasing shadows. Slick passing and dynamic running lines saw them storm up the field with barely a hand being laid on them. Full-back Lorenzo Pani rounded it off much to the delight of the traveling Italian support.

The half progressed with Italy not really doing a lot and Wales just making error after error until Dyer once again provided the impetus. His break put Wales deep in the Italian 22, forcing the visitors to infringe.

From the penalty, Elliot Dee scrambled his way over the line from close range and Costelow knocked over the conversion to offer a glimmer of hope in the 64th minute.

Italian indiscipline then gave Wales superb field position to build momentum but a basic handling error at the lineout waste the opportunity.

Italy would score next via a penalty from Garbisi to stretch the lead back out to 14 with 10 minutes to go.

Wales' next attack was disorganised and Italy swooped on another breakdown to win a penalty, which Martin Page-Relo kicked from distance.

Will Rowlands and Mason Grady added late tries for Wales to make the scoreline look a little more respectable.

But there were sad scenes in the dying embers of the match as George North was helped from the field with what appeared to be a leg injury.

Ioan Lloyd's conversion of Grady's try was the final act of a sorry Six Nations from a Welsh perspective.

Wales: Cam Winnett; Josh Adams, George North, Nick Tompkins, Rio Dyer; Sam Costelow, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Elliot Dee, Dillon Lewis; Daf Jenkins (C), Adam Beard; Alex Mann, Tommy Reffell, Aaron Wainwright.

Reps: Evan Lloyd, Kemsley Mathias, Harri O'Connor, Will Rowlands, Mackezine Martin, Kieran Hardy, Ioan Lloyd, Mason Grady.

Italy: Lorenzo Pani; Louis Lynagh, Ignacio Brex, Tommaso Menoncello, Monty Ioane; Paolo Garbisi, Stephen Varney; Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Simone Ferrari; Niccolo Cannoni, Federico Ruzza; Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro (C); Lorenzo Cannone.

Reps: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Mirco Spagnola, Giosue Zilocchi, Andrea Zambolin, Ross Vincent, Manuel Zuliani, Martin Page-Relo, Leonardo Marin.