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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wales unconvincing in their win over Italy

Wales survived a monumental scare at Stadio Flaminio but their hopes of a successful RBS 6 Nations title defence look bleak following a 20-15 win over Italy.

Wing Shane Williams scored his 46th Test try and substitute Tom Shanklin touched down eight minutes from time, while fly-half James Hook added 10 points from the boot to thwart an Italian side after full-back Andrea Marcato kicked five penalties.

Six Nations strugglers Italy, without a win in the tournament this season, led 15-13 entering the closing stages before Shanklin's vital score.

Wales, though, will need to record an emphatic victory over Grand Slam-chasing Ireland in Cardiff next Saturday - possibly by 20 points - to retain Six Nations silverware.

Italy, who went toe to toe courtesy of a wonderfully-committed effort by their pack, arguably deserved at least a share of the spoils.

Wales, captained for the first time by lock Alun-Wyn Jones, had expected a fierce onslaught during the opening 20 minutes, and while that duly materialised, Italy then refused to follow the script by wilting.

Williams' try saw him equal Gareth Thomas' Welsh record of eight against Italy, while he is now only one behind Gareth Edwards' Welsh-best of 18 in Five or Six Nations rugby.

But Welsh highlights proved few and far between during a performance that was comfortably their worst in the Six Nations since Warren Gatland took charge 15 months ago.

Time: 04:17
Credit: press association



  • First comment!

    Sergio Parisse is a God!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 15, 2009 11:08 pm  

  • nice try by williams.. italy has been kicking very well

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 15, 2009 11:22 pm  

  • With 9 changes i cant say im suprised.

    At least most players have been rested for Ireland, they'll be able to give a lot more.

    13 point win to take the the tourament.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 15, 2009 11:28 pm  

  • Indeed, why so many changes? Must have been a bit of cockiness, probably figured he give the boys a rest. Almost cost them dearly

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 16, 2009 12:24 am  

  • Sergio Parisse isn't A god, he is GOD.
    And I don't see the point in winning by 13 points or more, if you beated a country who was first then you should be the first

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 16, 2009 12:52 am  

  • Wasn't really cockiness, Gatlands stated that he wants to develop the entire squad by giving fringe players gametime. The mistake was with making so many changes in key positions at the same time. He should never have replaced all of the forwards, bad move especially as forward play is Italys only real strength.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 16, 2009 3:40 am  

  • let the truth be told wales played shit last week and shit this week = big worry

    Big mistake to rest key players in a game you needed to get a big points difference from, now there is big pressure on wales to beat Ireland and beat Ireland well. Thats unneeded pressure that could cause them to force the match.

    Ireland have coughed up 2 tries the whole tournament and one was against England in the last second of a match that was already won.
    They have also given away under 30 penalties.

    With those stats in mind how the fuck are Wales gonna put 13 clear points past a well marshalled Irish defence.

    Championship is Irelands and possibly the grand slam as Wales have made a mess of it and their confidence will be at a low ebb too.
    Ireland are playing with their tales up and have no pressure on them.

    By Blogger Kenny, at March 16, 2009 10:43 am  

  • Wales in Cardiff, playing for what would be a glorious six nations pulled-out-of-bag championship ?

    They will fancy themselves big-time, and so will Gatland, and have a huge home advantage.

    If Ireland slow-start again it will be very difficult. If the Irish defence is as good as it has been, O'Gara kicks his goals and the Irish pack shade possession & win the collissions I fancy them. in other words lol if they play REALLY well.

    Key men aside from O'Gara - Ferris, O'Connell, Fitzgerald, Stringer (who should start).

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at March 16, 2009 12:22 pm  

  • I wouldn't go that far, sure we played badly, it was foolish to field a second string pack against an Italian side with perhaps the best set of forwards in the six nations.
    I still think Ireland will win the six nations but Wales will be a very different side at the millenium with their best side out.

    By Anonymous David, at March 16, 2009 12:24 pm  

  • PS - Parisse - wow

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at March 16, 2009 12:30 pm  

  • Wales did play terrible but i still doubt ireland will win in cardiff.
    Parisse is my player of the tournament, amazing talent

    By Anonymous Billybob, at March 16, 2009 3:28 pm  

  • As the english commentator stated in the previous match against Scotland, "Parisse is Italy".

    He really is an inspiration.

    By Anonymous samitarugby, at March 16, 2009 3:49 pm  

  • Rubbish game. Wales are playing shite.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2009 2:34 am  

  • Ive just seen the wal/ire teams to play eachother.
    Its gonna be one hell of a game

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2009 4:06 pm  

  • Based on form, it'll be a turgid kick-fest with no flair and loads of boring possesion rugby. It'll probably be decided by penalties.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 17, 2009 11:50 pm  

  • Besides all that´s been said. What the hell is wrong with Powell??

    Does he has glue on his hands or what?

    By Anonymous Rafael, at March 18, 2009 1:54 am  

  • Worst game of the tournament by far. Wales were absolutely shocking and deserved to lose, would have had no complaints if we had. I didnt even cheer when shanklin scored cos i was so pissed off with the performance and tactics. How are we going to score tries when we kick the bloody ball away all the time. If we'd have played any other six nations team we'd have got hammered. Ireland are favourites for the last game. Even if we win we wont win the championship, we've been too cocky and given ourselves too much work to do.
    Disgusting performance and all the best to ireland who are well over due a grand slam. Hope we win but no complaints if we dont.

    By Anonymous geraint, at March 18, 2009 4:17 pm  

  • What has happened to our (wales) kicking game?
    We seem to purposely kick it so other teams can run it back. If we do that against ireland bowe & co will tear us apart

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 18, 2009 8:04 pm  

  • How about Wales try holding onto the ball? Rather than just kicking it away cuz they won't back themselves to run with the ball?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 18, 2009 11:58 pm  

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