Louis Rees-Zammit and Wales run riot in Italy to maintain grand slam in sights


This bonus-point win – Wales’s third of the 2021 Six Nations – has moved Wayne Pivac’s aspect to inside only one sport of a shock grand slam. Wales’s newest victory was by no means in any doubt given Italy’s terrible championship report and now solely France stand between the victors and a second clear sweep in three years.

Given they gained solely three video games in 2020, the Welsh turnaround has been as stunning because it has been exceptional. The final hurdle for them to beat will probably be in Paris on the ultimate weekend.

Even when they had been to lose on the Stade de France, Wales would nonetheless be in a very good place to win the title given their factors distinction. After all, their goal will probably be way more bold than that.

Sadly, it should be stated Franco Smith’s Italy plumbed new depths of paucity in opposition to Wales, who ran riot with the hooker Ken Owens scoring twice within the first half. Josh Adams and Taulupe Faletau additionally crossed. After the break George North, Callum Sheedy and Louis Rees-Zammit accomplished the rout as Italy misplaced two males to yellow playing cards.

Pivac warned France his staff are actually like “chalk and cheese” in comparison with the one France beat twice final yr. “We’re more than happy to be 4 from 4 and to have a chance for a grand slam, however we have to enhance for France. We’re going to be in for an enormous sport,” the Wales head coach stated.

“We all know the ache we went by way of within the autumn they usually definitely weren’t the outcomes we had been after, however this championship was at all times going to be a line within the sand for us.

“France are going to be a unique proposition. In our earlier two video games with them we’ve been on the mistaken finish of the consequence and we’re in for an enormous problem.”

In blissful Rome sunshine, Italy’s begin couldn’t have been worse. Luca Bigi instantly coughed up a penalty which Dan Biggar slotted.

The returning scrum-half Gareth Davies took a fast faucet and was tackled by Bigi who was not again 10 metres and noticed yellow. Davies promptly discovered Biggar whose inch-perfect lengthy move despatched Adams in on the nook. Rees-Zammit then despatched Faletau over following superb buildup work from Adams.

Frankly, it was males in opposition to boys. Smith had his head in his fingers with Wales scoring at some extent a minute. Wales’ depth was wonderful, however they weren’t being examined in any respect. Owens was pushed over for a uncommon attempt from a driving lineout which dismantled the Italian pack and Biggar transformed. Wales’s forwards had been having a area day and the bonus-point attempt arrived inside half an hour. Owens’ second did the harm from one other driving surge.

Wales’ fifth arrived a handful of minutes into the second interval. Biggar discovered Jonathan Davies and his neat quick move to midfield associate North allowed him to waltz to the road.

North was instantly eliminated after equalling Shane Williams’ Welsh championship attempt report of twenty-two and bought his ft up with France in thoughts. Out of nowhere Italy lastly bought on the scoreboard when Monty Ioane chipped over Rees-Zammit to attain. Adams additionally had a attempt dominated out for being in contact.

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The Italy substitute prop Marco Riccioni was proven yellow for main into Willis Halaholo excessive and along with his forearm. It might nicely have been a purple card. Sheedy’s first attempt for Wales on the hour mark set Wales as much as run riot within the ultimate quarter. Josh Navidi, the person of the match, produced some superb fingers to ship Sheedy over.

There was nonetheless time for Rees-Zammit to intercept Carlo Canna’s poor move and even from his 22, nobody was going to cease him going the size. It proved to be the ultimate rating, however Wales will now go to Paris in impolite well being and on the verge of glory.

Navidi stated: “We bought the job performed and we knew it was going to be an open sport. We actually loved it and we’ll stay up for subsequent week.”

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