Six Nations 2021: Italy 7-48 Wales

Oleh Nicholas McGee 14 Mac 2021 13
Six Nations 2021: Italy 7-48 Wales

Wales are a win away from clinching a Six Nations Grand Slam after easing to a 48-7 victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico. 

In control from the opening minutes, Saturday's clash was over as a contest inside a quarter of an hour. The scoring deluge continued throughout, Wales running riot as they crossed for seven tries in an emphatic bonus-point triumph. 

It means they are 10 points clear of France, who face England later on Saturday and have a postponed game with Scotland in hand, with the two unbeaten sides set to meet at the Stade de France next week.  

Dan Biggar booted Wales into a third-minute lead following an Italy infringement at the breakdown. 

Luca Bigi was then sin-binned for offside and Wales took immediate advantage from the scrum, Biggar's long pass finding Josh Adams, who surged over in the left-hand corner. 

Biggar converted from the sideline but was errant from the tee after Taulupe Faletau strolled over on the opposite wing with the Italy defence stretched, making it 15-0. 

Ken Owens drove over from a rolling maul, Biggar rediscovering his form with the boot in converting, and the hooker crossed again from close range for his second, in the process clinching the try-scoring bonus after 30 minutes.

Louis Rees-Zammit saw a try chalked off for a forward pass, but there was no denying George North as he sprinted in under the sticks after a neat offload from Jonathan Davies. 

Monty Ioane provided something for Italy to cheer, collecting his own chip down the left wing and dotting down for a try that Paolo Garbisi converted. 

Adams missed out on a double as he failed to ground the ball properly but, after Marco Riccioni was yellow carded for foul play, Callum Sheedy crossed for his first Wales try. 

Rees-Zammit's interception try added further gloss to the final scoreline, and Wales will hope to display the same kind of ruthlessness in their decisive encounter in Saint-Denis.

Sweet 16 for Wales

Wales' victory was their 16th successive win against Italy, which marks their longest such run against any opponent in Test rugby, surpassing a 15-match streak against France from 1908 to 1927.

Franco forlorn as Italy streak continues

Shots of Italy coach Franco Smith with his head in his hands were frequent as Wales scored at will in the first half. The Azzurri's winless run in the competition now stands at 31 games, the longest in the history of the Five or Six Nations. They have not won a home match in the competition since beating Ireland in 2013.

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Nicholas McGee

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