Italy vs Wales – Report – Six Nations Championship 2023 – 11 Mar, 2023 – ESPN

Scrumhalf Reece Webb delivered a superb individual performance in his first start in six years, inspiring Wales to a 29-17 bonus points victory over error-strewn Italy in Saturday’s Six Nations game in Rome.

The win eases pressure on manager Warren Gatland as Wales aim to avoid their first Six Nations wooden spoon in 20 years.

But for Italy, it is the 25th consecutive home loss in a competition that has come into play with high hopes of winning.

Webb set up runs for Rio Dier’s flank and No. 8 Taulupe Faletau, while there was also a single shot from defender Liam Williams and a penalty as Wales moved above Italy in the table.

The hosts tried to attack with the ball in their hands at every opportunity and from all positions on the field, but 10 errors in manipulation cost them points. Their two attempts were made by flanker Sebastian Negri and center Juan Ignacio Brex.

“I thought we deserved to win today, and with the bonus point, that was great,” Gatland told S4C. “There is still significant growth in this team in terms of moving forward.

“Today, many players learned a lot about themselves and it was a good Italian team.”

Gatland praised Webb, saying that he: “played exceptionally well. He made excellent decisions, he didn’t force anything and kept us in the forefront.”

Wales converted their goalscoring attempts well that Gatland constantly criticized the team for not making it in the Six Nations and they won the battle against set pieces, leading 22-3 at half-time.

Italy, unhelped by two yellow cards, did find holes in the Wales line, but struggling to keep them out was generally effective – although 14 penalties conceded, one more than Italy, remains a problem.

Kieran Crowley’s home team set their sights on this game for a rare win and although they showed the same entrepreneurial spirit that earned them plaudits in this Six Nations, the execution was poor as Wales forced them to make mistakes.

Webb had excellent control of the game and his shot behind the Italian defense allowed Dier to score on the first try, although the flank was helped by a vicious rebound that brought down the Italian defenders.

The scrum half was also Faletau’s supplier when he broke through a gap in the ruck and forced the striker to score.

Williams made a great solo shot, broke through to the right touchline and hit five harmless tackles to score a goal.

Wales then gave up a mere three to take a corner instead, and their ambition was rewarded with a penalty as their hammer was illegally stopped by Italian Lorenzo Cannone who was sent to the sin basket.

Italy scored their first try as a fish kick from Tommaso Allan behind the Welsh defense was perfect for Negri to run into before Brex dived in from close range.


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