Six Nations 2017: Italy U20s 5-27 Wales U20s
|Under-20 Six Nations: Italy v Wales|
|Italy U20 (5) 5|
|Wales U20 (5) 27|
|Tries: Carre, Conbeer, Williams Conv: Jones 3 Pens: Jones 2|
Wales opened the defence of their Under-20 Six Nations title with a hard-fought 27-5 win over Italy in mudbath conditions.
Prop Rhys Carre crashed over from a first-half maul, 17 year-old wing Ryan Conbeer added an acrobatic second and centre Kieran Williams crossed in the last move.
Ben Jones kicked 12 points in a mature fly-half display.
A spirited home side were limited to Giordano Baldano's opening score.
Part of the pitch down one touchline had been under water in the morning, and despite a huge improvement during the day, further rain made conditions treacherous.
It was no surprise in the circumstances that both first-half tries came from driving mauls, Baldini powering over from a 10-man Italian effort after 13 minutes while Carre crossed from a similar move seven minutes later.
Ben Jones's conversion and penalty gave Wales a precarious 10-5 lead at the interval as they defended well, but Italy had shown plenty of powerful runs from their forwards and some surprising enterprise from the backs given the heavy surface.
A string of infringements by the home side cost them a yellow card on 48 minutes, prop Daniele Rimpelli the unlucky man after a marginal scrum decision.
Jones knocked over a penalty to put Wales two scores clear at 13-5, then converted from a mud-heap on the touchline after wing Conbeer brilliantly squeezed in at the corner in a rare Welsh backline move, two days before his 18th birthday.
A feisty encounter saw Welsh lock Alex Dombrandt follow Rimpelli to the sin-bin, but a three-score lead was always going to see Wales home, if not dry.
Williams' 30-metre dash after an Italian defensive muddle in the last minute and a further Jones conversion rewarded Welsh persistence.
Wales captain Will Jones was named man-of-the-match after his side's eighth consecutive win in the Six Nations.
Italy Under-20: Massimo Cioffi; Andrea Bronzini, Ludovico Vaccari, Marco Zanon, Giovanni D'Onofrio; Antonia Rizzi, Charly Trussardi; Daniele Rimpelli, Massimo Ceciliani, Marco Riccioni (capt), Giordano Baldino, Edoardo Iachizzi, Jacopo Bianchi, Lorenzo Masselli, Giovanni Licata.
Replacements: Alberto Rollero, Danilo Fischetti, Giosue Zilocchi, Gabriele Venditti, Nardo Casolari, Emilio Fusco, Michelangelo Biondelli, Roberto Dal Zilio.
Wales Under-20: Will Talbot-Davies (Newport Gwent Dragons); Jared Rosser (Dragons), Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets), Kieran Williams (Ospreys), Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets); Ben Jones (Cardiff Blues), Dane Blacker (Blues); Rhys Carre (Blues), Ellis Shipp (Dragons), Keiron Assiratti (Blues), Alex Dombrandt (Blues), Max Williams (Dragons), Morgan Sieniawski (Blues), Will Jones (Ospreys, capt), Morgan Morris (Gloucester).
Replacements: Corrie Tarrant (Blues), Steff Thomas (Scarlets), Chris Coleman (Dragons), Jack Pope (Ospreys), Aled Ward (Blues), Declan Smith (Scarlets), Phil Jones (Ospreys), Cameron Lewis (Blues).
Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU)
Assistant referees: Joy Neville and Paul Haycock (IRFU)
TMO: Brian McNiece (IRFU)