Six Nations 2016: Wales 67-14 Italy
Last updated on .From the section Rugby Union
|Wales (27) 67|
|Tries: Webb, Biggar, J Davies, Roberts, North, L Williams, Moriarty 2, G Davies Cons: Biggar 5, Priestland 3 Pens: Biggar 2|
|Italy (0) 14|
|Tries: Palazzani, Garcia Cons: Haimona 2|
Wales sealed second place behind England in the Six Nations thanks to a record-breaking win over Italy.
Warren Gatland's team scored nine tries on their way to their biggest points total in a championship game in Cardiff.
Scrum-half Rhys Webb started the rout with the opening try within five minutes, and wing George North scored his fourth try in successive games.
Dan Biggar also scored a try in a personal tally of 20 points.
Replacement Ross Moriarty crossed twice as Wales won by a record margin of 53 points against the Italians - beating the 41-point mark set last year in Rome.
Italy were completely outclassed, but crossed twice in the second half through scrum-half Guiglielmo Palazzini and centre Gonzalo Garcia.
But for lacklustre first-half displays in the 16-16 draw with Ireland and the 25-21 loss to England, Wales could have been championship contenders.
As it is, they will watch England - already crowned champions - go for a Grand Slam in Paris.
Playing fast and loose
Head coach Warren Gatland had talked about taking Italy seriously ahead of this match, but the visitors - still smarting from a hammering in Dublin a week earlier - were under under the cosh from the first minute.
First-half tries came for Webb on his return to the starting line-up, Biggar and an absolute cracker from Jonathan Davies after a move starting under their own posts.
But overlaps went begging, three times the ball was passed into touch so even trailing 27-0 at the interval Italy had been let off the hook.
More of the same
The mistakes were fewer after the break as Jamie Roberts and North scored in quick succession.
Italy were stubborn but had little possession and asked few questions apart from the tries, which were isolated sorties in the face of a red tide.
Moriarty followed in the footsteps of his father Paul and uncle Richard by scoring for Wales after coming on for the concussed Justin Tipuric.
And Gareth Davies rounded things off with his seventh international touchdown with the clock well into the red and Italy trying to claim a third try.
Davies' try was the 29th conceded by Italy in this year's tournament.
But Wales' lap of honour was not what it might have been if they had played better in the first hour against England.
Man of the Match
George North made a mess of Italy's defence from the opening five minutes, scored a cracker and had a hand in Davies' try. The big Northampton wing has his mojo back, carrying the ball for 143 metres and taking his try tally for this year's tournament to four.
What the coaches thought
Wales head coach Warren Gatland: "We know sometimes we've been slow starters in campaigns but we've just got to keep working hard on that and today was a good response by the players.
"We conceded a couple of tries which was disappointing, but I thought we scored some outstanding tries and put the ball through the hands and some players put up some pretty big performances."
For Wales it is England at Twickenham on 29 May followed by three Test matches in New Zealand the following month. Opposition who will ask more questions than Italy.
Wales: Williams; North, J Davies, Roberts, Amos (Anscombe 48); Biggar (Priestland 58), Webb (G Davies 62); Faletau, Tipuric (Moriarty 16), Lydiate (captain); Charteris, B Davies (Ball 58); Lee (Jarvis 58), Baldwin (Owens 49), Evans (Jenkins 49)
Italy: Odiete; Sarto, Pratichetti (Haimona 36), Garcia, Bellini (McClean 33); Allan, Palazzani (Lucchese 64); Parisse (captain), Zanni, Minto (Steyn 58); Bernabo (Sarto 46), Geldenhuys; Castrogiovanni (Chistolini 46), Giazzon,( Fabiani 49), Lovotti (Zanusso 64)
Sin Bin: Palazanni (18)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England) & Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)