Re-live the live action from Saturday’s second Six Nations as Wales equalled their longest winning Test run with a 26-15 victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Warren Gatland’s men have now won 11 games in a row thanks to second-half tries from Josh Adams and Owen Watkin, with four Dan Biggar penalties helping to establish an early lead that Italy would never recover from.
It home side did manage to get back into the game with a Braam Steyn try before the break, but despite another late flourish as Edoardo Padovani scored his second in as many weeks, Italy were not able to match Wales. Re-live the live action below.
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Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the Six Nations, with today’s second fixture coming to you from Rome as Italy look to end their losing run against championship second-favourites Wales.
Last weekend saw mixed fortunes for these two sides, as despite late rally, Italy were comprehensively beaten by Scotland 33-20 at Murrayfield to leave them bottom of the table. Wales on the other hand managed to fight back from a 16-0 deficit to beat France 24-19 in a thrilling opener that leaves them finely balanced to challenge England and Scotland at the top of the table.
Kick-off is scheduled for 4:45pm, and our in-depth coverage will begin at 4pm as we look ahead towards the clash at the picturesque Stadio Olimpico.
1 mins: A brilliant start for Wales. Young gets straight into Parisse and allows Dee to get over the ball, winning the penalty right in front of the posts. Biggar wastes no time at all, and with 1:02 on the clock Wales lead! 0-3
5 mins: That’s more like it from Italy. Defiant defence forces a knock-on from Wales wing Adams and they break through Campagnaro on the left. He chips forwards and despite Williams taking is cleanly, he’s turned over and Italy counter. The break through Esposito after Holmes rushes up, but the Welsh defence gets back into shape and holds the ball up to get the scrum put-in.
10 mins: It’s been an ill-disciplined start from Italy as Parisse gives away a free-kick for crossing the lineout, and the Welsh fans burst into song as the scrum is formed. Italy need something early to spark the crowd into life, as it’s currently very flat inside the Stadio Olimpico.
14 mins: Another scrum, another penalty in Wales’ favour and again they’ve infringed in front of their posts, giving Biggar another simple shot at goal, albeit from a little further out. Through it goes and Biggar doubles the lead. 0-6
18 mins: Wainwright reads Palazzani’s pass from the lineout perfectly to intercept, and two phases later Wales win yet another penalty as Italy are caught killing the ball in the rick. Biggar will go for goal, but this is far more difficult as he’s all of 40m out.
21 mins: Wales are pinged this time in the breakdown as Smith is off his feet when he gets onto the ball, and Allan finds touch on the Wales 22 that gives Italy their best attacking platform yet. It sparks the crowd into life with a rendition of Il Canto degli Italiani to try and spur them into life, but Wales silence it as Beard rips the ball from the rolling maul and Williams clears.
24 mins: Wales look to be getting their tails up as Biggar tries a cross-field kick to Adams inside their own 22. However, Padovani flies through the air superbly to take the catch and whacks into the Worcester wing as a result. It gives Italy possession in the enemy red zone, but Wales straight away hold the ball off the deck and win the scrum put-in. Italy just can’t get anything going yet.
29 mins: Biggar does superbly to claim a box-kick from Aled Davies and Wales scent blood. The fly-half offloads to Adams on his shoulder but the covering defence hauls him down. Wales spread right, but Davies’ miss-pass stops the move in its tracks as Holmes has to check his run. Wales go through the phases though and are quickly within a few metres of the line.
Liam Williams comes in to try snipe through but gets whacked by Ferrari, and Holmes has a second dart – this time on the left – that is stopped on the 5m line. Once again Italy infringe, and it gives Biggar the chance to kick his fourth penalty that he duly seizes. 0-12
32 mins: A howler of a slice from Josh Adams sees the ball shoot high into the air and land in the arms of Esposito, who immediately runs the ball back towards the 22. Italy get the penalty advantage for offside, and this gives them a chance to kick their first points of the game.
Oh no it doesn’t! Allan turns down the shot at goal and the ball is sent to the corner on the 5m line.
Replacements: Elias, W Jones, Lewis, A W Jones, Moriarty, G Davies, Anscombe, Amos
Wales 38 (Parkes, North x2, Hill, Tipuric) Italy 14 (Minozzi, Bellini), Six Nations, March 2018
Italy 7 (Gori) Wales 33 (J Davies, L Williams, North), Six Nations, February 2017
Wales 67 (Webb, Biggar, J Davies, Roberts, North, L Williams, Moriarty x2, G Davies) Italy 14 (Palazzani, Garcia), Six Nations, March 2016
Italy to win: 10/1
Wales to win: 1/16
Wales by 20 points: Despite heavily rotating his side, Warren Gatland can still expect his team to do a professional job on an Italy side that looks lost at sea at present. Even though Conor O’Shea’s men are on home turf, it will take a monumental upset for Italy to record their first win over Wales in a dozen years.