Six Nations 2005
Wales run riot in Rome
February 12, 2005
Shane Williams juggles the ball on his way to rounding off a flowing Welsh move
© Getty Images
A very impressive Wales kept their supporters' dreams of Six Nations glory alive after a six try victory over Italy.
It took the Welsh crowd 30 seconds to start singing Bread of Heaven and the Welsh team just four minutes to score their first try against Italy at Rome's Stadio Flaminio.
Some fancy footwork and darting side steps by Shane Williams inside his own 22 opened a gaping hole in the Italian defence.
It lauched the Welsh attack that put flanker Jonathan Thomas through for Wales' opening score, and Stephen Jones slotted the conversion.
Italy bounced back minutes later with a lucky interception from a chip by Gavin Henson. Flyhalf Luciano Orquera streaked up the wing unchallenged to touch down for Italy in the corner but unfortunately Roland de Marigny conversion attmept was wide.
An unlucky 22nd minute for the Azzuri saw Wales score their second try with a floated ball over to the out stretched hands of Tom Shanklin.
In the build up to the try both Mauro Bergamasco and Andrea Masi were forced to leave the field through injury and while Masi was able to return, Bergamasco missed the rest of the game.
Towards the end of the first half Wales went through a dry spell and Italy turned on the pressure but could not capitalise. De Marigny failed to add points missing a couple of penalties.
On the stroke of half time Wales stretched their lead to 5-19 with Martyn Williams touching down at the base of the post. The Italian crowd protested as TMO Eric Darriere confirmed the try and Stephen Jones added to their woes with the conversion.
Italy kicked in hard at the beginning of the second half. De Marigny quickly put three points on the board for his team and the Azzuri turned the pressure on and kept a struggling Wales on the back foot.
In their best attacking move prop Martin Castrogiovanni knocked on just metres before the Welsh line. Just when Wales seemed to be on the ropes some magic by Shane Williams helped put them back in charge.
In the 52nd minute he left the Italians grasping at air as he created the platform that put Brent Cockbain through under the posts. Just moments later Williams himself danced over the line for try number five.
There was just time enough before the final whistle for Roberto Sidoli to squeeze in another five points for his team. Fast hands and a slick off load from replacement Ceri Sweeney put the Italian blooded Welshman over for a final 8-38.
After the match coach John Kirwan expressed disappointment at his team's performance which he said was not comparable to the previous week's against Ireland. He made it clear that there were no excuses for Italy's mistakes.
Italy: 8 Try: Orquera Pen: de Marigny
Wales: 38 Try: J Thomas, Shanklin, M Williams, Cockbain, S Williams, Sidoli Con: S Jones (4)
Italy: R de Marigny (Parma); M Bergamasco (Stade Francais), G Canale (Treviso), A Masi (Viadana), L Nitoglia (Calvisano); L Orquera (Padova), A Troncon (Treviso); A Lo Cicero (L´Aquila), F Ongaro (Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Calvisano), S Dellape (Agen), M Bortolami (Narbonne, capt), A Persico (Agen), M Bergamasco (Stade Francais), S Parisse (Treviso).
Replacements: G Intoppa (Calvisano), S Perugini (Calvisano), CA del Fava (Parma), D dal Maso (Treviso), P Griffen (Calvisano), W Pozzebon (Treviso), KP Robertson.
Wales: G Thomas (Toulouse, capt); H Luscombe (Newport Gwent Dragons), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues), G Henson (Neath-Swansea Ospreys), S Williams (Neath-Swansea Ospreys); S Jones (Clermont Auvergne), D Peel (Llanelli Scarlets); G Jenkins(Cardiff Blues), M Davies (Gloucester), A Jones (Neath-Swansea Ospreys), B Cockbain (Neath-Swansea Ospreys), R Sidoli (Cardiff Blues), J Thomas (Ospreys), M Williams (Cardiff Blues), M Owen (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Replacements: R McBryde (Llanelli Scarlets), J Yapp (Cardiff Blues), I Gough(Newport Gwent Dragons), R Sowden-Taylor (Cardiff Blues), G Cooper(Newport Gwent Dragons), C Sweeney(Newport Gwent Dragons), K Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Venue: Stadio Flaminio RBS Man of the Match: Martyn Williams (Wales)