Sunday, March 15, 2009

Test Rugby Result: Wales 20, Italy 15

Wales 20, Italy 15 in Rome (6 Nations)

I predicted Wales would run away with this game and win by 34 points but Italy put up a grand old fight whilst the Welsh side struggles to dominate.

It is very difficult to image that Italy could win this game. They, at best, could run the Welsh close. They actually defeated Wales 23-20 the last time these teams met in Rome, in 2007, and drew 18-18 in Cardiff the year before that. Two weeks ago Italy crashed to Scotland 6-26 and their hopes of improving their position among the 6 nations that take part faded. The coaches job is on the line and despite one of the most experienced packs in the competition, Italy just does not have the backs to defend or attack.

Wales is now in a strange position. With the Grand Slam dream torn apart by the French two weeks they are still in with a definite chance to take the Championship. The problem is can they pick up confidence after the defeat to France and can they take Italy seriously enough to win and win well.

Last Five Encounters
23.02.2008 Wales 47-8 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
10.03.2007 Italy 23-20 in Rome (6 Nations)
11.03.2006 Drawn 18-18 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
12.02.2005 Wales 38-8 in Rome (6 Nations)
27.03.2004 Wales 44-10 in Cardiff (6 Nations)

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-Wales 4th, Italy 10th
Europe Table-Wales 2nd, Italy 6th No Changes


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15 Andrea Marcato
14 Giulio Rubini
13 Gonzalo Canale
12 Mirco Bergamasco
11 Matteo Pratichetti
10 Luke McLean
9 Paul Griffen
8 Sergio Parisse (captain)
7 Mauro Bergamasco
6 Alessandro Zanni
5 Marco Bortolami
4 Santiago Dellape
3 Carlos Nieto
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini
1 Salvatore Perugini
16 Franco Sbaraglini
17 Martin Castrogiovanni
18 Carlo Antonio Del Fava
19 Joshua Sole
20 Pablo Canovosio
21 Luciano Orquera
22 Roberto Quartaroli
Head Coach: Nik Mallett


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15 Lee Byrne
14 Mark Jones
13 James Roberts
12 Gavin Henson
11 Shane Williams
10 James Hook
9 Michael Phillips
8 Andrew Powell
7 Dafydd Jones
6 Jonathan Thomas
5 Alun-Wyn Jones (captain)
4 Luke Charteris
3 Rhys Thomas
2 Huw Bennett
1 John Yapp
16 Matthew Rees
17 Gethin Jenkins
18 Bradley Davies
19 Ryan Jones
20 Warren Fury
21 Stephen Jones
22 Thomas Shanklin
Head Coach: Warren Gatland

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