By Ros Satar
Italy 9-26 Wales
Tries by Alex Cuthbert and Jonathan Davies sealed Wales’ second victory of the tournament in a rain-soaked Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Wales came into this round with a 16-2 record against the Azzuri, but the Italians were seeking their third consecutive home win.
Conditions were awful with bursts of teeming rain, which saw both sides have handling issues, and turned the first half into a game of kicks.
Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny scored 3 from 4 kicks from a variety of penalties in the first half with Italy’s Kristopher Burton hanging on for 2 kicks.
The Italian later missed a drop kick, and got himself clattered to the ground by Dan Biggar for his trouble.
Italy are known for their scrum set-pieces, but Wales certainly dominated in that respect which put the hosts under a lot of pressure in the first half.
I was more about staying in contention with Wales, and Italy may just have been the more relieved team at the break.
At the restart, Italy started very aggressively and confidently but a wayward chipped ball gave Wales’ Jonathan Davies his ninth international try, converted by Halfpenny.
An Italy conceded penalty, ably put away by Halfpenny, kept the visitors comfortably ahead.
As Italy’s captain, Martin Castrogiavanni, was sent off for 10 minutes, Wales took advantage, and a break from Alex Cuthbert saw Wales’ second try with a conversion from the reliable Halfpenny.
Italy never really looked like they would get back into the game as the final quarter played out with both sides seeming to accept that the game was done.
Wales go on to meet Scotland at Murrayfield on 9th March, while Italy play England at Twickenham the day after.