Six Nations

Rampant Wales hammer sorry Italy

Wales secured second place in the Six Nations as they romped to a nine-try 67-14 success over rock-bottom Italy at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Warren Gatland's side had their title hopes ended by last weekend's 25-21 defeat to England at Twickenham, but restored a measure of pride with their record victory in the competition.

Italy, meanwhile, finish bottom of the table without a point, ending their campaign with a second successive thrashing after a 58-15 reverse against Ireland in Dublin last week.

Scrum-half Rhys Webb made his first Wales start since fracturing his foot against Italy prior to the World Cup in September last year and marked the occasion with the opening try.

Dan Biggar and Jonathan Davies also went over in the first half as Wales took a 27-0 lead into the break, and they built on that in the second half through Jamie Roberts, George North, Liam Williams, Ross Moriarty and Gareth Davies.

Italy also conceded nine tries in their hammering at the hands of Ireland, and they were breached within five minutes in Cardiff as Webb dived over.

Two Biggar penalties extended the advantage, either side of Italy scrum-half Guglielmo Palazzani being sin-binned for preventing Webb from taking a quick tap penalty.

Immediately after Palazzini returned to the action, Biggar exchanged passes with Roberts and touched down under the posts for a simple score.

Wales had their third try soon afterwards, working the ball superbly through hands from deep inside their own 22, allowing Jonathan Davies to cruise over.

As in the first half, Wales were celebrating a try within five minutes of kick-off as Roberts went over in the right corner, before North's superb solo effort saw the wing claim his fourth try in successive matches.

Palazzani and Gonzalo Garcia gave Italy fans something to cheer either side of Williams' score, before Moriarty's brace and Gareth Davies completed a miserable day for the depleted and demoralised visitors.


Key Opta stats:

- George North has now scored in four consecutive Six Nations games for Wales, equaling Shane Williams’s record run from 2008 (for Wales).
- Wales’ tally of 113 points in their three home games this season is their best tally in a Six Nations campaign.
- Conversely Italy have conceded 224 points in this campaign, their second worst ever tally (228 in their inaugural campaign, 2000).
- Only once before has any side scored more points in a Five/Six Nations match (England 80-23 Italy – 2001), it is also the second biggest winning after that same game.