Italy 15-20 Wales

Well, that was not the desired result. Yes, we won, but it would have been good to win by a much wider margin, and in a much more convincing manner.

As I recall, Wales got into a good try scoring position three times in the match. Two of those they converted, fairly easily. The third might have ended in a try with a less observant referee (not that there was any deliberate foul play, just a question as to whether a ball went forward out of a tackle). Italy, in contrast, spent much of the match camped in the Wales half, but never once looked like scoring a try.

So why didn’t we win by a bigger margin? I think mainly because we were not taking the game to the Italians. Way too much possession was wasted by aimless kicking and silly penalties. The Italians, in contrast, were much more disciplined than usual. They didn’t give away penalties, they didn’t drop many high balls, and they kicked well from hand. They also did well at the breakdown and in the scrums, and kicked what penalty opportunities came their way.

Meanwhile Ireland won in Edinburgh, and continue to look favorites. But they do have to go to Cardiff next weekend, so the championship could well come down to points difference. It will be good to beat them anyway, because there is the matter of the Triple Crown at stake (a trophy for beating all three other “home” British/Irish countries). But to win the championship we have to end up with a bigger overall points difference than the Irish. They are currently on +46, and we are on +21. Fortunately, because we are playing each other, each +1 for us is also a -1 for them, so we need to win in Cardiff by a clear 13 points. That’s doable, but difficult.

Don’t rule out the French either. If they win at Twickenham tomorrow they will be well placed to challenge for the championship. Their points difference is only +5, but they can add to that tomorrow and have a final game against Italy. It should be a very interesting last weekend.

7 thoughts on “Italy 15-20 Wales

  1. No – we have to beat wales to get the grand slam and the triple crown… we have to….

  2. i noticed that Jonathon Davies’ commentary conspicuously didn’t mention Hook’s yank on the collar of the defender, after giving Shanklin the try scoring pass.

    I wonder if he would have remained silent had it been an English hand doing the shirt pulling at the Millennium Stadium… 😉

    Good result for Wales in a tough game – i thought Hook and Henson looked good but rusty and took selfish options on a few too many occasions. Italy would be a serious problem for other teams if they a) found some backs that the forwards had confidence in and b) cloned Parisse.

    I wonder what will happen this afternoon, can england keep 15 men on the pitch for the entire game, will our wings see any ball, etc etc

    Though Dickinson loathes us, so I’ll have plenty to moan about 🙂

    which french team will show up?

  3. Will:

    I confess to having missed that, due to being way too busy celebrating the try. I’m now stuck in a house without TV for a week, so I can’t even check the iPlayer. That sounds like poor work by the officials, who I thought generally had a good game.

    The Italians are desperately in need of a decent back line. I was pleased to see that young lad who has come through their new academy system get some game time. In a few more years they may be able to hold their own.

    Looks like a lovely day for running rugby in London.

  4. “That sounds like poor work by the officials, who I thought generally had a good game.” not really : the sort of thing that gets called tactical astuteness if you play in black… 😉

    france really have got a mental block about playing in London – though England did make the most of the opportunity. i think next week’s game against scotland will be very good if both teams are playing attacking rugby.

  5. I saw a replay of the try in the run-up today’s game. You were right – obvious collar-pull. Very tactically astute.

Comments are closed.