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.