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Wales 21-22 Italy: Edoardo Padovani scores last-gasp try for first Azzurri Six Nations win since 2015

Italy score points through three Paolo Garbisi penalties, two Edoardo Padovani penalties and a Padovani try, made by electric 22-year-old full-back Ange Capuozzo; Wales score tries through Owen Watkin, Dewi Lake and Josh Adams, while Dan Biggar converts all three

Italy's Edoardo Padovani dives in to score in the last minute
Image: Italy's Edoardo Padovani dives in to score in the last minute

A magnificent final-minute Edoardo Padovani try after a sensational Ange Capuozzo break saw Italy stun Wales to claim a deserved 22-21 Six Nations victory in Cardiff - their first in the championship since 2015.

A Josh Adams try with just 11 minutes remaining seemed likely to save Wales from defeat in the 2022 Six Nations' final round, but the Azzurri never gave up before clinching a highly-emotional win.

Wales scored tries through centre Owen Watkin, hooker Dewi Lake and wing Adams, with fly-half Dan Biggar adding all three conversions for the hosts, who were outplayed for large spells.

Wales 21-22 Italy - Score summary

Wales - Tries: Watkin (28), Lake (52), Adams (69). Cons: Biggar (29, 52, 70).

Italy - Tries: Padovani (79). Cons: Garbisi (80). Pens: Garbisi (12, 32, 58), Padovani (15, 34).

Italy forced themselves into a 12-7 half-time lead via the boots of Paolo Garbisi and Padovani, passing up a number of try chances to increase their advantage before Wales turned it around.

The Azzurri got back into the slenderest of leads at 15-14, and held that until 11 minutes to go when Adams notched what seemed the critical score in the Test, before Padovani and Capuozzo's heroics.

Italy's Paolo Garbisi celebrates after kicking the winning conversion against Wales
Image: Italy's Paolo Garbisi celebrates after kicking the winning conversion against Wales

Did you know?

  • Italy's last Six Nations Test victory came against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 28, 2015
  • Victory over in Wales in 2022 ends run of 36 straight championship defeats.
  • Coincidentally the Azzurri also scored 22 points in victory seven years ago.
  • The last time Italy beat Wales in a Test came in March 2007 in Rome.
  • The Azzurri have now beaten Wales three times in history (2003, 2007, 2022).

Team News

For Wales, the headline team news was the return of skipper Alun Wyn Jones to the second row, following his second serious shoulder injury in a matter of months. Hooker Dewi Lake made his first start, Louis Rees-Zammit and Johnny McNicholl returned. Dan Biggar earned his 100th cap.

For the Azzurri, Ange Capuozzo's two tries vs Scotland last week saw him rewarded with his first start. Edoardo Padovani moved out to the wing to accommodate Capuozzo. Marco Fuser come into the second row, replacing Niccolo Cannone.

After a competitive start to proceedings, Italy grabbed the opening points on 13 minutes as Garbisi struck through the uprights after Wales had been penalised for taking a man out off the ball in defence.

That lead was doubled within three minutes as wing Padovani - shifting from full-back for this Test to accommodate for 22-year-old Capuozzo - hammered the ball over from 48 metres out after loosehead Danilo Fischetti did superbly to force a breakdown penalty.

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Wales looked to respond almost immediately as they forced three penalties on the trot out of referee Andrew Brace - born in Cardiff but able to ref this clash due to him officiating for the Irish union - kicking to the corner on each occasion, before returning wing Louis Rees-Zammit knocked on out wide with a try-chance begging.

Edoardo Padovani
Image: Padovani kicked two long-range penalties as well as scoring the match-winning try

Rees-Zammit sped into the Italian 22 on a superb break soon after, but twice more the hosts turned the ball over when well-placed - Willis Halaholo knocking on in open play and then hooker Lake, making his first start, failing to touch the ball when taking a tap-penalty from five metres out.

Indeed, Wales were forced to wait until the 28th minute for their first points, but they came courtesy of a magnificent coast-to-coast try, with the point of attack shifted from one wing to the other and back again, before centre Watkin danced through to score.

Wales v Italy - Guinness Six Nations - Principality Stadium
Wales' Owen Watkin breaks through to score his sides first try during the Guinness Six Nations match at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Picture date: Saturday March 19, 2022.
Image: Owen Watkin breaks through to score a first-half try
Image: Watkin is congratulated after his first-half try for Wales

Italy regained the lead past the half-hour when Garbisi struck his second penalty over on an angle, after Wales wing Adams had clearly played the ball off-feet.

The visitors continued to excel at the breakdown - hooker Giacomo Nicotera the next to force a penalty - and Padovani registered more points with a booming strike from out-wide for 12-7.

A searing break from Italy wing Monty Ioane saw them come extremely close to a try in the corner as the first half drew to a close, before a TMO review saw a potential Callum Braley try ruled out in dead-time.

Wales' Owen Watkin touches the ball down against Italy
Image: Wales' Watkin touches the ball down ahead of Italy's Callum Braley to stop a try

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Wales' Dewi Lake says the team must reflect on their performance in the defeat to Italy and 'go again'.

There remained time for one further Italy attack - as they were playing on penalty advantage before the TMO review - but Wales managed to stop an Italian rolling maul before it rumbled over, seemingly by illegal means based upon replays.

Ioane had a glorious chance to extend the Italy lead early in the second half, when chipping and chasing to sprint down the left, but an outstanding Adams cover tackle saved a try.

Wales then made Italy pay as Lake broke away from the back of a rolling maul to level the Test, before Biggar inched Wales into the lead off the post via the conversion.

An extraordinary break from Ioane from his own in-goal got Italy back onto the front-foot, forcing Wales to seal off at a ruck and Garbisi to tap over to regain the lead.

Inside the final quarter, Padovani shanked a penalty effort from distance for the visitors, before Adams took his chance, drifting in-field before jinking and sprinting to the line past despairing Italian defenders.

Image: Josh Adams' crucial late try look to have given Wales the victory

Wales saw a potential Wyn Jones try not given after 11 phases thereafter, but when second row Will Rowlands stole an Italy attacking lineout near the Wales 22 in the closing stages the result looked done.

That was until Capuozzo - who scored two tries on debut vs Scotland last week - went on a dazzling run before passing inside for Padovani to run in and score near the posts, making the conversion the simplest of tasks for Garbisi to win the game.

Stats of the match

2022 Six Nations standings

Team W D L SD BP P
France 5 0 0 68 2 25
Ireland 4 0 1 105 4 21
England 2 0 3 17 2 10
Scotland 2 0 3 -29 2 10
Wales 1 0 4 -28 2 6
Italy 1 0 4 -121 0 4

What's next?

After a highly disappointing Six Nations campaign, Wales will next gather ahead of July's three-Test series vs South Africa, live on Sky Sports this summer.

Wales' 2022 Six Nations

Saturday, February 5 29-7 loss vs Ireland (A) 2.15pm
Saturday, February 12 20-17 win vs Scotland (H) 2.15pm
Saturday, February 26 23-19 loss vs England (A) 4.45pm
Friday, March 11 13-9 loss vs France (H) 8pm
Saturday, March 19 22-21 loss vs Italy (H) 2.15pm

Italy are next in action against European duo Georgia and Romania in July's summer Tests, where they will look to build some confidence with more much-needed victories away from home.

Italy's 2022 Six Nations

Sunday, February 6 37-10 loss vs France (A) 3pm
Sunday, February 13 33-0 loss vs England (H) 3pm
Sunday, February 27 57-6 loss vs Ireland (A) 3pm
Saturday, March 12 33-22 loss vs Scotland (H) 2.15pm
Saturday, March 19 22-21 win vs Wales (A) 2.15pm

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