Six Nations: Wales finish with nine-try flourish against Italy
Last Updated: 19/03/16 10:25pm
Wales ended their 2016 Six Nations campaign with a 67-14 win over Italy at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.
Warren Gatland's men put last week's loss to England aside as they scored nine tries to secure second place in the championship.
All the talk before the game suggested Wales would stick to the basics to ensure victory, but first-half tries from Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar and Jonathan Davies set up a 27-0 scoreline at the break, before Wales stretched the Italian defence to pile five more on in the second half.
Italy were blown away from the outset, with tries from Guglielmo Palazzani and Gonzalo Garcia the only resistance to an otherwise dominant performance from the home side.
Webb's opening score came off the back of a driving maul, with the scrum-half sniping over from close range to give Dan Biggar an easy conversion for a seven-point lead. Biggar then added a pair of penalties before scoring Wales' second try. After breaking through the midfield, the fly-half fed Jamie Roberts and ran a good support line to take the final pass and dot down.
The final say in the first half came from a sweeping run up the right, with Davies stepping inside the last two defenders and running clear for another easy conversion for Biggar, to take a 27-point lead into half-time.
The home side stepped things up in the second period, with Roberts crossing before North carved through the defence on first-phase ball off a lineout. Roberts had fixed the Italian defence and North ghosted through the middle, swerving left and then right before diving over for a 37-0 lead after 50 minutes.
Italy were next to score, with a driving lineout sending Palazzani crashing over and Kelly Haimona offering the conversion.
At the end of the third quarter Liam Williams got in on the act after finishing off a try that was set up by a storming North run, but Italy once again hit back, this time Tommy Allan unlocking the Wales defence with a clever offload for Garcia to cross the whitewash.
It was to be Italy's final say in the encounter however, as the impressive Ross Moriarty - on the field following an injury to Justin Tipuric - added two tries before Bradley Davies rounded things off with no time left in the game to cross for the ninth try and bring down the curtain on a convincing win for Wales.