A weekend against Italian opposition proved a highly successful one for Wales’ international teams. With all three under differing pressures, it was vital for all of their 6 Nations campaigns that they secured victories.
Still running on confidence after their hard earned away victory versus France, Wales’ senior side were looking to make it two out of two on the road against Italy. With wet weather to compete against, it was clear this was an afternoon for the forwards, and Wales’ long time serving props in Jenkins and Jones really stepped up to the plate.
Another massive defensive effort, as well as some clinical finishing, saw Wales pull away in the second half to be comfortable winners. The lack of ability to score more when it was clear they were in the ascendency is still a concern, but as with the Wales of last year when their defence is working so well, teams find it hugely hard to break them down.
Next up is yet another match on the road, against a Scotland jubilant after a hugely hard fought win beating all the odds against Ireland. Can Wales make it five away wins on the bounce in the 6 Nations? It will need yet another mighty effort to do so.
Result: Italy 9 – 26 Wales
It was by the narrowest of margins that saw Wales’ women secure an absolutely crucial first win in this year’s tournament. Rugby World Cup qualification issues have been the main worry for this young side, but now with a first win on the score sheet, they need to just win one of their next two games either against Scotland or England.
Despite England having a depleted side in this year’s 6 Nations, it is Scotland that is the more likely option for Wales to get the most important of wins. It will be no easy task however, and the victory they managed to squeeze out of Italy should give them the desire to really drive on now against Scotland.
It’s been a tough tournament for Wales’ women so far with a lack of experience and injuries playing their part. Yet the team spirit and effort shown to get their first win shows a great character throughout the squad, and it will be a reward for all their hard work if they can get the win to give them the qualification for the rugby world cup that they so badly want.
Result: Italy 15 – 16 Wales
Wales after their good victory in horrendous conditions away against Italy leaves them the only team in the tournament still unbeaten.
Before kick-off and at half time there had been real concerns that the match would have to be abandoned due to the atrocious weather yet luckily for Wales they could see the game through. In what would be better described as a mud bath the Welsh youngsters forwards helped their team get the upper hand. It was impossible conditions for any semblance of back play, yet the half back pairing conducted the game to perfection getting a far easier ride than their counterparts having the benefit of playing behind such a dominant forwards unit.
It was a confidence boost for a pack that has wobbled at time and will give them encouragement in their away trip to Scotland in their next fixture. The words Grand Slam have been bandied about in the Welsh press, yet it was refreshing to see the captain put a stop to any such talk. This is a young squad focusing on a game at a time, and the talent on the pitch has so far only been mirrored by their exemplary professionalism off it.
Result: Italy U20’s 10 – 25 Wales U20’s