Rugby Union

Wales produce inspired second-half performance to thrash Italy

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Wales produced arguably their greatest ever second-half of rugby as they romped to a 20-61 victory over Italy to set up a Six Nations championship win on points difference, with England and Ireland still to play. 

The match started out very tight, with neither side giving a quarter and the first half ending 13-14, with tries from Jamie Roberts for Wales and Giovanbattista Venditti for Italy and penalties from Leigh Halfpenny and Kelly Haimona.

Wales successes

The majority of Wales' points came in the second half as Liam Williams, George North (three), Rhys Webb, Sam Warburton and Scott Williams all got tries; the highlight of which was North's second half hat-trick.

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There was a worrying injury for Halfpenny in the first half, who appeared to be knocked out after getting a knee to the head. Halfpenny was taken off immediately and replaced by Dan Biggar.

The second half started with the scores more or less even at 13-14, and pretty soon after Wales were given a penalty which Rhys Webb tapped quickly and released Liam Williams, who ran straight through the Italy defence to touch down under the posts. Just three minutes later North cantered clear to score.

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Andrea Masi, Italy centre, saw a yellow card after 50 minutes, opening the game up for Wales and immediately North took advantage, scoring for the second time.

North completed a second half hattrick on 60 minutes when he danced with power and pace between the Italy backline. Biggar converted to make it 13-42. At this point, Wales went top of the table on points difference. George Biagi of Italy was sent into the sin bin to join Masi, and give Wales a two man advantage.

For the win

Alun Wyn-Jones' try was disallowed as the video replay couldn't show conclusively that the ball had been touched down. From the resulting line-out Webb went over for the try and make the score 13-47, although Biggar couldn't complete the conversion.

Following a fantastic catch by Liam Williams, run by Rhys Webb and pass by Justin Tipuric, Wales poured forward on the counter-attack and Captain Sam Warburton charged through to romp over Italy's touch line. Scott Williams then completed a majestic Wales attack and with Biggar's conversion, took the game to 13-61 and pile the pressure on England and Ireland.

Italy pulled seven points back in the dying embers of the match when Leonardo Sarto broke away to touch down and Con Orguera converting. This result leaves Ireland and England a lot to do, with each side needing to win by 20 and 16 points respectively in their upcoming games.

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Rugby Union
Six Nations
Wales Rugby
Italy Rugby

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