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Wales looses to Italy

Italy Triumphs in Cardiff, Marking Historic Six Nations Success and Handing Wales the Wooden Spoon

In a historic encounter in Cardiff, Italy secured its most triumphant Six Nations campaign to date, defeating Wales and consigning the host nation to its first Wooden Spoon in over two decades. The match began with Italy asserting dominance early on, thanks to Monty Ioane’s try and Paulo Garbisi’s precise penalty kicks, establishing an 11-0 lead by halftime. The Italian momentum continued with Lorenzo Pani’s dazzling try, complemented by further penalties from Garbisi and Martin Page-Relo.

Wales attempted a comeback with tries from Elliot Dee, Will Rowlands, and Mason Grady, lending the final score a veneer of respectability. Despite the close three-point margin, Italy’s performance was a clear indication of their superiority, echoing their 2022 victory in Cardiff. The match also marked a poignant moment for Wales’ George North, who exited his final Test match to applause, ending an illustrious international career.

This victory for Italy is significant, marking their departure from the bottom of the Six Nations table for the first time since 2015, a testament to the transformative leadership of head coach Gonzalo Quesada. Under his guidance, Italy has shown remarkable progress, securing two victories and a draw, the best outcome since joining the Six Nations in 2000.

Wales, on the other hand, faces a period of introspection. This defeat is a continuation of a troubling trend that harks back to the difficult periods of the late 1980s and early 1990s. With 12 losses in their last 13 Six Nations games and a descent to 10th in the world rankings, Welsh rugby is at a crossroads. The new WRU chief executive, Abi Tierney, has promised strategic changes, acknowledging the urgent need for revitalization.

For Italy, this campaign marks a milestone, achieving unprecedented success in the tournament and showcasing their growth on the international stage. Wales, contrastingly, is left to contemplate its future, reflecting on a strategy to reclaim its past glories amid calls for a comprehensive overhaul of the national team’s structure and approach. The outcome of this match not only highlights Italy’s ascending trajectory in rugby but also signals a critical juncture for Welsh rugby, prompting a reflection on leadership and development pathways to restore its competitive edge.



Winnett; Adams, North, Tompkins, Dyer; Costelow, Tomos Williams; G Thomas, Dee, Lewis, Jenkins (capt), Beard, Mann, Reffell, Wainwright.

Replacements: E Lloyd, Mathias, O’Connor, Rowlands, Martin, Hardy, I Lloyd, Grady.


Pani; Lynagh, Brex, Menoncello, Ioane; Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Nicotera, Ferrari, N Cannone, Ruzza, Negri, Lamaro (capt), L Cannone

Replacements: Lucchesi, Spagnolo, Zilocchi, Favretto, Vintcent, Zuliani, Page-Relo, Marin.


Wales (0) 21

Try: Dee (64′), Rowlands (79′), Grady (80’+2)
Conversion: Costelow (64′), I Lloyd (80′, 80’+2

Italy (11) 24

Try: Ioane (20′), Pani (46′)
Conversion: Garbisi (47′)
Penalty: Garbisi (6′, 14′, 71′), Page-Relo (73′)

Man of the match: Juan Ignacio Brex (Italy)

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

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