🏴 🇮🇹 #WALvITA Match Thread
New coaches on both sides, Faletau's back, Parisse's gone, and George North at centre. The post-Gatland era begins today as Johnny McNicholl gets his first #Welsh cap, and you can expect to see a Welsh team looking more to attack than the defesive posture that won them last year's Grand Slam as Pivac exerts his risk-taking offensive strategies. #Italy will be ready to pounce on those gaps, with plenty of speed and skill in the back. #rugby #Wales
Anthems are done, fire has flamed, goats have left the pitch and we are ready for kick-off! Come on Wales!
3m Hands on the floor from Italy gives Wales a penalty. Biggar lines up.
WAL 3-0 ITA Biggar slots an easy three and Tom Jones sings out "It's not unusual".
Wales under a bit of Italian pressure. A one-handed off-load by Canna to Bellini sends the winger storming down the left wing but Halfpenny brings him down.
McNicchol scoops up a box kick leading to a frantic attack f=down the left wing, Williams touches it down from a grubber but a knock-on brings us back for a blue scrum on the Italian 5.
Solid Italian scrum physically, technically not so much. Italy penalised at the breakdown gives Wales another per=nalty, but McNicholl takes a knock to the noggin and is being assessed.
WAL 6-0 ITA Biggar again, trickier angle than last time but three more on the board.
Nick Tomkins on for McNicholl.
Wow. Well we are definitely seeing an attacking Wales, eager to run at space given even a fraction of a chance. Halfpenny chips and chases but takes what looks like a reasonable knock but ref says it's intentional trip, penalty Wales. Biggar lines up for third time.
WAL 9-0 ITA And this is why some say we need penalty caps in the new rules. 15 minutes, three penalties, Wales with an easy lead.
WAL 14-0 ITA Textbook schoolboy play puts Josh Adams over the line in the left corner. Great use of width by Wales. Biggar finally misses one from far left.
Tomkins showing off some prize-winning jackalling, McNicchol passed his assessment though so they'll be swapping back shortly. Halfpenny with another great chase and reminds us why he's so great in the air contests.
Uncharacteristic early engagement from the Welsh pack, scrum is now blue.
The game has settled down a bit and Italy are now showing some solid almost Wales-like defense, but a little flat and a little slow. Channels are tightening up though as Italy adapts to this attacking Welsh play.
WAL 21-0 ITA Entertaining pass between the legs from Halfpenny to Adams gives Wales and Adams their second try. Biggar kicks from the same spot as last time, this time successfully.
Pivac should be happy with the attacking this half, but Ken Owens / Welsh scrum not so much. Italy clearly messing with everyone's heads in the pack down.
Gorgeous chargedown from Tomos Williams of all people, nearly a try but can't quite keep his hands on the regather. Italy's Sarto cleans up. So close.
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