Tag Archives: Wales

Men’s Rugby Union: Wales move into second with win over Italy

Published 12 March 2018

by David Nicholson

WALES eased into second place in the Six Nations championship after defeating Italy at the Millennium Stadium yesterday and gained the all-important bonus point.

But this was a disjointed match that a new-look Wales had threatened to race away with after they eased into a 14-point lead within 10 minutes.

Despite the early Welsh lead, a dogged Italy refused to buckle and scored a try of their own to keep the match balanced for a while.

In an ill-disciplined display Wales were reduced to just 13 men at one stage as full-back Liam Williams was joined in the sin-bin by scrum-half Gareth Evans.

Italy played against 14 men for 20 minutes and failed to score in that time.

This was also Italy’s 16th-straight Six Nations loss and will reignite the questions about them being replaced by Georgia.

Coach Conor O’Shea was passionate in defence of his side’s place at the top table of Northern Hemisphere rugby but could only point to the victory by his under-21 side last Friday.

Italian coach and captain at the post-match press conference
Italy coach Coner O’Shea (left) alongside captain Sergio Parisse

“We have the future of Italian rugby in our hands and we are doing the right things. Watch where we are in five to six years to see our progress,” O’Shea said.

Centre, and man-of-the-match, Hadleigh Parkes opened the scoring for Wales with a nicely taken try after his side spurned the penalty, opting to kick for an attacking line-out.

George North scored his side’s second try within minutes of the restart after Owen Walkin burst through from his own half and passed for an easy score for the big winger.

The helter-skelter rugby continued as Italy also kicked their penalties to touch. After some rumbling forward play the Azzurri took the ball through the bands for full-back Matteo Minozzi to score in the corner.

Both sides showed their attacking intent by spurning kickable penalties, instead opting to kick to touch for attacking line-outs.

At times it gave the proceedings an end of term air as both sides played BaaBaa-style rugby.

But the Italian forwards showed their streetwise credentials in the first 40 minutes as they won the battle of the breakdown.

It was also a shame to see Gareth Anscombe carrying on the recent Welsh fly-half tradition of moaning to the ref about decisions.

On the stroke of half-time referee Jerome Garces took a tough decision as Liam Williams tackled his opposite number in touch, but used his shoulder in an ugly tackle.

Garces reached for his yellow card to jeers from the crowd after TMO Marius Jonker watched the slow-motion footage.

But within minutes of the second-half 14-man Wales won the scrum near the Italian line and Corrie Hill burst over for his first try for Wales.

But to coach Warren Gatland’s annoyance Welsh discipline frayed further as scrum-half Gareth Davies joined Williams in the sin-bin for a deliberate knock on.

Gatland replaced his errant full-back after the 10-minute sin-binning ended and sent on Leigh Halfpenny, with Steff Evans moving from the wing to scrum-half.

As Davies’s sin-bin ended Gatland replaced him with Aled Davies and also put on replacement fly-half Rhys Patchell.

George North went over from short-range to add his second try of the match and gained that crucial bonus point to take Wales second in the Six Nations championship.

With 10 minutes remaining, Justin Tipuric went over in the corner to stretch Wales’s lead even further.

Gatland praised Tipuric after the game saying this was his best display for Wales.
An impassive Toby Felatau (right) listens to his coach Warren Gatland talk about the Italy game.
Wales coach Warren Gatland (left) alongside new captain Toby Felatau
“Tipuric was outstanding in his play today and that was his best game for Wales.
“This was the first time that some of these players had played together and I was pleased with the performance.
“Sometimes we looked outstanding and at other times we showed that lack of game time together,” Gatland said.
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Men’s rugby union: Six Nations at boiling point as Irish eye grand slam

DAVID NICHOLSON asks if Ireland have what it takes to go all the way or will Scotland find their home form in Dublin

Continue reading Men’s rugby union: Six Nations at boiling point as Irish eye grand slam

England weather the storm for titanic win

England 12-6 Wales: David Nicholson reports from Twickenham

Published 12 February 2018

ENGLAND clung on for victory against Wales on Saturday to rack up a record-breaking 15th consecutive Six Nations home win.

Continue reading England weather the storm for titanic win

Welsh National Opera’s production of Verdi classic destined for success

La Forza del Destino published 10 February 2018


by DAVID NICHOLSON at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff

WELSH National Opera’s spring season kicked off with a fine rendition of Verdi’s La forza del destino, despite some on-stage shenanigans raising inappropriate laughs from the first night audience.

Continue reading Welsh National Opera’s production of Verdi classic destined for success

SCOTS SMASHED ON VISIT TO CARDIFF BY SMARTER, STRONGER WELSH SIDE

Wales 34 Scotland 7

Published 5 February 2018

By David Nicholson at the Millennium Stadium

WALES out-thought, outfought and ultimately outplayed Scotland on Saturday as they started their Six Nations campaign with a comprehensive victory.

Continue reading SCOTS SMASHED ON VISIT TO CARDIFF BY SMARTER, STRONGER WELSH SIDE

LET THE GAMES COMMENCE

The battle lines have been drawn. The nations are ready

DAVID NICHOLSON looks at the chances of each nation as the tournament kicks off today Published 2 February 2018

THE waiting is almost over, the fireworks are primed to burst over the grounds, bets have been laid and boasts given for which team is going to be the 2018 Six Nations champions. Continue reading LET THE GAMES COMMENCE

Wales edge win in battle of the reserves

Wales 24-22 South Africa

Poor play marks final autumn international with teams ravaged by injuries

Published 4 December 2017

By David Nicholson at the Millennium Stadium

WALES ended the autumn internationals with a narrow win on Saturday against a poor Springbok side, who pushed the home team all the way. Continue reading Wales edge win in battle of the reserves

Wales lose to All Blacks for 30th time in a row

Published Monday 27 November 2017

Hosts just not clinical enough to hold back world champion’s onslaught

Wales 18-33 New Zealand

by David Nicholson at the Millennium Stadium

THE 64 years of hurt against the All Blacks continues as the World Champions racked up their 30th straight win against Wales on Saturday. Continue reading Wales lose to All Blacks for 30th time in a row

Rugby Union: Australia Silence Wales At Home

Published Monday 13 November 2017

Wales 21-29 Australia

by DAVID NICHOLSON at the Millennium Stadium

THE Wales hoodoo against Australia stretched to 13 games on the bounce after the Wallabies snaffled four tries to silence the home fans on a damp Saturday evening in Cardiff. Continue reading Rugby Union: Australia Silence Wales At Home