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Six Nations: Italy 20-61 Wales

Wales put in a monumental second half performance in scoring eight tries in total to defeat Italy by 41 points in Rome.

Warren Gatland’s side gave England and Ireland plenty later on Saturday, but Ireland’s 40-10 win in Scotland ended their title hopes.

Wales scored eight second half tries, including a George North hat-trick, to record their largest ever Six Nations victory.

Italy saw two players sin-binned during a second half collapse having gone into half time only one point down

Wales went into the game knowing that they would in all likelihood need a big win due to their inferior point’s differences to rivals England and Ireland.

Prior to kick-off the Welsh need to make up 25 points on England and 23 points on Ireland, but started nervously.

Italy took the lead via a penalty within a minute after George North knocked on from kick-off, allowing Kelly Haimona to kick over.

Penalties were exchanged between the sides in a cagey opening 20 minutes characterised by errors and sloppy play.

The first try of the game came via Jamie Roberts, who latched onto a brilliant Leigh Halfpenny kick to go over in the 20th minute.

However Italy replied quickly, with Giovanbattista Venditti going over for a try of his own just minutes after Roberts’ score.

Wales continued to toil in the first half, going ahead on half time through a Dan Biggar penalty after the dead-eyed Halfpenny had been forced off with a head injury.

They were a different animal in the second half though, and Liam Williams began a blitz of tries on 47 minutes, taking advantage after a clever quick penalty from Rhys Webb.

George North then went over for his first of a hat-trick of tries, with three trademark powerful runs from the Wales wing within ten minutes that saw Wales overtake England’s point difference.

Italy had two players sin binned as they fell apart in the second period, firstly centre Andrea Masi for an off-the-ball tackle and then George Biagi for coming in at the side of a ruck.

Rhys Webb and Sam Warburton continued the sensational second half performance with tries on 66 and 69 minutes, Warburton’s in particular ending a brilliant move.

Scott Williams completed the epic performance on 73 minutes with a length-of-the-field breakaway try to give Wales a 23 points advantage on England and 25 point advantage on Ireland.

However a late Sarto try stung Wales and reduced the deficit to 16 points on England and 20 on the Irish. However Ireland’s impressive performance in Scotland extinguished their title chances.

Italy XV: Luke McLean, Leonardo Sarto, Luca Morisi, Andrea Masi, Giovanbattista Venditti, Kelly Haimona, Edoardo Gori; Michele Rizzo, Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), Martin Castrogiovanni, George Biagi, Joshua Furno, Francesco Minto, Mauro Bergamasco, Samuela Vunisa

Replacements: Andrea Manici, Alberto De Marchi, Dario Chistolini, Quintin Geldenhuys, Robert Barbieri, Guglielmo Palazzani, Luciano Orquera, Enrico Bacchin

Wales XV: Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Liam Williams, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Rob Evans, Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis, Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (c), Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Ken Owens, Rhys Gill, Scott Andrews, Jake Ball, Justin Tipuric, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams

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