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International Roundup

By WRU | 11/02/2019

It was a busy weekend of International rugby, with Ospreys involved for Wales, Wales Women, Wales U20s and Georgia

  • Wales triumphed to a 26-15 win out in Italy to set up a record breaking clash with England in two-weeks time.
  • Wales Women suffered heartbreak after a try ruled out by TMO denied them the win which would've have gone down as one of the greatest of all-time in Welsh Women's rugby history.
  • Wales U20s scorched to a six-try victory over their Italian hosts in their second U20s six nations game.
  • Ospreys lock, Giorgi Nemsadze was also in International action on the weekend for his national side, Georgia. The Lelos kicked off their defence of the European Rugby Championship with a 9-18 victory over Romania on Saturday afternoon.

Wales  

Tries from Josh Adams and a first Welsh try for Owen Watkin steered Wales to a record equalling 11th win in a row as they made it two out of two on the road in the 2019 Guinness Six Nations as they beat Italy 26-15.

The rugged Italians, who slumped to a 19th successive defeat in the championship, tackled their hearts out and managed a try in each half to emerge with some credit. Wales almost got a third try in the last move of the game when Thomas Young got over in the left corner, but the TMO ruled out the score because of a forward pass earlier in the move.

It was Young who made the tackle, and Elliot Dee who claimed the turn-over penalty, in the opening minute that allowed Biggar to get Wales off the mark. He added three more penalties before the half-hour mark to hoist Wales into a 12 point lead.

But then the home side hit back with a try from their outstanding back row man Braam Steyn and Tommaso Allan added the conversion and penalty to cut the gap to two points at the break. Gatland emptied his bench in the second half and Wales finally got a try in the 55th minute.

Aled Davies launched the move with a snipe up the blindside of a scrum on the right side and then the ball was moved swiftly to the left, where Liam Williams made a crucial thrust to send Adams over the line and round behind the posts for a try that Biggar converted.

Replacement Gareth Anscombe then pulled off a neat chip over the top of the Italian defence from five metres out to allow Watkin to race onto it and score. Anscombe adding the extras.

But the Italians had the last laugh with a neat corner try from Edoardo Padovani that Allan converted.

 

Wales Women

Wales Women were denied what could have been a famous victory in Lecce as the TMO ruled out a 72nd minute wonder-try from Jasmine Joyce. It meant the game ended in a dramatic 3-3 draw, thus ending Wales' run of five successive defeats in the championship. It was a brilliant response following their record 52-3 defeat in France and was just the boost they needed before hosting England at the Arms Park on Sunday, 24 February.

Olympic sevens star Joyce received an overhead pass from Elinor Snowshill just outside the Welsh 22 and raced to the posts for a score that would have gone down as one of the greatest of all time in Welsh Women's rugby history.

Snowshill's popped pass gave Joyce the chance to show off her speed and strength as she sped up the right wing. Two hand-offs left two Italians eating grass and then she headed diagonally across field to beat two others.

But no sooner had she touched down behind the posts than the referee consulted the TMO about the original pass. Then came the bad news for Wales with the try being ruled out.

It was cruel luck for the gallant Welsh side, who dominated long periods of the first-half before being forced to showcase their defensive courage, commitment and technique in the face of a second half onslaught from the home side.

Robyn Wilkins gave Wales a deserved lead after 37 minutes with a straightforward penalty and the visitor's held onto their lead until Michaela Sillari levelled things up on the hour mark.

Ospreys No 8 Siwan Lillicrap was named as the player of the match for her sterling efforts and she inspired the rest of the forwards to twice hold up the Italians over the Welsh line.

Wales coughed-up a penalty in the 81st minute for hands in the ruck to give Italy one last shot at adding to their bonus-point victory in Scotland in Round 1. Up stepped Sillari again, but her kick from 35 metres fell short and wide.

All Wales had to do was get the ball off the field to claim the draw, but a kick downfield didn't find touch and they were forced to defend one final wave of attack. They held out and were full value for their two points.

 

Wales U20s

No 8 Taine Basham added to his growing reputation as he scored a hat-trick of tries to steer Wales U20 to a comprehensive 42-12 win over Italy.

Italy came into the game on the back of a rousing win in Scotland in Round 1 and having beaten Wales in Colwyn Bay in last year's fixture. Wales had been beaten in France in their opening match.

A brilliant take from Basham just outside his 22 and then run cross-field to the Italian 22 by Tomi Lewis set-up Wales; first chance to attack after only eight minutes. They didn't score immediately, but when Basham got the chance to attack of the base of a scrum he showed his class.

Despite a strong shove from the Italian eight, which meant Basham had to pick up from a retreating scrum 20 metres out, the Welsh No 8 somehow managed to emerge with the ball on the other side of the scrum before racing to the right corner for a solo try.

Cai Evans added the conversion and was on target again seven minutes later when Basham cut a great line to take the ball off the shoulder of Aneurin Owen before racing to the posts like a run-away train for his second try.

Shortly afterwards, Italian right wing Edoardo Mastandrea was sent to the sin-bin for pushing opposite number Deon Smith without the ball.

Wales ensured they made the most of their extra man and a great first-half performance was rounded off with a try from lock Ed Scragg. Evans once again improved the score to make it 21-0 at the break.

Basham's hat-trick came three minutes into the second half and was made by a strong drive from the Welsh pack at a scrum five metres out.

He didn't panic, beat the scrum half to the ball and drove over for his third try. Evans maintained his 100% goalkicking record.

The Italians drove Wales back off their ball at a scrum and their replacement scrum half Lorenzo Citton sniped down the blindside before sending his wing Michael Mba over for a try in the left corner.

The Welsh response came in the shape of a fifth try for Buckland, as he popped up in support of a midfield break before racing to the line. Sam Costelow adding the conversion.

To their credit, Italy scored a second try before the end. It was a piece of brilliance from their full back, Jacopo Trulla.

Somehow, Basham managed to scoop the ball out of a rapidly retreating scrum 35 metres out and Costelow picked up the pieces.

The Leicester Tigers man then used some fancy footwork to break through the Italian defence before passing inside to Ioan Davies who scored at the posts. Costelow's conversion completed the scoring.

 

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