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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wales tested in Rome but tough it out to beat Italy

Wales tested in Rome but tough it out to beat Italy

Italy gave Wales somewhat of a Six Nations scare in Rome yesterday, but the visitors were able to subdue them enough and show their experience to take a 24-16 win at the Stadio Flaminio.

Wales scored in the first half through Morgan Stoddart, as well as scoring a great try that was finished off by flanker Sam Warburton after a nice Shane Williams run. Stephen Jones was back at flyhalf, kicking 11 points while James Hook was in the center, but managed to slot a late drop-goal.

Gonzalo Canale and captain Sergio Parisse both scored for Italy, but four missed attempts at goal proved costly as they struggled to stay in touch.

Wales coach Warren Gatland insists that his side still have a chance of winning the championship. "It still puts us in contention for the championship, we've got a big game against Ireland at home and then France," said Gatland.

"It's a tough competition and it's about building momentum and confidence. We've had two tough wins away in the last two games and next we're at the Millennium Stadium at home and we want to get a result from our next performance.

"Today's was a lot tougher (than Scotland). Italy are a very big, physical side. Perhaps because of the criticism of Italy in their first two games, playing set-pieces, scrums, line-outs, they played a lot more ball in hand," he added.

You can watch extended highlights of the game on the Eplayer on the sidebar. Navigate to 'Rugby Union' and there's an 8 minute long version there, as well as some other highlights.


Time: 04:16

Posted at 2:35 pm | 36 comments

Viewing 36 comments

Jordan February 27, 2011 2:45 pm

I am very impressed with Italy, they keep stepping up their game. One of these days they are going to snatch one right out from the big boys noses.

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Colin February 27, 2011 3:03 pm

Wasn't Italy's number 13 offside at their second try, as he was infront of the kicker and then tackled the Welsh player who gathered the ball? Or is the offside lifted once a Welsh player touches the ball?

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samitarugby February 27, 2011 3:18 pm

Unlucky italy, again another loss but one day we'll win a few games within the six nations. Bring on Scotland.

Parisse again was outstanding. Superb grubber kick from a forward and a powerful solo try. Surely nominee for IRB player of the year once more?

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Anonymous February 27, 2011 3:23 pm

Not sure about the MOTM..I would have picked an italian but not the 9...

..loved seeing him smash philips though

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Anonymous February 27, 2011 3:40 pm

ITALY ARE BAAAAAAAD

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WelshOsprey February 27, 2011 4:54 pm

What the hell are we gonna do when shane retires? Every time he touched the ball he caused problems for the italian defence and he always brings the best out of byrne.
Hearty performance from italy but wales were always in control (even though we played terribly again)

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Anonymous February 27, 2011 5:00 pm

whats bergamascos problem? every time he plays he acts like a complete dick when he gets tackled

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Guy February 27, 2011 5:20 pm

Actually a very entertaining game to watch. And I felt sorry for Italy...again.
I would have picked Castrogiovanni as Man ot Match. Parisse was also outstanding but he married a Miss France supermodel so hes already got enough reward for a lifetime

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Marco February 27, 2011 6:40 pm

Being Italian it is heart breaking to see the Azzuri lose again. But I am very pleased with their efforts against Wales. Mallet had done a great job by putting together a team with what Italy rugby has to offer. Give Italy another year and im sure we will steal some wins from the big boys.

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Sergio is God February 27, 2011 8:01 pm

I think Sergio Parisse is actually just too good. They should make a law against people like him being that good. He makes everyone look crap.

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Sergio is god February 27, 2011 8:03 pm

And Bradley Davies, what a cheat! Surely he sould have been yellow-carded; he just grabbed Canale as he was getting away for the try. Surely a yellow card.

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Semenzato is God February 27, 2011 8:35 pm

Semenzato's run when he smashed Mike Philips down was wonderful. It was so great to see it, and then see Philips unable to accept it and get really frustrated and start fighting with the Italian players. It made my day.

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Anonymous February 27, 2011 10:26 pm

Semenzato is God said...
Semenzato's run when he smashed Mike Philips down was wonderful. It was so great to see it, and then see Philips unable to accept it and get really frustrated and start fighting with the Italian players. It made my day.

Mike phillips running into that tiny italian scrum half and destroying him lomu style made my day.

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fry February 28, 2011 12:35 am

This is what happens when Hook is at center. Why Gatland ever sticks him in at fullback, I don't understand.

Parisse should always be a Player of the Year nominee. The guy is pure rugby class.

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Marco February 28, 2011 1:43 am

agreed with the Parisse talk , he is a work horse and to sad to see him get snubbed in the voting in the Player of the year award just because he is a not "good team". Not once i have heard him bad mouth the team, coaches ,opponents, the refs. The man is a world class act.I only hope him and the Azurri get their day of victory before they retire. Then again i can't understand why the IRB bends over for Richie McCraw? Who is allowed to vote for that award? Cuz they are not seeing quality Sergio Parisse is bringing to rugby.

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Jono February 28, 2011 4:00 am

Mccaw is a much better player Marco, sorry.
Parrise is good, but not as good as some others, Mccaw included.
Mccaw is everywhere in a game, he dominates rucks, defense and he is a great runner of the ball too.
He is also a superb captain.

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fry February 28, 2011 6:53 am

Jono, that's how I would describe Parisse, too.

I wouldn't say McCaw isn't amazing, because clearly he is - consistently the hardest working and quickest thinking flanker in world rugby, not to mention a terriicly level-headed captain.

But I'd also say the exact same thing about Sergio Parisse at number 8.

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Sam February 28, 2011 10:31 am

I'd agree with both Jono and fry there, however one downfall (possibly) about Parisse is that he doesn't always keep his cool... You mention not bad mouthing the ref, yet he isn't exactly the kindest of souls towards refs when things aren't going right....

Him and Castro Giovanni would be in my world XV

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Anonymous February 28, 2011 2:24 pm

For f**k sake why didn't Pearson give the try straight off for Stoddart? He was right there looking at the ball being grounded. He did the same for O'Leary's try against France. If he doesn't trust his eyes what business does he have being a ref?!

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Anonymous February 28, 2011 3:28 pm

Shane williams is quality such a good rugby brain

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Anonymous February 28, 2011 3:43 pm

Castrogiovanni had an amazing game, I saw him tackling much more than parisse and he's a prop.

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Anonymous February 28, 2011 5:41 pm

'For f**k sake why didn't Pearson give the try straight off for Stoddart? He was right there looking at the ball being grounded. He did the same for O'Leary's try against France. If he doesn't trust his eyes what business does he have being a ref?!'

because if he gave it and under replay it showed a slight hand underneath then he would be screwed over and over...

and yeh ^^ thats why castrogiovanni would be in my world XV

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Anonymous March 01, 2011 12:45 am

I don't think Sergio is loud mouthed, if anything he merely points out issues to the ref in order to make him see his point. The angry one in the team is bergamasco, and to anyone who says richie mccaw is better captain than parisse is talking rubbish.

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Jono March 01, 2011 3:24 am

Honestly, Parrise is a very good player, but he's simply not as good as Mccaw.
It's nuts to say that.
Parrise is limited. His defense, hwile solid, isn;t as good.
His rucking isn't on the same level at all as Mccaw, not even marginally as good.
His running of the ball is pretty good, but he's really not a power runner.
He gets thru alot of work, which is great, but in terms of impact, Palu makes more.
Reid gets thru as much work.
Mccaw is way better at rucks.
There's loads of flankers as good, several who are better. Elsom, Burger, Kaino, Harindonquay etc..

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Canadian content March 01, 2011 4:48 am

What parisse is, is a great all round footballer, kicks, handles the ball like a NBA player, powerful runner, solid in defense. Mccaw is world class in the ruck and breakdown. They are difficult to compare in my opinion, especially since they Play for teams at the opposite end of the talent spectrum. Be interesting to see Sergio with the all blacks, as he has sbw like off loading ability.

I thought this was the best game of the wkd and felt sorry for Italy, a few more gd decisions and they'd have had q big scalp. That's the diff btwn winners and losers though, as Scotland knows too dearly.

Bergamasco was pissy becuz he got cheap shotted by (always a dick) who threw him on his head and hook who face racked him. He should learn to keep his cool though as perhaps it affected his place kicking.

Wales seem to be the chippiest team of the tourney. I won't mind seeing France spank them.

England for a grand slam? I wouldnt bet the house yet, as Scotland beat them on the last day in 2000 to avoid the wooden spoon and deny a slam.

Ireland has alot of cleaning up to do b4 the rwc. Ogara played well but is not the answer, same goes for Darcy, two key positions. I'd move odriscoll to 12 and put bowe at 13, bring Kearney back to 15 and put the blond spiky on the wing, or bring in the Connacht boy. Reddan looked very gd and earned a second start, not sure why they brought him off. Obrien finally looked dynamic at test level, though against Scotland, be interesting to chart his progress for the rest of the tourney. Irish scrum does not look good, is Healy big enough to prop at international level? Finally POC looked good and his return to form is welcomed.

There I think I got it all off my chest.

Oh and chabal is incredibly over rated, knew I missed something.

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Anonymous March 01, 2011 9:39 am

i was at that game and italy could have won with just a bit of luck, italian fans were quite good but didnt support their team when in defence which was quite weird in my opinion

very nice game to watch

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Hercus March 01, 2011 6:00 pm

Whenever wales score a try its either shane williams scoring or shane williams setting it up, the man is a machine
Good game and wales are somehow 2nd in the table even though they're playing shit rugby

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Anonymous March 02, 2011 12:46 am

I reckon, parisse, given the quality of training early on and perhaps with the surrounding team could be as good, if not better than mccaw...But as it stands McCaw is better than Parisse, and this is from someone who is a massive italian supporter...

bergamasco was frustrated, imagine totalling up the points missed only to be able to see that if you got your kicks italy would be in the lead. He kicked off over Hook giving him a shove, and just let frustration get the better of him....

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Marco March 02, 2011 3:31 am

@ Jono, i readed your response, and i can see where your coming from. But if parisse was on the all blacks would we be raving about how good he is? Does the team make the player better ? or the player make the team better? All of those players you named , play in the SH Why? except for Harindonquay, whom is better than chabal. Jono are you a little bias to NH players?

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Marco March 02, 2011 3:35 am

@ Sam , i fully agree Parisse and Castrogiovanni being on a my world XV . Though it would be nice to see the star Italian player come back and play in Italy. But the money is else where.

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Jono March 02, 2011 3:55 am

Marco, this is a contencious issue, and I don't want to start the whole NH/SH debate (people get very emotional about that).
But frankly, in my honest opinion, the three top teams in the world have some of the best players, and that is particularly true of flankers.
There are some very good NH flankers though, guys worth mentioning as top class (IMO) are Harindonquay, Heaslip, Moody (on a good day - he can be inconsistent), Parrise and I think Warburton is a good young prospect. Easter has his moments.

However the top flankers have traditionally come from Aus, NZ and SA.
It's an area the SH teams do particularly well in.

Mccaw is considered by people alot more knowledgable than you and I, as not only the best flanker in the world, but consistently the best player in the world.

The other guys I mentioned are also world class.

I'm not disrespectin Parrisse, he is a very good player. Very skilled, great work rate and solid in all aspects of the game.

Personally I think he lacks some things that other players have though. He's not as big or devstating in defence or attack as guys like Palu, Harindonquay or Kaino, his workrate is no better than Reid's, Heaslip's or Elsom's. His rucking is not nearly as good as Pocock's or Mccaw's (Or Brussow on a good day).

His kicking game is something that is probably not matched by any other flanker, I'd say he definatly is better at that than anyone else.

Beyond that his skills are matched by several players. But they are amongst the best players in the game, so there's no shame in that.

To answer your question, I honestly believe that Parrise might struggle to be picked week in, week out for the All Blacks. Not because he's not good, but because their standards are ridiculously high. One bad game and they can drop you, they always have someone else waiting for their chance.

But it's subjective.

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Parisse is a Legend March 02, 2011 10:32 am

I openly admit McCaw is the best No.7 in the world due to his immense rucking/turnover ball skills, but Parisse remember is a No.8. Im not sure how the two can be compared when either one carry out specific roles. I think what amazes most is how he delivers such immense performances every week in a team that is constantly losing. The only two No.8 i can think of who compare as Spies (maybe), Heaslip (very occassionally) and Hardinoquey. I can't remember one game when the commentators haven't commented on his (parisse's) performance or thought he was legible for getting Man of the Match.

Remember he could play for Argentina if he wanted to, but the none the less he gives his all for the under dogs.

A legend in the game.

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Anonymous March 02, 2011 3:17 pm

Good performance by Italy but they didnt deserve to win. Also Wayne Barnes should be banned. worst referee Ive ever seen in the professional game. Obvious bias.

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fry March 02, 2011 7:53 pm

Fair enough points made there, Jono. And you're right about McCaw - I wouldn't even think about saying he's not the best flanker and captain - and frequently, the best overall player - around.

But, as the (clearly subjective :) ) poster said below you, Parisse is a no. 8 usually; in a dream world, he and McCaw would be playing for the same side, devastating teams both on offense and defense.

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Aldo March 05, 2011 11:14 am

whilst, i am a italy fan until my death i am not blind to see they are not close to the best in the world.

I think jono makes good point about the flankers and no.8 in the south of the world.

However i think the big influence on that type of game is perhaps the other game that they play. In australia they have australian rules football. This game i have seen on tv promotes fast running and fitness. I suppose so when the country adapts to play rugby the fundementals of the other sport they play are carried over.

I think 7's rugby in NZ is also the more popular initially (i can be wrong on this one) which once again is fitness and speed.

I think in the north world it is more the hard effort of big man versus big man so players historically used to be heavy but not so fast. i think this style is still influencing the game, but not so much with southern coachs.

Much like boxing and Ali, the smaller faster man can run rings around the bigger slower.

even though now i respect that the southern faster people are just as big and strong..but still so fast.

hope my english is ok.

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Marco March 06, 2011 2:14 am

I just got done watching some richie mccraw highlights videos before they changes the rule about releasing the ball carrier. Now the McCraw rule is in place. It BS that this rules was ever changes at all. I mean clearly McCraw is cheating ,and the refs let him get away with it. Either the refs are blowing him or the other way around. But to me there seems to be favoritism among the refs and the teams. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdr-W775hk4 just watch the video and you see the bs the all blacks get away with espeacilly mccaw

View Video

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