While Wales came out 24-16 victors over Italy in their Six Nations meeting on the weekend, there was a bit of a sub-plot as the two scrumhalfs on the day had quite the battle throughout the game.
Mike Phillips is hardly your traditional number nine when it comes to size and physicality. He’s an angry man that likes to get in the face of the opposition, and perhaps at times would probably be better served focussing his energy on other aspects of his game.
That said, he’s quite a unit and is comfortably the biggest scrumhalf playing the game at the highest level currently. Italy’s Fabio Semenzato, well, he isn’t.
Just 24 years old and recently capped by his country, the Treviso man is still finding his feet but had an outstanding game against Wales, in fact earning the Man of the Match award despite being on the losing side.
“I thought we was fantastic,” said Nick Mallet. “He controlled the game well, got stuck in and was everywhere, for a young guy in just his second game at this level he really stepped up to the plate.”
The two players, both in the same position but possessing totally different attributes, had a full go at each other, making for quite a fascinating contest. Phillips got the better of the first collision, ploughing through the smaller Italian, but Semenzato got his own back a little later, possibly not doing as much damage but certainly making the Welshman sit down .
Here’s a short clip highlighting those two moments from the match. A word of warning: you will be humming the song to yourself for the next few hours, at least.