The Leek XV finally finds a little breath. After their routs against Ireland (10-34), Scotland (35-7) and England (10-20), Wales finally won a victory in the Six Nations Tournament. Warren Gatland’s players won on the fourth day against Italy on Saturday in Rome (17-29).
The Squadra Azzurra completely thwarted in the first period and fell heavily behind at the break (3-22). The Welsh dominated the scrum and quickly took off. Rio Dyer scored his first try (0-8, 9th), before being imitated by Liam Williams (3-15, 18th). The Italians were also penalized with a penalty try after an anti-play foul by Lorenzo Cannone (3-22, 35th). The third row was guilty of causing the maul to collapse in front of the in-goal.
A success without trembling
Everything therefore started under the best auspices for Wales. Despite the Italian surge in the second half, he maintained a comfortable advantage. The attempts of Sebastian Luke Negri (8-22, 43rd) and Ignacio Brex (15-29, 68th) allowed Kieran Crowley’s team to approach. But too rough in the opposing camp, the Transalpines could not unlock the spaces in the 22 Welsh meters.
The Dragons finally offer their first victory in the Tournament this year and can still escape the wooden spoon. Better, a week before facing the XV of France (Saturday March 18, 3:45 p.m.), Wales finds a smile and hope. The Leek XV is indeed going through a very complicated period, marked by an internal crisis two weeks ago.
“Stop being everyone’s laughing stock”
Before receiving England, the selection had threatened to strike. In question: the organization responsible for Welsh professional rugby wanted to modify their contracts for economic reasons. Hooker Ken Owens was not weighing his words in reaction to this affair. “It will take a collective effort to put Welsh rugby back on top of world rugby and stop being the laughingstock of everyone, as I think we are now. »
A complicated moment to manage for coach Warren Gatland, as he himself agreed: “It was clearly a turbulent period, which can be understood, people have different opinions. But time can heal wounds.” Time, Wales has just offered after its success against Italy. Its crisis of results is interrupted, momentarily at least. But the opposition will undoubtedly be tougher against the Blues next Saturday.