Stunningly, the Dragon roars on with yet another victory over the mighty
Italians and this time on their home soil.
Unfancied Wales took another step towards their rugby rehabilitation by taking
on the spaghetti-eaters in their own back yard and giving them a good
stuffing. With all guns blazing Wales put behind them the relative
disappointment of their last journey to foreign lands in Australia and
produced a performance to have the rugby purists purring with pleasure.
Gareth Thomas, the in form Bridgend wing, drove 2 massive nails into the
Italian coffin diving over twice to crown thrilling moves which will have
future Welsh opponents South Africa quaking in their boots. But he was only
one cog in the mighty Welsh Machine. A committed and almost perfect
performance left the 'Eyeties' gasping for breath and wondering how they could
ever survive against the display of control in the tight and invention in the
loose that the rampant Welsh XV served up for the pleasure of the viewing
Italy were pasta in their hands. The ball flowed silkily and skillfully from
hand to hand. At times Italy looked bewildered and it was as great a shock to
them as it was to everyone else when they found themselves leading 22-21 mid
way through the second half. This was nobodies fault on the Welsh side; it
just happened. To be fair, it could have happened to anyone and it should not
detract from what was a committed and, lets say it, superb performance from a
Welsh team that was visibly going from strength to strength as the match wore
With time running out and Wales leading 28-22 South African referee Carl
Spannenberg made two crucial and undeniably correct decisions refusing to
allow a pair of 'tries' claimed by Italy. How they dared to attempt to halt
the renaissance of Welsh rugby only they will know but fortunately, on this
occasion, they were up against a ref who would not stand for such nonsense no
matter how much the home crowd bayed for an undeserved victory and he promply
applied the law as it should be applied and awarded Wales a penalty kick in
the final minute.
The final score of 22-31 hardly reflected the *** of Wales.
To his credit the disappointed Italy skipper Massimo Cuttitta refused to
blame the referee for their loss. 'We thought both tries were good' he said
after the game. 'And we thought Wales were Crap. But now we know better'.
Following this result many other captains of International sides may well find
themselves saying the same thing.