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MATCH REPORT: ITALY 14-20 WALES

30th October 2016, 17:14

MATCH REPORT: ITALY 14-20 WALES

Wales produced an outstanding second-half display against Italy to book their place in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup

Ryan Gould at Stadio Brianteo, Monza 

 

Wales produced an outstanding second-half display against Italy to book their place in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

 

After trailing 14-10 at the break, Wales had work to do in the second-half if they wanted to make the tournament Down Under.

 

However, what they served up led to a performance that couldn’t have been more complete, as they produced arguably their most important victory in recent times.

 

The opening exchanges couldn’t have been any tighter and it was no surprise with the prize at stake. 

 

Both sides had some early opportunities with decent field position, but tidy kicks from Lloyd White and Terry Campese for their respective teams came to nothing.

 

It was Wales who took the lead, though, when Ben Morris crossed for his first try in the red shirt, supporting a nice break by Matty Fozard.

 

However, the Italians gained a couple of repeat sets and began to build pressure, before Colin Wilkie was sent through a gap to touch down on the line.

 

It didn’t take long for the Italians to take the lead on the back of their opening try; on their next set, they shifted the ball well and Wilkie went over for his second.

 

Then, the hosts were awarded a penalty for a tackle off the ball and they elected to kick for goal. Campese added a further two points.

 

From the next set, however, Italy knocked-on near their own line and Ant Walker crashed over directly from the scrum for a crucial score shortly before the break.

 

Wales started the second-half well and went close to scoring early on, as a couple of loose balls fell well for the visitors and Fozard collected to break. Although he didn’t manage to free the ball out of the tackle, he did win a penalty for a high tackle.  

 

John Kear’s men continued to build pressure and the Italians cracked; White’s grubber fell nicely, Fozard profited and then sent Andrew Gay over in the left corner.

 

They increased their two-point lead when Fozard sent Morris over for his second on the back of some solid work by skipper Craig Kopczak in the middle.

 

Italy threw everything at Wales late on, but they stood tall and held out whatever they were faced with. 

 

ITALY

2 Christophe Centrone 

3 Justin Castellaro

15 Christophe Calegari

4 Mirco Bergamasco 

5 Richard Lepori

6 Terry Campese

7 Ryan Ghietti

8 Shannon Wakeman

9 Dean Parata

10 Gavin Hiscox

11 Jayden Walker

12 Brendan Santi 

13 Joel Reithmuller

Subs:

1 Mason Cerruto

14 Colin Wilkie 

16 Kieran Quabba

17 Gioele Celerino

 

Tries: Wilkie (26, 30)

Goals: Campese (3/3)

 

WALES

1 Elliot Kear

2 Rhys Williams 

26 Ben Morris

16 Andy Gay

3 Dai Evans

6 Courtney Davies

17 Matty Fozard

8 Gil Dudson

9 Lloyd White

10 Craig Kopczak

11 Rhodri Lloyd 

12 Phil Joseph 

13 Steve Parry

Subs:

14 Joe Burke

15 Ant Walker 

23 Sam Hopkins 

24 Danny Ansell

 

Tries: Morris (16, 58), Walker (39), Gay (52),

Goals: Davies (2/4)

 

Referee: Chris Campbell 

HT: 14-10

Attendance: 600 (est)

MOTM: Matty Fozard – he rounded off a superb tournament on a personal level with his best performance yet.