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RBS Six Nations – Comfortable Win For Wales

RBS Six Nations – Comfortable Win For Wales

Gareth Thomas broke the Welsh all-time
try-scoring record as Wales signed off their RBS Six Nations campaign with a 44-10 win over Italy in Cardiff.

Gareth Thomas broke the Welsh all-time
try-scoring record as Wales signed off their RBS Six Nations campaign and the coaching era of Steve Hansen by thrashing Italy 44-10 in Cardiff

Hansen’s last match before returning home to New Zealand to join
the All
Blacks coaching staff was also statistically his biggest win over a

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Thomas broke Ieuan Evans’ try-scoring record with his 34th try in
a match
lit up by the skills of man of the match Iestyn Harris who helped
wings Rhys
and Shane Williams each score two tries.

The self-effacing Hansen was keen to deflect any praise to his
“It’s not about one person, it’s about the whole and we’ve
been a pretty
tight group over the last couple of years,” he said.

“They (Italy) are in a similar boat to us. They beat us last
year and so it
was important for us.”

Hansen reiterated that he was returning to New Zealand to be with
teenage daughters after a reign in Wales which has left observers
about the health of the team he leaves behind.
“It’s for family reasons that I’m going home, it’s for no
other reason and
I knew the job I had to do when I came here and I think I’ve done

Harris paid tribute to the coach.
“Steve has done a lot for us over the last couple of years
and we really
wanted to send him off with a good win and we needed it ourselves as
But it’s nice for us to get a win under his belt in his last

Wales were led on to the Millennium Stadium turf by Gareth
was winning his 87th cap, equalling Neil Jenkins’ Wales caps record
and they
were soon in front.

Gareth Cooper’s winding run earned a Welsh penalty in front of the
and flyhalf Stephen Jones’s kick was good for the game’s first

Jones put the Welsh 6-0 up five minutes later after good work from

After Stephen Jones had pulled another kick wide, Wales began to
open up
the field with good passing but the move broke down when Robin
McBryde’s pass
went forward.

Wales scored the first try of the game when they switched
possession around
before Harris found Shane Williams with a long pass and Williams
ignored two
teammates but just managed to get the ball down despite the
attentions of
three Italian players. Jones missed the conversion.

The red shirts were camped virtually permanently on the Italian
and it was inevitable that Wales would score their second try which
came when
Gareth Cooper and Gareth Thomas combined to allow Rhys Williams to go
over in
the corner, but again Jones spurned the conversion.

Mark Taylor should have notched up Wales’ third try but had the
knocked out of his hands by Gonzalo Canale’s tackle.
Just after the second half began, Italy got on the scoreboard when
Williams was penalised, allowing Roland de Marigny to stroke the ball
the posts.
De Marigny was wide with another attempt within minutes and Jones
and the
Italian kicker exchanged misses.

With half an hour remaining, Thomas broke Ieuan Evans’ Welsh
record with his 34th try and Jones finally made a conversion.

Fresh from his introduction from the bench, Tom Shanklin picked up
a pass
to sprint over for another try.

Then against the run of play, Andrea Masi crossed for only Italy’s
try in this season’s RBS Six Nations.

The tries began to tumble in for the Welsh, with Shane Williams
after some impressive backline play and Jones took the extra points.
Rhys Williams scored another Welsh try and made it 44-10 after
Michael Owen
threw an american football-style pass to stretch a move to the right

AFP – 2004.