Wales started impressively and were 7-0 up after just one minute with a well worked try by the back-line, which was touched down by right-wing Louise Rickard. Italy then began to put the pressure on and were rewarded with a penalty try after 20 minutes, which was easily converted by fly half Michela Tondinelli.
Conditions deteriorated as the rain started to pour, turning the pitch into a quagmire. The game inevitably became scrappy as players did well just to stay on their feet. Shortly before the end of the first half, however, Wales managed to get some clean ball out wide through some good passing by fly half Naomi Thomas, resulting in a try by left-wing Rhian Williams.
Italy rang the changes at half-time bringing on a new prop, second row and centre. This did not stop Wales with Rhian Williams going in for her second just a few minutes into the half. Captain Mellissa Berry and Rachel Poolman then got their names on the score sheet taking the final score to 31-7.
The second half saw debutants Caryl Thomas, Hannah Roberts, Gemma Hallett and Vikki Gaylard come on as replacements for Wales, all gaining their first caps for Wales, along with Hannah Torangi who started in the second row.
Head coach Fielies Coetsee said, "This was a positive start for the team, with some impressive play in particularly bad conditions. We now look forward to our next home autumn international against the Netherlands and hope we can continue to improve."
Wales play the Netherlands on Sunday 3rd December at Caerphilly RFC, kick off 12.30pm. Admission is free.
Wales: (14) 31
Tries: Louise Rickard, Rhian Williams (2), Mellissa Berry, Rachel Poolman
Cons: Naomi Thomas (3)
Italy: (7) 7
Tries: Penalty Try
Cons: Michela Tondinelli
Yellow Card: Silvia Pizzati (Italy)
Wales: Elen Evans, Louise Rickard, Rachel Poolman, Clare Flowers, Rhian Williams, Naomi Thomas, Amy Day, Amy Broadstock, Rhian Bowden, Louise Horgan, Liza Burgess, Hannah Torangi, Jamie Kift, Mellissa Berry (Captain), Kylie Wilson
Replacements: Caryl Thomas, Hannah Roberts, Gemma Hallett, Catrina Nicholas, Vikki Gaylard, Becky Davies, Phillippa Tuttiett
Italy: Sara Barrattin, Elisa Facchini, Paola Zangirolami, Silvia Peron, Sara Trilli, Michela Tondinelli, Valentina Schiavon, Cecilia Ridolfi, Gimena Panichelli, Silvia Gaudino, Paola Agostinelli, Flavia Severin, Maria Sanfilippo, Licia Stefan, Elisa Cucciella
Replacements: Sara Zanon, Natalie Wagstaff, Sara Pettinelli, Daniela Gini, Giovanna Bado, Silvia Pizzati, Furlan Manuela
Referee: Joyce Henry (Canada)
For more information please contact Jilly Holroyd, WWRU Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02920 822441.