WALES A 50
ITALY A 23
Wales A gave their senior side the perfect lift ahead of the Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship showdown in Cardiff by beating the Azzurri's second string at Swansea's St Helen's by seven tries to two.
Neath outside half Lee Jarvis finished the evening with 20 points, but it was
the all round solidity of the Welsh pack which was the difference between
the two teams on the night.
Gareth Thomas, so many people's favourite to step back into the senior side at centre, got the scoring underway and Wales led 21-9 at the interval with Italy's Giacomo Preo kicked three first half penalties. But the visitors lost lock Enrico Pavanello to a yellow card on 27 minutes and that caused them difficulties.
Adrian Durston, the Bridgend full back, scored the try of the night after half-time when he waltzed around three would be tacklers to score a try which Jarvis duly converted on the hour.
Italy did manage two tries after the interval but Wales were head and shoulders above their visitors and Martyn Madden, the Llanelli prop, completed the rout with his side's seventh try five minutes from time.
Wales A have now recovered from their trouncing by the Irish in the first round to notch successive home wins over France and Italy and are back in contention for the Six Nations A Championship title.
Scorers: Wales A: Tries: G Thomas, M Owen, A Moore, L Jarvis, A Durston, G Wyatt, M Madden; Cons: L Jarvis 6; Pen: L Jarvis. Italy A: Tries: A Saviozzi, G Preo: Cons: G Preo 2; Pens: G Preo 3.
Teams: Wales A: A Durston; G Wyatt, Gareth Thomas, L Davies, S Williams; L Jarvis, A Moore; Duncan Jones, M Davies (captain), A Millward (M Madden 69), R Sidoli, G Llewellyn (N Edwards 41), C Charvis, Gavin Thomas (D Jones 79), M
Italy A: M Baroni; L Martin, R Salvan (C Zanoletto 54), T Visentin, J-S
Francesio; G Preo (G Cagnolo 74), J-M Queirolo; G Faliva (A Mareno 62), A Saviozzi (C Festuccia 62), C-H Nieto, A Gritti, E Pavanello (F Miniello 74), R Piovan, E Candiago, A de Rossi.
Referee: D Courtney (Ireland)
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.
The WRU officially unveiled the new pitch today in time for Wales to take on Australia in the first of the Dove Men Series autumn international matches this Saturday. Head Groundsman Lee Evans and colleague Craig Campbell reflect on the 15-week project and look ahead to a pitch perfect future at Millennium Stadium.