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Six Nations | Group Stage
Mar 16, 2024 at 2.15pm UK
 
Wales
21-24
Italy
Dee (64'), Rowlands (79'), Grady (80')
FT
Ioane (20'), Pani (46')

Wales take Six Nations Wooden Spoon despite late Italy fightback

Wales take Six Nations Wooden Spoon despite late Italy fightback
© Reuters
A late Wales fightback against Italy is in vain as they are consigned to the Six Nations Wooden Spoon for the 18th time in their history with a 21-24 loss in Cardiff.

A late Wales fightback against Italy was in vain as they were consigned to the Six Nations Wooden Spoon for the 18th time in their history with a 21-24 loss in Cardiff.

Warren Gatland's side had already failed to put any wins on the board from the first four rounds ahead of their showdown with Italy, who had finished in last place in each of the last eight editions of the tournament.

The Azzurri took early steps to ensure that they would not suffer the same fate for a ninth year running, building up an 11-0 lead at half time thanks to a pair of Paolo Garbisi penalties and Monty Ioane's try.

Lorenzo Pani crossed the line in the 45th minute before Garbisi added the extras to ostensibly put Italy out of sight, although Elliot Dee's 63rd-minute effort and Sam Costelow's conversion gave Wales a small lifeline.

Another Garbisi penalty and Martin Page-Relo kick saw Italy lead by 17 heading into the dying embers, where Will Rowlands and Mason Grady both went over for Wales, but the latter's effort and Ioan Lloyd's second conversion was the closing act.

As the Azzurri rejoiced on the Millennium Stadium turf, Wales were left crestfallen as they took the Wooden Spoon for the first time in 21 years, having last finished bottom of the pile in 2003.

Saturday's loss also marked George North's final appearance for Wales before his international retirement, but the centre's last game for his country was a particularly painful occasion as he limped off with the help of medics in the 79th minute.

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