Wales run in five tries against Italy

Wales hopeful that George North’s star will shine against Italy

Wales hopeful that George North’s star will shine against Italy

Wales averaged 46 points a time in their last four games against Italy, and they made a flying start by posting two converted tries during the opening six minutes.

Warren Gatland heads into the final round of the Six Nations something of a relieved man after Wales gave themselves a shot at finishing second in this season's Championship.

While the Azzurri performance was again disappointing on the whole, Conor O'Shea's men did manage to finish with a flourish as Carlo Canna instigated a flowing attack that ended in a try for Mattia Bellini after an offload from Federico Ruzza.

A yellow card for Wales either side of halftime perhaps prevented an even greater margin of victory, but Gatland now has tough choices to make ahead of next week's tournament finale against France, which could decide second place.

"Basically, he doesn't make mistakes", Gatland said at the post-match press conference. "It's what we wanted". Some elements were frustrating and we'll work on that.

But instead Wales will kick off knowing another bonus-point win over Les Bleus will assure them of the runners-up spot behind already-crowned champions Ireland.

Wales' George North runs in his side's second try during the NatWest 6 Nations match at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.

Anscombe made it 14-0 after seven minutes before Italy full back Matteo Minozzi evaded Liam Williams' attempted tackle before skipped past Gareth Davies to score in a breathless opening 12 minutes.

It's fair to say Liam Williams, in particular, won't have been in the New Zealander's good books following his yellow card.

"We have held our hands up as a country and said what we haven't done", he said. I was disappointed. I didn't think if he was going to make the tackle he needed to go that high.

Northampton boss Alan Gaffney appeared to question whether North, who was released on schedule by Wales during a fallow Six Nations week, wanted to play for his club in an Aviva Premiership game eight days ago.

Scrum-half Gareth Davies was also handed 10 minutes for a deliberate second-half knock-on, but by then Cory Hill had powered over to extend Wales' lead.

North grabbed his second try in the 66th after replacement Rhys Patchell's smart offload and the young fly half was involved once more as Tipuric went over in the corner shortly after.

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