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Rugby, Australian Football: Wales easily beat Italy 38-8 in Rome

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posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 12:56 PM
Shane Williams starred as Wales put Italy to the sword with an emphatic six-try demolition in their RBS 6 Nations clash at the Stadio Flaminio. All eyes were on the new darling of Welsh rugby Gavin Henson before the match but his mixed display - he set up one try and handed Italy another - was overshadowed by the heroics of his Ospreys team-mate.

Williams crossed in the 60th minute to cap an outstanding performance, while Gareth Thomas, Tom Shanklin, Martyn Williams, Brent Cockbain and Robert Sidoli also touched down for the rampant Welsh. Wales coach Mike Ruddock was a happy man afterwards and claimed his team had the potential to become a great Welsh side. He said: "I'm very pleased with that performance - we played some good rugby. Everybody is working hard and I'm happy for the players.

"I believe this squad has the potential to be a great team - provided they keep getting results like today and continue to improve.

"We try to play a style of rugby that people enjoy and we try to score tries. We have some great talent in this squad and it's the players who are driving us at the moment."

Fly-half Stephen Jones left the field in the 64th minute with a shoulder injury but Ruddock revealed he had not suffered any serious damage. Italy coach John Kirwan labelled Wales serious title contenders in his post-match comments.

"We played badly and deserved to get beaten - we're not good enough to play badly and get away with it," he said.

"In general I still think we're getting better bit by bit.

"Wales are a very good team but they must maintain this standard. Everyone has said Ireland are favourites but I think Wales have a very good chance of winning the championship."


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