Italy wary of Wales’ flair

Italy admitted they are wary about Wales’s flair and running game ahead of the pair’s Six Nations clash at Cardiff’s Millennium stadium on Saturday.

Having been involved in two narrow defeats in their first two matches against Ireland and England in cagey affairs, Italy coach Nick Mallett said he was expecting something completely different from Wales.

“It will be a new challenge because Ireland and England both played conservatively against us,” he said.

“Ireland kicked a lot in the first half and they kept it tight in the second half because we were close.

“England also kept the ball close to the fringes and didn’t move it around a lot.

“Wales are one of the best attacking teams in the competition with France. They’ve always been very good on the attack and they’ve improved their defence a lot as well.”


Prop forward Salvatore Perugini, who will be making his 50th appearance for Italy, as will Mirco Bergamasco and Santiago Dellape, likened Wales’s game to the free-running flair of the French.

In particular he is wary of flying winger Shane Williams.

“We have a strong scrum whereas Wales are strong in their backs, most of all Shane Williams,” said Perugini.

“He’s very fast, technically good, very strong. We have to try to stop them playing.

“Wales play more like France than an Anglo-Saxon team. If we look at history we’ve done badly against France because of the way they play.

We will have to concentrate on our defence and aggression.

“We’ve done well against the Anglo-Saxon style of play but now we have to learn to do well against another style.

“We know that we might struggle but we will have to stop them from playing.” Flanker Mauro Bergamasco, who plays for Stade Francais in France, said Italy need to concentrate on their own strengths and not play Wales at their game.

“We’re not worried about the type of game they play. The important thing is to not give the ball away and make fewer turnovers,” he said.

“That’s the way to play against this type of team. They are very strong, the most complete team in the competition at this time.

“They have many good players and that’s why they’re strong but we have to concentrate on our own game rather than focussing on how to stop their players or their game.

“If we play our game we can give anyone problems and get results.” Italy have injury problems in their backs, though, with full-back David Bortolussi and New Zealand-born wing Kaine Robertson ruled out.

It means reserve fly-half Andrea Marcato will come in at full-back and also take over kicking duties from Bortolussi.

Alberto Sgarbi takes over from Robertson while Mallett has replaced Pietro Travagli at scrum-half with Simon Picone, who is now back to full fitness.

Sapa-AFP –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.