Wales on brink of slam after Italian job

Wales have moved to within one step of a Six Nations grand slam after scoring seven tries in a 48-7 thrashing of Italy.

New Zealander Wayne Pivac’s side, fresh from sealing the triple crown against England, made short work of the error-plagued Azzurri on Saturday afternoon and will clinch a stunning slam if they beat France in Paris on March 20.

Tries from Josh Adams, Taulupe Faletau and two from hooker Ken Owens ensured that the bonus point was wrapped up inside 30 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico.

George North, substitute Callum Sheedy and Louis Rees-Zammit then dotted down to compound the hosts’ misery in the second half, with Australian-born Monty Ioane’s try providing their only consolation.

Rees-Zammit’s 70-metre interception effort was the Gloucester speedster’s fifth touchdown in just his eighth Test.

Wales sit top of the table with 19 points, with second-placed France, currently on nine points, facing England at Twickenham later on Saturday. Les Bleus also have a game in hand, at home to Scotland.

Italy, who suffered their 31st consecutive Six Nations defeat, are in a familiar position, rooted to the bottom of the table with zero points, having conceded 187 points in their four defeats so far.

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