Tries: Robertson, Mau Bergamasco
Con: Pez (2)
Pens: Pez (3)
Tries: S Williams, Rees
Cons: S Jones, Hook
Pens: Hook (2)
Italy claimed an historic second Six Nations win of the season after coming from behind to edge a thriller in Rome.
Shane Williams scored the opening try for Wales, but Kaine Robertson’s score and two earlier Ramiro Pez penalties put Italy 13-7 up at half-time.
Matthew Rees’ try and two James Hook penalties early in the second-half opened up a seven-point Wales lead.
Pez cut the deficit to four points with a penalty and then Mauro Bergamasco’s 77th-minute try snatched victory.
The game ended in controversial circumstances as Wales were awarded a penalty in Italian territory and Hook kicked for a line-out instead of going for the kick at goal which would have secured a draw.
Referee Chris White seemed to tell the Wales players they had time for one more play, but he then blew up for full-time as the visitors prepared to re-start the game.
The final whistle sparked wild celebrations at the Stadio Flaminio as Italy secured two wins in a Six Nations campaign for the first time.
But a bemused Wales trudged off the field with the Wooden Spoon staring them directly in the face.
Italy, high on confidence after claiming their first Six Nations away win, almost reproduced their stunning start in Scotland two weeks ago by scoring a try in the opening minutes.
Centre Gonzalo Canale burst through Martyn Williams’ clutches, but his long pass to unmarked left wing Matteo Pratichetti was ruled forward.
Pez, benefiting from a stiff breeze behind his back, converted early Italian pressure into points with two penalties in the first quarter as Wales struggled to get out of their own half.
The visitors then started to play to their strength by spinning the ball wide, and the backs combined well to score the opening try.
James Hook’s chip over the top found acres of space, Tom Shanklin benefited from a favourable bounce to gather the ball and his inside pass to Williams gave the winger a clear run home.
Jones added the simple conversion, but then left the field for treatment after Mauro Bergamasco’s punch – which went unpunished – caused a nasty cut above his eye.
A chip over the top almost brought a try for Italy before the break, but a huge punt downfield worked perfectly minutes later for Robertson to score.
Wales lost the ball in a good attacking position and, with full-back Morgan up with play, wing Robertson only had lock Ian Gough to beat to the ball and score under the posts.
Pez converted to give Italy a 13-7 half-time lead, but Wales were ahead again five minutes after the break.
Hook – taking the kicking duties despite Jones’ reappearance – closed the gap with a 44th-minute penalty.
And a minute later hooker Rees scored under the posts after bursting clear after an attacking line-out and fooling the home defence with a great dummy.
Hook’s conversion was a formality and a second penalty ten minutes later gave Wales a seven-point cushion.
Wales then withstood a sustained period of pressure, showing great defensive discipline by not conceding a single penalty.
The game opened up as the unrelenting pace caught up with the players in the final 10 minutes, and a lazy offside infringement allowed Pez to cut the gap to four points.
Fierce Italian forward play brought Italy within inches of the Wales line, and then Mauro Bergamasco won the race to Pez’s chip over the top to score.
Pez added the extra points in front of the posts to create history at an ecstatic Stadio Flaminio.
Italy: De Marigny; Robertson, Canale, Mi Bergamasco, Pratichetti; Pez, Troncon; Lo Cicero, Festuccia, Nieto, Dellape, Bortolami, Zanni, Ma. Bergamasco, Parisse.
Replacements: Zaffiri for Canale (22), Staibano for Lo Cicero (59), Perugini for Nieto (59).
Not Used: Ghiraldini, Bernabo, Griffen, Scanavacca.
Wales: Morgan; M Jones, Shanklin, Hook, S Williams; S Jones, Peel; Jenkins, Rees, Horsman, Gough, A W Jones, Popham, M Williams, R Jones.
Replacements: G Thomas for S Jones (29-40), D Jones for Jenkins (62), R Thomas for Rees (79), A Jones for Horsman (57), J Thomas for R Jones (72).
Not Used: Cockbain, Phillips.
Ref: Chris White (RFU).