Roman Spoons And Kitchen Sinks Italy v Wales

Yes I’m afraid it has come to this, Wales the team that has in recent years been used to preparing for vital matches with Triple Crowns, Grand Slams and Championship deciders at stake, are now having to throw the kitchen sink at an emerging and exciting Italian side in order to avoid rugby’s ultimate booby prize.

In fact Wales at present look like they will need to throw the kitchen sink, the dishwasher and their George Foreman grill at the Azzuri or else another piece of kitchenware will be heading their way, the dreaded “wooden spoon”.

Wales last Wooden Spoon came under the leadership of Steve Hansen back in 2003, their defeat in Rome that year left them doomed to a Six Nations whitewash losing to at home England (26-9) and Ireland (25-24) along with away defeats to Italy, Scotland (30-22) and France (33-5).

The similarities to 2023 are striking, not just the fact that 2003 was also a Rugby World Cup year.

Italy won only their second ever Six Nations game ever when they defeated a dismal Wales side in the Rome sunshine on February 15th 2003. It set Wales on a downward spiral for the rest of the Championship.

The Italians, led by playmaker Diego Dominguez, destroyed the Welsh pack and starved Steve Hansen’s men of any possession.

Tries from Giampiero De Carli, Carlo Festuccia and Matthew Phillips were matched by touchdowns from Tom Shanklin, Steve Williams and Dwayne Peel but Wales were second best in every other area.

The teams that day make interesting reading:

Italy: P Vaccari (Calvisano); Mauro Bergamasco (Treviso), C Stoica (Castres/Fra), G Ranieri (Calvisano), D Dallan (Treviso); D Dominguez (Stade Francais/Fra), A Troncon (Treviso, capt); G De Carli (Calvisano), C Festuccia (Gran Parma), R Martinez (Treviso), C Bezzi (Viadana), M Bortolami (Padova), A De Rossi (Calvisano), A Persico (Viadana), M Phillips (Viadana).

Reps: A Moretti (Calvisano), S Perugini (Calvisano), M Giacheri (Rotherham/Eng), S Palmer (Treviso), J Manuel Queirolo (Dax/Fra), R Pez (Rotherham/Eng), Mirco Bergamasco (Padova).

Wales: R Williams (Cardiff); M Jones (Llanelli), T Shanklin (Saracens), L Davies (Llanelli), G Thomas (Bridgend); I Harris (Cardiff), D Peel (Llanelli); I Thomas (Llanelli), M Davies (Pontypridd), B Evans (Swansea), R Sidoli (Pontypridd), S Williams (Northampton), M Owen (Pontypridd), M Williams (Cardiff), C Charvis (Swansea, capt).

Reps: G Williams (Bridgend), G Jenkins (Pontypridd), D Jones (Llanelli), G Thomas (Bath), G Cooper (Bath), C Sweeney (Pontypridd), M Watkins (Llanelli).

For the record Scotland and Ireland have recorded the most 5/6 Nations wooden spoons with 23 each.

Italy have 17, England 13, Wales 10 and France bringing up the rear with 9.

When it comes to championship whitewashes Scotland and Italy have the most with 11 each. Ireland and France have 7 each.

Then come Wales with 3 and England with 2.

Welsh fans will be hoping their team’s statistics in this department do not alter during the next few weeks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s