Rugby Union: Greenway puts Italians to flight

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Italy Under-21 19 Wales Under-21 78

SAM GREENWAY, the Bridgend wing, crossed the line for a hat-trick of tries as Wales Under-21 maintained their winning ways with an impressive victory over their Italian counterparts in Udine yesterday.

The Under-21s racked up 12 tries and kept their unbeaten record this season intact, showing the senior side the way before today's game in Treviso. They have already beaten Scotland, Ireland and France in this season's Five Nations campaign with only England standing in the way of a Grand Slam.

Stephen Jones, their captain, kicked nine conversions and Wales go into the important game against the English in two weeks' time in buoyant mood.

Wales took an early lead with a try by the Cardiff full-back, Craig Morgan, after five minutes, which was converted by Jones, of Llanelli. The floodgates then opened as the Italian defence buckled and the Newport blindside flanker, Alex Popham, touched down four minutes later, Jones converting again.

Greenway then stretched Wales' lead with two tries in five minutes and Jones kicked his third and fourth conversions to make the score 28-0 midway through the first half.

The Newport centre, Matthew Watkins, and the London Welsh flyer Martin Giraud then both added to Italian woes with two more tries, which were both converted by the impressive Jones. The Northampton lock Andy Newman continued Wales' try-scoring spree five minutes before half-time but Jones, at fly-half, missed his first conversion of the game.

Italy then managed a try just before full-time by the wing Palladino, which was converted by the fly-half Zamtrogma but Wales hit back straight away with a try of their own.

Greenway scored his third of the game and Jones duly converted to put Wales out of sight with a 54-7 lead at half-time.

After the break Wales carried on rattling up the points with a try by Nathan Bonner-Evans four minutes into the second half and Jones missed his second conversion of the game.

Italy then staged a mini-rally with Zamtrogma touching down and Palladino scoring his second try of the game before Wales finished the stronger.

The replacements Gavin Thomas and Craig Hawkins, along with the scrum- half Gareth Cooper, scored tries, with Jones adding two more conversions to seal an emphatic victory.

Italy Under-21: Tries Palladino 2, Zamtrogna; Conversions Zamtrogna 2. Wales Under-21: Tries Greenway 3, Bonner-Evans, Cooper, Evans, Giraud, Hawkins, C Morgan, Newman, Popham, Watkins; Conversions S Jones 9.

ITALY UNDER-21: Carlesso; Palladino, Pozzebom, Seapoli, Dolletto; Zamtrogma, Toffolo; Perugini, Omgaro, Paolepti, Marchetgo, Campanbiego, Garozzo, Bematti, Zasfiri.

WALES UNDER-21: Morgan; Greenaway, Watkins, D Hawkins, Giraud; S Jones, Cooper; Darren Jones, Williams, Sweet, Newman, Deiniol Jones, Popham, Thomas, Bonner-Evans. Replacements: Taylor, Daniel, Griffin, Mason, C Hawkins, Evans, Francis.

Referee: G Warren (England).

n A hat-trick of tries by the Australia wing Joe Roff helped inspire the Australian Capital Territory to an emphatic 37-15 win over the Stormers, their opponents from South Africa, in a Super 12 match in Canberra yesterday. Roff crossed for three of his team's five touchdowns to lead the Brumbies to their first win of the tournament after three consecutive defeats.