Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 February 2020

Josh Adams hat-trick powers Wales to bonus-point win over Italy in Six Nations

Memorable start for Wayne Pivac as Wales coach with 42-0 win at the Principality Stadium

Wales’ Josh Adams scores his side's second try of the game during the Six Nations match at the Principality Stadium. PA
Wales’ Josh Adams scores his side's second try of the game during the Six Nations match at the Principality Stadium. PA

Wales made a good start to their Six Nations title defence by defeating Italy 42-0 at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

It was a memorable Six Nations bow for new Wales head coach Wayne Pivac as his team clinched a bonus-point win. Wing Josh Adams, who was the World Cup top try-scorer earlier this season, led the way by scoring a hat-trick, including two in 12 first-half minutes, and Saracens centre Nick Tompkins registered a solo try on his Test debut.

Fly-half Dan Biggar kicked three penalties and a conversion to put Wales 21 points clear by the interval.

Biggar also converted Tompkins' score for a 13-point haul, although it took Wales until the 77th minute to claim the fourth try when George North crossed and Leigh Halfpenny converted, before Halfpenny added the extras after Adams completed the treble.

"In the first 20 minutes of the second half we were flat if we are honest, but we finished the way we want to," Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones said.

"It is a foundation for the new regime. We still have four games to go in the competition. We played well in fits and starts, and there are a few discipline issues we will need to look at."

For Italy, it was a 23rd successive Six Nations defeat with their next game against France in Paris.

"It was tough, but we knew it would be," Italy captain Luca Bigi said. "We created a lot but could not finalise our chances.

"We need to focus more on every single line-out and scrum to create chances for our backs."

Victory extended Wales' record number of home wins in succession to seven as they started the defence of their title and a new era under Pivac following the departure of Warren Gatland after the World Cup in Japan.

Pivac handed a Test debut to Scarlets wing Johnny McNicholl, while number eight Taulupe Faletau made a first Wales appearance in almost two years and there were places on the bench for Tompkins and scrum-half Rhys Webb.

Updated: February 4, 2020 01:29 PM

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