Fourth defeat in as many games for Italy in rugby in the 2023 Six Nations. Wales beat the Azzurri 29-17 (22-3) in today's match at the Olimpico.
Six Nations: Italy-Wales 17-29 - Sport
Fourth defeat for the Azzurri in as many games (ANSA)
The president of the Fir, and former blue captain, Marzio Innocenti had warned on the eve: "feet on the ground, Wales remain favourites".
Yet in an Olimpico stadium with over 60,000 spectators (including Defense Minister Guido Crosetto) many believed in the blue enterprise as they did a year ago in Cardiff.
The pitch, however, says the opposite with the guests winning 29-17, leaving a bitter taste for Lamaro and his teammates who certainly didn't have the best Wales in its history in front of them.
So, one day before the end of the Six Nations, Crowley's boys are one step away from the wooden spoon: to avoid it, it would be necessary to beat Scotland with the offensive bonus and hope for the defeat of Wales against France.
Quite a complicated scenario
but the regrets are almost all Italians for a first half played under tone.
To the point that Wales goes into the locker room on 22-3 with a +19 gained thanks to a very high defensive line, but above all because of an Italy that is too foul and confusing.
As in the first two tries of the guests who first take advantage of a wrong reading in Bruno's rebound to go marking with Dyer and then a nap from Cannone, Varney and Gabrisi who let Liam Williams slip away for the second half of the afternoon.
Between the two Welsh goals, Italy also tries to move its score thanks to the free kick transformed by Allan, called to replace the star Capuozzo.
But the first half still remains in Welsh colors who can take advantage of more minutes of numerical superiority on their return due to Cannone's yellow card.
The second half is then that of the angry blue reaction with the final which also gives Italy a timid hope of being able to believe in a comeback.
In fact, not even three minutes after the restart and Negri's try arrives, good at picking up Allan's forward kick.
But two minutes later here's another yellow, this time for Bruno.
Italy down by one man and the Dragons' fourth goal with Faletau for 29-10.
Lamaro and his teammates begin to suffer from the situation and also lose in the scrum and touche, but at 13'
from the end it is Brex who gives the Azzurri their last hope who, after prolonged action, find the second goal.
Italy came out of its torpor too late and at the final whistle it was Wales who celebrated with Lamaro's regrets.
"Unfortunately we have never expressed ourselves at our best level - says the blue captain -. These are teams more used than us to winning and managing the match once they are above us. In some moments we also expressed a good game, we have created so much but without ever being able to exploit them".
Italy pays for the many individual mistakes "on which we are working to improve".
Then he concludes by talking about what Italy still lacks.
"We must acquire the mentality that allows us to win even if we are not perfect. I am sure we will get there."
It is Lamaro's promise.
Coach Crowley, on the other hand, does not reduce the result to the mere absence of Capuozzo.
"It's true that it gives us pace - he explains -, but the players suffer injuries and it's part of the game. There are things we try to do regardless of who goes on the pitch".
Appointment now in Scotland to try to close this Six Nations on a high note: but in Edinburgh it will be very tough.