Match Report

Late Padovani try seals stunning Italy win

Niccolò Cannone celebrates a turnover 19/3/2022
Paolo Garbisi held his nerve to kick a game-winning conversion in the final minute to seal a deserved victory for Italy against Wales in Cardiff.

Paolo Garbisi held his nerve to kick a game-winning conversion in the final minute to seal a deserved victory for Italy against Wales in Cardiff.

It had looked as if Wales had secured victory thanks to second-half tries from Dewi Lake and Josh Adams only for Edoardo Padovani to crash over with one minute on the clock after stunning work from Ange Capuozzo on his first start.

The result marks Italy’s first ever win away to Wales and their first Guinness Six Nations victory since 2015.

Italy had led at half time thanks to four first-half penalties as the visitors took advantage of Welsh ill-discipline at the breakdown but were pegged back after the break and looked to be heading for defeat.

However, Capuozzo did brilliantly to carry from within his own half, break the line and pass inside for Padovani to go over under the posts, before Garbisi sealed the victory with the conversion.


The opening 10 minutes offered little of note in the way of action, as both sides seemed content to kick for territory.

Italy in particular were happy to kick deep into the Wales half, with Johnny McNicholl’s ability under the high ball well-tested.

Juan Ignacio Brex saw the first real moment of action in Cardiff as the centre did excellently to break through the Wales line and earn a penalty which was duly knocked over by Garbisi.

It was something that became the theme of the half as Wayne Pivac’s men were consistently penalised at the breakdown and Italy took repeated advantage.

Just minutes later, excellent work at the ruck by Danilo Fischetti saw Wales pinged for not releasing and Padovani drilled home the penalty to put Kieran Crowley’s men 6-0 ahead after 16 minutes.

Louis Rees-Zammit then sparked the Wales attack into life with a stunning break of the line only to be held up metres from the line.

The ball was passed along and it looked like a certain try only for Uilisi Halaholo to knock on at the crucial moment.

Wales did then get their breakthrough just before the half hour, Owen Watkin going over after good patience from the hosts against a stubborn Italian defence to make the score 7-6.

Rees-Zammit did excellently to break through the line once more and Wales reaped the rewards of quick ball to allow Watkin to find the gap, beat two defenders and go over for just his second try for Wales.

But Italy struck back once more through the boots of Garbisi and Padovani, with Wales’ discipline at the breakdown again letting them down.

Garbisi put Italy back in the lead on the half hour before Padovani extended the lead to 12-7 after good work from Giacomo Nicotera.

The lead was nearly even bigger for Italy before half time as Monty Ioane broke the line and looked to be clear only to be tackled metres short.

Callum Braley inventively kicked cross-field but Ioane couldn’t claim the high ball and Capuozzo was agonisingly close from touching down.

Wales survived the late onslaught with the clock deep in the red and Italy went into the break 12-7 ahead.


Italy’s dominance at the breakdown continued and Crowley’s men were able to turn the ball over and set Ioane away.

The winger surged down the pitch, collecting his own kick and looked on for a try only to be denied by a superb, try-saving Adams tackle in the corner.

It was then Italy’s turn to fall foul of the law and Biggar once more kicked for touch but the visitors’ defence stood firm once more.

They could only hold out for so long, however, and another lineout saw Lake pick the ball from the back of a maul and drive over to edge Wales into a 14-12 lead.

Italy would not be dampened, Ioane once again breaking the line forcing Wales back into their own 22 and yet another penalty came the way of the Italians, which was duly knocked over by Garbisi in front of the posts.

Italy continued to frustrate a Wales side that at times looked laborious in attack, unable to get any quick ball against a dogged defence.

It looked like it would need a moment of brilliance from Wales to make the crucial breakthrough and it came with ten minutes to go.

Adams received the ball wide and jinked inside to beat two defenders and go over to put Wales 21-15 ahead.

That try had looked to seal the win for Wales and the home side had chances to put the result beyond doubt, with Wyn Jones crashing over only to be held up.

It would come back to bite them as stunning work from Capuozzo to carry the ball up the pitch and feed Padovani won the game for Italy in the final minute and secure a historic victory for Crowley and Italy.