Match Report


Wales celebrations
Silisia Tuipulotu’s late try earned Wales their first win over the 2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations with a dramatic 22-20 victory over Italy.

A game of constant ebb and flow looked to be heading the way of the visitors after Emma Stevanin scored to put Italy ahed with 10 minute set on the clock but Wales fought back to wrestle the game back in their favour and Tuipulotu powered over with just two minutes remaining to send the Principality Stadium crowd into raptures.

It was a fitting end to a thrilling encounter in Cardiff which saw neither side able to take control of the contest, with Carys Phillips’ early try cancelled out by Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi and the boot of Beatrice Rigoni sent the visitors into the break ahead.

Tries from Player of the Match Gywenllian Pyrs and Francesca Granzotto continued the back and forth theme of the clash but Wales finally got themselves on top as the clock headed for the red to ensure they finished their campaign with a win.


Wales started brightly and took just two minutes to march their way to the Italian try line. Lleucu George kicked a penalty deep into touch to provide the basis for a flurry of forwards to try to find a way through, but the Italian defence held firm and eventually relieved the pressure after a Welsh knock-on.

Italy then returned the favour, racing up to the Wales 22 after turning the ball over and also opting for the same penalty and lineout combination, but an infringement from the resulting throw allowed Wales to clear their lines.

The opening forays from both teams were early signs of how the first half would play out, with both sides bringing plenty of attacking endeavour but at times missing the precision required to add to their tallies on the scoreboard.

It was Wales who made the breakthrough with a razor sharp set piece manoeuvre that allowed Philips to dot down in the corner.

Another penalty was again kicked to the corner, but this time Phillips threw it short to Alisha Buctchers and the pair played a one-two to release Phillips to score.


That was Wales’ first try in the opening quarter of a game in the 2024 Championship and appeared to be the perfect platform from which to build, even if the conversion attempt fell short, but those hopes were quickly crumbled as Italy responded immediately with a try of their own.

Confusion in the Welsh defensive ranks allowed Alyssa D’Inca to scurry free with the ball and she released Ostuni Minuzzi to sprint down the wing, ride a tackle, and score. Beatrice Rigoni added the extra two points from the touchline to nudge the visitors ahead.

Italy were ascendant in the immediate aftermath but Wales soon worked their way back into the contest and found themselves knocking at the door of the Italian try line again with five minutes left on the clock in the first half, but handling errors once again let them down and Italy cleared.

It would prove extra costly on the scoreboard as Rigoni added another three points from the tee after Wales were penalised for not rolling away as they sought to halt a late Italian attack.


Wales started the second half in almost the exactly the same way as the first, with George once again picking out touch from a penalty with a long accurate kick.

The lineout was cleanly taken and this time Wales were clinical and Pyrs burrowed over from close range to draw the teams level and the successful conversion from Keira Bevan put the hosts back in front.

Bevan then extended the lead by three with the boot, slotting home a penalty in front of the posts as Wales looked to finally grab control of the contest.

Ioan Cunningham’s side showed the attacking intent to do just that, with Lisa Neumann almost wriggling free after riding a number o tackles before Cox and Jenny Hesketh were equally narrowly denied on the other wing.

But Italy struck back again as they once more showed their slick attacking hands to work their way over the line.

Flowing passes between Aura Muzzo and D’Inca gave Granzotto room on the wing and she burned past the Welsh defence to tie up the scores again at 15-15.


Wales almost produced the perfect response as Butchers found a gap in the Italian line but her pass to Alex Callender was knocked on with the line waiting for her.

That breathed new confidence into Italy and a laser-accurate kick to touch from Rigoni launched the visitors into the 22 but a loose pass from Sofia Stefan allowed the hosts brief respite.

But the Azzurre found their way through eventually with 10 minutes on the clock, as quick play with the ball in hand saw the ball moved rapidly from one side to the other, and Stevanin was on hand to finish off a fabulous flowing move in the corner.

Wales were not down and out despite going behind and George produced a superb 50:22 to haul her side up the pitch as they searched for the try that would offer them at least a draw.

The Welsh forwards powered through the phases just metres from the line and were held up time and time again until Tuipulotu crashed over under the posts.

George held her nerve to slot the home the conversion and put Wales 22-20 ahead and the hosts held theirs to see out the game and end the 2024 Championship on a winning note.