Wales, the fear of the wooden spoon before going to Italy
This Saturday (3:15 p.m.), the Leek XV, currently in an unfavorable situation, travels to Rome…
This Saturday (3:15 p.m.), the Leek XV, currently in an unfavorable situation, travels to Rome for a match under high tension. The last place in the Tournament is at stake.
The Game of Fear. The Nazionale receives, this Saturday (3:15 p.m.) in Rome, a Wales under pressure, on behalf of the 4th day of the Six Nations Tournament. The Leek XV has still not won a match in the competition and has not even wona small defensive bonus point.
Faced with an Italy in progress but which will evolve without Angel CapuozzoWarren Gatland’s men will have to do everything to win the meeting and avoid a wooden spoon, after the one obtained in 2003.
In Wales, nothing is right
The earth has shaken in Wales in recent weeks. The Welsh FA was first targeted by complaints of sexism. Then it was the turn of economic concerns. Welsh players even considered going on strike ahead of the final day’s game against England. On a sporting level? Everything is going wrong. Gatland returned after Pivac left and the start of the Tournament is disastrous. In the first three matches, the Leek XV lost three times to Scotland, Ireland and England and remains on 12 defeats in the last 15 games played.
Dan Biggar has lost his place in the last two meetings. Tim Williams / PANORAMIC
This year more than ever, the bookmakers have never been so close to seeing a victory for Italy against these same Welsh. “It’s a new Six Nations match… Someone told me that some bookmakers in England are still giving Wales a slight favourite!” expressed, suspicious, Kieran Crowley, the transalpine coach. Let’s not forget either that last season, the Nazionale beat Wales at home (21-22), with a festival ofAnge Capuozzo, behind the winning try with a superb recovery.
An aging team
Welsh and Italians have, in recent seasons, a diametrically opposed track record in the competition. Wales is, with England, the most successful nation of the Tournament (39). While Italy is the country that obtained the most… wooden spoons (17). But a few months before the World Cup, George North’s teammates are still looking for each other.
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The team has often been referred to as “aging”, for proof, the Alun-Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar, Ken Owens or Taulupe Faletau are still there. The young Grady, Hawkins or Tshiunza have certainly pointed their noses at the worst of times.
This weekend, fear will reign in the heads of the players of the Leek XV. A defeat could plunge the team into a much bigger crisis even if there is still a meeting the following week against the XV of France.