Women’s Six Nations: Wales clinch stunning last-minute victory over Italy in front of record crowd

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Wales pulled off a stunning 22-20 victory over Italy in the final moments of their Six Nations campaign at the Principality Stadium which saw their head coach Ioan Cunningham burst into tears.

Wales had lost their previous four matches in the competition and were staring at another defeat before Sisilia Tuipulotu’s try two minutes from time, converted by Lleucu George, earned the hosts a well-earned victory in front of a record crowd for a women’s international fixture.

Wales took the lead in the 16th minute through a try from hooker Carys Phillips, the first time they scored within the first quarter of the game during this campaign, but a minute later the home side lost the ball and Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi ran in, with Beatrice Rigoni’s conversion putting Italy ahead.

A penalty from Rigoni made it 10-5 at half-time but Wales were back in front within four minutes of the restart, prop Gwenllian Pyrs diving over and Keira Bevan converting.

A Bevan penalty extended the lead to five points but Italy hit back with two tries from Francesca Granzotto and Emma Stevanin before Tuipulotu’s last intervention.

The result was not enough for Wales to avoid the wooden spoon but their narrow victory over Italy meant their Six Nations campaign didn’t end with a whitewash.

“We’ve been working really hard this week and the girls played really well, credit to them because it’s been a really tough campaign,” said Player of the Match, Wales’ prop Gwenllian Pyrs on BBC Sport.

“It’s amazing, so much energy has gone into it and I’m delighted we got across the line,” said Cunningham.

“The pressure is a privilege, we’re lucky to do what we do and I’m so pleased for the players. We had to go through tough meetings throughout this campaign but today they showed their spirit and managed to claw it back.

“It’s not where we want to be but to get the win today was huge and we’re not a bad team, we’re trying to change the way we play and it paid off today.”

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