Following a dominant performance against Italy, Wales are just one win away from securing a joint-record 13th Six Nations Grand Slam title.
The record held by England is in serious jeopardy, and could be matched in Paris, after the final round of the 2021 Six Nations.
Wayne Pivac’s men are one step closer to a clean sweep of the opposition, after they shut out the Azzurri by 48 points to seven.
Wales now set their sights on a victory over Antoine Dupont’s flamboyant French side, who have been proven to be beatable. They were toppled by a reinvigorated England team, who were playing their best rugby since the 2019 World Cup.
Wales wasted no time in getting on the scoresheet in Rome. Dan Biggar calmly slotted a penalty after three minutes, before winger Josh Adams led the Red Dragon over the try line for the first time, with only eight minutes played.
Taulupe Faletau was next to cross the whitewash, before two consecutive tries within five minutes by hooker Ken Owens sealed a 27-0 lead at halftime.
The ‘Sheriff of Carmarthen’ grounded the ball twice in similar fashion for his brace, as two effectively worked rolling mauls continued to break down the Italian defensive line.
The second half brought about more of the same red dominance, as George North showcased his explosive pace to glide past the Italian defenders to score.
Montanna Ioane dived to the corner to score Italy’s consolation try, after a brief lapse in concentration for Wales. Wales were visually frustrated to have let Italy onto the scoreboard, which exemplifies their perfectionist ambitions of securing a Grand Slam title.
Bristol fly-half Callum Sheedy re-started Wales’ scoring, as he danced his way through a gap with an audacious step, before dotting the ball down.
It was Gloucester’s flying winger Louis Rees-Zammit who scored the try of the match. Plucking a pass out of the air on his own 22 metre line, the aptly nicknamed ‘Rees Lighting’ lived up to his moniker. He outpaced any Italian defender who tried to catch him, before leisurely scoring under the posts.
The fifth round of the Six Nations will certainly bring an exciting conclusion, to a fantastic tournament of action.