Italy coach Nick Mallett says limiting Wales to three tries in their final RBS 6 Nations match was a considerable achievement for his battered and bruised side.
Having lost three players in the build up to the 33-10 defeat at the Millennium Stadium, Mallett immediately had to shuffle his pack when influential centre Gonzalo Canale went off injured inside the first ten minutes.
Despite limiting the hosts to just four penalties at the break, the Azzurri’s resolve was eventually broken with two James Hook tries and one from Shane Williams before full-back Luke McLean restored some pride with a great individual score.
And although Scotland’s defeat of Ireland would later hand them the wooden spoon, Mallett was still proud of his team’s performance against a Welsh attack which he rates as one of the best in the business.
“We showed great courage and it’s been a good Six Nations and we only let Wales score three tries against us,” said Mallett who was without talismanic No.8 Sergio Parisse for the whole of the tournament.
“This has been a more positive Six Nations than 2009. We have played it all without Sergio Parisse and I’m very happy with the team.
“Wales was a difficult game for us, but I am happy with only conceding three tries.
“We could’ve conceded more, but we tackled much better than we did against France
“I think Wales, on attack, are better than any other team, except possibly France.
“The three tries they scored against Scotland in the last 10 minutes is an example of how they can play when things go well for them.
“I’m glad that this was our last game, because I’m not sure we can play another. It’s like a hospital in there.”