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Kieran Crowley could be in hot water over sideline exchange with ref

By Ian Cameron
L'entraîneur-chef de l'Italie Kieran Crowley sur la pelouse du Stadio Olimpico, à Rome. Picture date: Saturday March 11, 2023. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

Italy head coach Kieran Crowley could find himself in hot water after a heated exchange with match officials during his team’s game against Wales at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

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Italy were the favourites heading into the game, but Wales had the better of the first half, leading 22-3 at the break.

Wales started brightly in glorious conditions, creating quick possession and looking to attack in wide channels before fly-half Owen Williams kicked them ahead through a sixth-minute penalty.

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Italy looked lethargic and nervous in comparison, and Wales extended their lead with a ninth-minute try.

Webb kicked over the top of Italy’s defence, and Dyer made the most of a kind bounce to gather before sprinting over. Williams’ conversion opened up a 10-0 lead, and the visitors were off to a flying start.

Italy needed a response, and it arrived through an Allan penalty after 16 minutes, yet Wales were immediately back on the front foot.

Their attacking game had a real urgency about it, but a second try inside the opening quarter owed everything to Liam Williams’ individual brilliance.

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Receiving the ball a metre from the touchline, Williams beat five Italy defenders as he cut back inside on a stunning run at pace, and Wales retained control of the contest, 15-3 in front.

Crowley, however, appeared to be unhappy with some of the referee Damon Murphy’s decisions and was caught on camera shouting on the sideline at the Australian official at halftime, before retreating angrily into the tunnel.

Murphy had just awarded Wales a penalty try and yellow-carded Italy number eight Lorenzo Cannone, with the visitors taking a 19-point lead into half-time.

The incident could result in a Six Nations disciplinary hearing for New Zealander, who has overseen a turnaround in the Italians’ performances, even if results haven’t been forthcoming yet in this tournament.

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additional reporting PA

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Ali 460 days ago

It wasn't just Crowley who was unhappy with some of the refereeing decisions. The Italian skipper was getting very wound up by the end of the first half and I haven't seen anyone act as petulantly as Garbisi in a long time. Looks like he's been taking a leaf out of Biggar and Farrell's books!

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