Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Roberts fears ‘gutting’ finale

Wales centre Jamie Roberts is determined to prevent an "absolutely gutting" scenario unfolding at the Millennium Stadium next Saturday.

But the odds are stacked against Wales making a successful RBS 6 Nations title defence following their miserably unconvincing Italian job.

Wales' Six Nations campaign was almost reduced to ruins at Stadio Flaminio, retrieved only by a late Tom Shanklin try which gave them a 20-15 victory against the tournament whipping boys.

Silverware is still a possibility for Roberts (pictured) and company, although they will now need to achieve it the hard way.

A minimum 13-point victory is the tall order they face against Grand Slam-chasing Ireland next weekend - punishment for producing their poorest Six Nations performance of Warren Gatland's coaching reign, even allowing for the nine changes he made.

A win of any description would clinch the Triple Crown - and deny Ireland a clean sweep but Wales will need to deliver a much-improved display.

"We do not want to see the Irish taking the trophy around the Millennium Stadium pitch," said Cardiff Blues star Roberts. "That would be absolutely gutting."

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