Interim Wales head coach Rob Howley shrugged off the significance of failing to secure a late bonus point after his side began their Six Nations campaign by overcoming a stubborn Italy at the Stadio Olimpico.
Wing Liam Williams looked to have scored the fourth try necessary to gain an additional point during the final move of the game, only to be adjudged to have lost control of the ball over the line.
Howley confirmed that fly-half Dan Biggar will be assessed this week ahead of Saturday’s showdown with England to determine the extent of a rib injury which forced his half-time withdrawal. Wing George North also suffered an early blow to the thigh.
The 46-year-old former scrum-half also admitted that improvements would be needed if Wales are to overcome England despite posting 30 unanswered points in the second period courtesy of tries from Jonathan Davies, Williams and North.
“It’s a win,” said Howley. “Momentum is important in the Six Nations as a tournament. I thought the composure that we showed, particularly at half time, I think you saw the experience of the team.
“The majority of this team were here two years ago when it was 15-14 and we know how tough it is to come to Italy. [But] we want to improve in all areas.
“We use the word relentless, with and without the ball. There were aspects of our game today when we weren’t relentless with the ball. We have to put England under more pressure than we did Italy.”
Despite recording their 11th successive victory over the Azzurri, Wales had to overturn a 7-3 half-time deficit following a try from Italy scrum-half Edoardo Gori, which was converted by No10 Carlo Canna.
In addition to their try-scorers, full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked 18 points in front of the watching Warren Gatland as Wales overtook England and Scotland to lead the championship. All three nations are locked on four points.