WALES head coach Wayne Pivac had warned there would be no 'razzle dazzle’ against Italy, but the response was ‘When in Rome,’ as his side raced to within one win of an unexpected Grand Slam.

They had arrived in the Eternal City with three wins, growing confidence, and a fully loaded starting side - and with a bonus point already in the bag at half-time, they eased towards a 48-7 triumph.

Even hooker Ken Owens went in at the interval on a hat-trick, with his two tries following scores from Josh Adams and Taulupe Faletau, and there was also a Louis Rees-Zammit try disallowed.

Wales did not let up in the second half - even though Italy improved - and further ties from George North, Rees-Zammit and Callum Sheedy completed their biggest ever winning margin in Rome.

Within three minutes, Italy were penalised for off-feet at the ruck, and Biggar’s penalty goal put the first points on the board in the first signs that it was going to be a long afternoon for the Azzurri.

When a penalty was conceded, Gareth Davies tapped quickly, and Luca Bigi stopped him from within 10 metres - and another penalty against Bigi duly earned him a yellow card for cynical play.

Wales took the scrum eight metres out, and on the first phase Biggar threw a long miss-pass out to Adams on the wing, who eased over in the left corner, with the No 10 converting from wide out.

Soon after, Adams was stopped just short on the left, but after a few short carries Biggar took the ball and sent it all the way right for Faletau to make a simple grounding out in the right corner.

Biggar failed with the difficult kick, but with 15 minutes on the clock there were 15 points on the board – and with Adams and North looking dangerous, there were always more tries to come.

The forwards joined the fun when, after taking line-out ball, Wales set up the maul and pushed on, with Owens going over with the ball, and Biggar converting it to make it 22-0 after 22 minutes.

Italy, despite their endeavour, were running into a Welsh wall, and it was a case of deja vu as the same lineout routine saw hooker Owens score again - but Biggar’s kick came back off the upright.

Rees-Zammit thought he had scored a fifth try, after Wales had won turnover possession, but the pass from Biggar was ruled forward by the TMO, and score remained 27-0 at the half-time break.

Three minutes into the second half, North got his try as Jonathan Davies offloaded for his midfield partner North to race through and score, and outside half Biggar slotted the extra two points.

Italy typically battled on, and they got their reward when Monte Ioane received the ball on the left in very little space, chipped over Rees-Zammit, and chased and gathered to score in the corner.

From way out wide, Garbisi superbly converted, but then within two minutes Adams dived over for what he thought was his second try, only for his own arm under the ball to prevent a grounding.

When Marco Riccioni was yellow-carded for foul play, Wales capitalised as man of the match Josh Navidi supplied the pass for replacement Callum Sheedy to score a try, which he then converted.

Then, after Italy had made it up to Wales’ 22, Rees-Zammit claimed a loose, looping pass over the top from Carlo Canna, spun around and ran in 80 metres for a try, duly converted by Sheedy.

Wales have now matched their record of 17 Six Nations tries in one tournament - with a game still to go - and captain Alun Wyn Jones could become the first Welshman to celebrate four Grand Slams.

From Rome to Paris they go.

ITALY: Trulla, Bellini, Brex, Canna, Ioane, Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Bigi (capt), Zilocchi, Cannone, Sisi, Negri, Meyer, Lamaro. Replacements: Fabiani for Ioane (7-18), Lovotti, Riccioni for Zilocchi (33), Lazzaroni for Cannone (52), Mbanda for Meyer (26-36), Violi for Varney (63), Mori, Padovani for Trulla (44).

WALES: L Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, J Davies, Adams; Biggar, G Davies; W Jones, Owens, Tomas Francis, Hill, AW Jones (capt), Navidi, Tipuric, Faletau. Replacements: Dee for Owens (54), Carre for W Jones (57), Brown for Francis (45), Ball for AW Jones (54), Wainwright for Faletau (51), L Williams for G Davies (52), Sheedy for Biggar (52), Halaholo for North (46)

Match officials: Referee: Wayne Barnes (England). Touch judges: Pascal Gauzere (France) & Christophe Ridley (England). TMO: Tom Foley (England).