Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Scotland survive scare to beat Italy

Jonny Gray is disappointed with Scotland's Six Nations campaign Jonny Gray is disappointed with Scotland's Six Nations campaign
Kayla Schwartz | 21 March, 2018, 06:11

IT may have been underwhelming, and it was arguably undeserved against an inspired Italian side, but it was a victory nonetheless for Scotland as they ended the Six Nations with three wins out of five.

Italy vs Scotland gets underway at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome at 12.30pm on Saturday, March 17.

Scotland's Greig Laidlaw joked that he's told his teammates not to leave him any more pressure kicks after converting a last minute penalty to secure their win over Italy on Saturday.

Scotland's set piece struggled but a rare well-worked lineout in the Italy 22.

Scotland hit back in the 25th minute when captain John Barclay powered through the back of a maul to dive over the line and Laidlaw's conversion reduced the deficit to five points.

Allan nudged Italy back in front with a penalty but Laidlaw broke Italian hearts as he landed his own and Scotland held on for a two-point win. "I am destroyed for them, the players", Italy's Irish coach Conor O'Shea said after the game, attributing the loss mainly to a lack of experience required to close out the game. It's not getting any easier but we've beaten a French team who are improving.

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Another boost came within two minutes of the restart, when Sebastian Negri burst through and touched down only for the score to be chalked off for a knock-on, but the Italians were not to be denied, and got their third try in the 45th minute.

Matteo Minozzi then extended Italy's advantage, showing his pace to reach Allan's clever kick through ahead of the Scottish defenders.

But Laidlaw had other ideas and proved reliable once again with the boot.

Starting XV: Hogg, Seymour, Jones, Grigg, Maitland, Russell, Laidlaw, Reid, Brown, Nel, Swinson, J Gray, Barclay (capt), Watson, Wilson.

Scoring sequence: 3-0, 3-5, 8-5, 10-5, 15-5, 17-5, 17-10, 17-12 half-time, 22-12, 24-12, 24-17, 24-19, 24-24, 24-26, 27-26, 27-29.

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