Rugby World Cup 2011
Scotland outgun Italy
Riccardo Bocchino (Gallo Images)
London - Scotland beat Italy 23-12 in a lively encounter as both teams fine-tuned their game in a final warm-up match before next month's World Cup.
The hosts notched tries through Alasdair Dickinson (10) and Mike Blair (52) at Murrayfield with Italy also crossing the line twice thanks to Tommaso Benvenuti (24) and Fabio Semenzato (49) scoring their first five-pointers in international rugby.
Scotland flyhalf Dan Parks made the difference with two conversions and three penalties in a starting-lineup which featured 14 changes to the team which overcame Ireland earlier this month.
Andy Robinson's defence were also superbly disciplined and Mirco Bergamasco missed Italy's only penalty, which would have put the Azzurri level at 10-10 just before the break.
The two sides, perennially the worst in the annual Six Nations, showed off some rare attacking flair with Benvenuti's try especially easy on the eye after two great offloads in the tackle.
Blair's touchdown was scruffy in contrast with the scrum half charging down Andrea Masi's kick close to the line.
Scotland open their World Cup Pool B campaign in New Zealand against Romania on Sept. 10 while Italy, who beat Japan last weekend, begin against Australia on Sept. 11 in Pool C.
The deadline for World Cup squads to be made official is Monday.