Edinburgh - A penalty try with just 28 seconds left on the clock has earned Italy
only their second ever Six Nations win on the road in a tense contest at
The Italians were trailing 19-15 and facing their
third defeat of the season when Irish referee George Clancy awarded them
their third try of the game after the backpedalling Scotland pack
pulled down a threatening maul close to the home line.
Sergio Parisse's side ahead 20-19 but, for good measure, replacement
stand-off Tommaso Allan added the conversion to confirm a third defeat
out of three this season for Scotland, the country he represented at age
Italy's only other Six Nations victory away from home also came at Scotland's expense, a 37-17 success in 2007.
When the Italian achieved that famous victory they were 21-0 up inside the opening six minutes.
time it was Scotland who got off to a flying start, Scotland's
scrum-half and captain Greig Laidlaw landing a penalty after Simone
Favaro, Italy's openside flanker, was punished for coming in at the side
of a ruck with just 17 seconds on the clock.
That was bad enough
for Italy but they proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot in the
eighth minute. In trying to find Parisse with a pass on the Scotland 10m
line, their New Zealand-born outside half Kelly Haimona only succeeded
in furnishing possession to Scotland centre Mark Bennett, who raced
clear to score under the posts.
Laidlaw added the conversion, stretching the Scottish lead to 10-0 but Italy swiftly halved the gap.
Biagi, the Zebre lock who was born in Scotland and educated at Fettes
College in Edinburgh, won a line-out on the right and the Italian pack,
superbly orchestrated by Parisse, drove 30 metre for the Australian born
second row Josh Furno to score.
Haimoa pushed the conversion
attempt wide but after Laidlaw nailed another penalty for Scotland, the
big Italian outside half ended a run of five successive place-kicking
misses in the competition with a penalty success from 35m in the 18th
A third Laidlaw penalty made it 16-8 to the home side in
the 27th minute but Italy cut the gap to 16-15 three minutes before half
time after a bizarre passage of play.
struck a penalty against the right-hand post and in the scramble to
gather the loose ball Venditi managed to dot it down next to the left
post for a try confirmed after referee George Clancy consulted
Television Match Official Graham Hughes.
Haimona added the
conversion but five minutes into the second half he made way for Allan,
the Perpignan outside half who switched allegiance to Italy after
playing for Scotland at under 20 level.
Allan whose uncle, John
Allan, played for Scotland - had the chance to put Italy ahead in the
53rd minute but his penalty kick drifted wide of the posts.
might have gained some breathing space on the scoreboard in the 62nd
minute but the pass with which veteran winger Sean Lamont fed a
'scoring' pass to full-back Stuart Hogg was clearly forward. Still,
Scotland claimed the first points of the second half five minutes later,
Laidlaw landing a fourth penalty.
With 90 seconds to play,
though, the Scots were reduced to 14 men after replacement lock Ben
Toolis was yellow carded on his debut for collapsing an Italian maul.
Then, with 28 seconds to go, the steamrollering Italian pack forced the penalty try that clinched a dramatic victory.
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Sean Lamont,10 Peter Horne, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Substitutes: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Greig Tonks, 23 Matt Scott
15 Luke McLean, 14 Michele Visentin, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Enrico Bacchin, 11 Giovambattista Venditti, 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 George Fabio Biagi, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Matias Aguero.
Substitutes: 16 Andrea Manici, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Samuela Vunisa, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Giulio Bisegni