Six Nations

Scotland claim first win

2011-03-19 18:36
Nikki Walker (AP)

Edinburgh - Scotland beat Italy 21-8 on Saturday at Murrayfield in their Six Nations match leaving the Italians with the wooden spoon.

Tries in quick succession in the second half by substitute Nick De Luca and late call-up Nikki Walker gave the hosts their first tries at Murrayfield since November 2009 as Italy were unable to keep up their momentum from the historic victory over France last weekend.

Scotland's first win of the campaign sees them edge Italy on points difference.

The Scots got off to a rousing start, pinning the Italians back in their 22 with a well controlled passage of play which lasted 15 phases.

A quick try did not materialise, however Scotland snatched the lead with a simple Chris Paterson penalty after the Italy defence held on too long to John Barclay in the tackle in the shadow of their posts.

Andrea Masi, though, then made a surging run to score his second try in as many matches, staving off a weak challenge by Walker and running it in - Mirco Bergamasco failed with his conversion.

Scotland responded positively and fine work by Sean Lamont and Joe Ansbro should have laid the platform for a Simon Danielli try.

However, the Ulster winger was blocked just half a pace short of the line and again they had to make do with three points from the boot of Paterson - but at a price.

Ansbro was carried off with a serious-looking knee injury and replaced by De Luca.

Italy continued to look lethal on the counter attack and home alarm bells rang again when Paul Derbyshire pounced on a loose ball before galloping into the danger zone.

Bergamasco looked set to carry on the momentum, but somehow the Scots turned the ball over at a critical moment but he added a penalty to restore the Italians lead.

Scotland should have snapped up a try a second after the restart - but for a moment of fatal hesitation from Lamont.

He hacked a loose ball towards the line and appeared to be winning the head-to-head race with hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini.

But at the last split second Lamont opted to hold back slightly, waiting to see how the ball would bounce.

The delay allowed the Italian to dive in front of him and steal possession.

Scotland's fortunes turned just two minutes later, however, when De Luca ended the Murrayfield drought.

Nathan Hines peeled off a ruck, drew in the fringe defence - created the time and space for De Luca to slither over in the corner for his first try in 24 Tests.

Even better was to come from the revived Scots in the 55th minute.

Again the build up was patient and calmly-executed to lay the platform for Walker to weave his way past three defenders on his way to crossing the line.

Paterson added the conversion to make the gap 10 points - then gave his side another massive confidence boost by slotting his next penalty attempt.

He then raced to Scotland's rescue with a marvellous last-gasp tackle on Luke McLean, whose mazy run threatened to spark a late Italian rally.

Read more on:    six nations
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