Six Nations

Scotland open Six Nations account with Italy win

2020-02-22 18:31
Magnus Bradbury of Scotland breaks the tackle of B
Magnus Bradbury of Scotland breaks the tackle of Braam Steyn of Italy (Getty).

Rome - Scotland got their first win of this year's Six Nations on Saturday with a 17-0 win in Rome which looks set to condemn Italy to another wooden spoon.

A brilliant solo effort from captain Stuart Hogg also earned Scotland their first try of the tournament after 22 minutes in the Stadio Olimpico with Chris Harris and Adam Hastings adding two more in the second half.

Hastings converted his own try to make up for having missed a penalty and an earlier conversion, while Tommaso Allan messed up a penalty opportunity which would have put Italy on the scoreboard.

Italy fell to a 25th consecutive defeat in the tournament and are set to take the wooden spoon for the 15th time.

Both teams had been chasing their first win of the 2020 tournament after two defeats apiece, with Italy also suffering a 42-0 thrashing against holders Wales.

In a nervy start the Scots piled on the pressure early in sunny conditions in Rome, after their rain and windswept 13-6 defeat to England last time out, following a 24-14 defeat to Ireland.

Gregor Townsend's side were pushed hard by the Italians who had been in the game until Federico Zani was sin-binned with ten minutes to go.

Hastings sent a penalty kick wide after eight minutes as the Italians looked dangerous with a Matteo Bellini counter-attack, off-loading to Jayden Hayward before Scotland reacted and sent Braam Steyn into touch.

But Hogg made up for his errors which contributed to the Scots' opening two defeats against Ireland and England.

The Exeter Chiefs full-back broke through with a brilliant solo run down the right-wing.

Ali Price thought he had scored a second after half an hour with Hamish Watson racing through the Italian defence. The try was ruled out after a review showed Sam Johnson's final pass was forward.

Allan missed a chance to reduce the deficit before the break sending a penalty against the post.

Scotland's pressure on the line paid off after the break with Harris powering over.

Italy replacement hooker Zani was yellow-carded for upending Grant Gilchrist at a ruck with 10 minutes to go.

And after a scrappy finale Hastings picked up the ball and raced unchallenged to a third try, to condemn Franco Smith to a humiliating defeat on his first game as coach in the Stadio Olimpico.

The Italians are without a win in the tournament since beating Scotland at Murrayfield in 2015, and are winless in the Stadio Olimpico for the past seven years.

Italy next travel to Ireland before hosting England in their final game which should be the international farewell for Italy legend Sergio Parisse.

Scotland next host France in Murrayfield before travelling to Wales for their final game.

Read more on:    italy  |  scotland  |  six nations  |  rugby


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