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Italy 20-14 Scotland

Scotland look set for the Six Nations wooden spoon after being convincingly outplayed by Italy.

Hooker Fabio Ongaro scored Italy’s only try – at the start of the second half – although replays showed he had failed to ground it.

Despite that, the scoreline flattered the Scots, who struggled to match the Italians in the set pieces.

Simon Webster scored a late consolation try and the remaining points came from Chris Paterson and Roland de Marigny.

The game lived up to its reputation as the battle between the Six Nations’ two worst sides from the opening whistle.

Neither team showed any invention on the attack, instead generally opting to kick the ball or keep it in the forwards.

But Italy were the far more assured on the basics and stronger in the set pieces, with De Marigny kicking well from the spot as well as out of hand in his first start at fly-half.

In contrast, Scotland fluffed their passes and Paterson struggled to find his range in open play, despite matching De Marigny’s three penalties in the first half.

De Marigny boasted three from three in the opening 40 minutes, while Paterson failed with just one kick.

In Scotland’s defence, they tried to spread the ball wide, unlike their Azzurri counterparts, although to little effect as their handling was so bad.

A tense Scottish XV were punished immediately after the break, though, when a lucky bounce gave Italy an attacking line-out.

The resulting throw rebounded off the jumpers over Scotland’s line and Ongaro was judged to have touched it down by referee Nigel Whitehouse, although television replays suggested otherwise.

That score inspired Italy, with Denis Dallan coming close to a try moments later only to lose out in the ball chase to Simon Webster.

From there, the Italians closed ranks, relying even more heavily on their forwards and dominating possession.

Paterson had a chance to cut the deficit but missed his spot kick, before De Marigny effectively sealed a famous win with a fourth penalty 11 minutes from time.

A fifth penalty in the dying moments rubbed salt into Scotland’s wounds before Simon Webster ran in a consolation try in the last minute.

Teams

Italy

Canale (Benetton Treviso), Mazzucato (Calvisano), Stoica (Montpellier), M Dallan (Benetton Treviso), D Dallan (Benetton Treviso), de Marigny (Overmach Rugby Parma), Griffen (Ghial Calvisano); Lo Cicero (Lazio & Primavera), Ongaro (Benetton Treviso), Castrogiovanni (Ghial Calvisano), Dellape (Benetton Treviso), Bortolami (Safilo Petrarca Padova), de Rossi (Capt, Ghial Calvisano), Persico (Leeds Tykes), Parisse (Benetton Treviso).
Replacements
Festuccia (SKG Gran Parma), Perugini (Ghial Calvisano), Checchinato (Benetton Treviso), Orlando (Benetton Treviso), Picone (Benetton Treviso), Wakarua (ADMO Leonessa Brescia), M Bergamasco (Stade Francais)

Scotland
Hinshelwood (Worcester); Danielli (Bath), Philip (Edinburgh), Laney (Edinburgh), Webster (Edinburgh); Paterson (Edinburgh, capt), Cusiter (Borders); Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Bulloch (Glasgow), Douglas (Borders), Murray (Edinburgh), Grimes (Newcastle), White (Sale), Taylor (Edinburgh), Hogg (Edinburgh).

Replacements
Kerr (Leeds), Russell (Saracens), Hines (Edinburgh), Petrie (Glasgow), Blair (Edinburgh), Henderson (Glasgow), Lee (Edinburgh).

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 6th, 2004 at 3:50 pm and is filed under Six Nations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


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