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Italy

FULL-TIME
27     29

Scotland

Six Nations | Rome
12:30 (GMT) | 17-03-2018
Mc italy ed
Italy
Mc scotland ed
Scotland
START LINE UP
  • 15 Matteo Minozzi
  • 14 Tommaso Benvenuti
  • 13 Tommaso Boni
  • 12 Tommaso Castello
  • 11 Mattia Bellini
  • 10 Tommaso Allan
  • 9 Marcello Violi
  • 8 Sergio Parisse
  • 7 Abraham Steyn
  • 6 Sebastian Negri Da Oleggio
  • 5 Dean Budd
  • 4 Alessandro Zanni
  • 3 Simone Ferrari
  • 2 Lucas Bigi
  • 1 Nicola Quaglio
RESERVES
  • 23 Jayden Hayward
  • 22 Carlo Canna
  • 21 Edoardo Gori
  • 20 Maxime Mbanda
  • 19 Federico Ruzza
  • 18 Tiziano Pasquali
  • 17 Andrea Lovotti
  • 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini
START LINE UP
  • 15 Stuart Hogg
  • 14 Blair Kinghorn
  • 13 Huw Jones
  • 12 Peter Horne
  • 11 Sean Maitland
  • 10 Finn Russell
  • 9 Greig Laidlaw
  • 8 Ryan Wilson
  • 7 Hamish Watson
  • 6 John Barclay
  • 5 Jonny Gray
  • 4 Grant Gilchrist
  • 3 Simon Berghan
  • 2 Stuart McInally
  • 1 Gordon Reid
RESERVES
  • 23 Lee Jones
  • 22 Nick Grigg
  • 21 Ali Price
  • 20 David Denton
  • 19 Tim Swinson
  • 18 Willem Nel
  • 17 Jamie Bhatti
  • 16 Fraser Brown
Mc article gregor townsend and john barclay six nations 800

PREVIEW: Italy v Scotland

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:55

SIX NATIONS PREVIEW: Finn Russell believes Scotland can already claim to be a genuine force despite their poor away record as they look to ditch their tag as rugby's nearly men.

Gregor Townsend's team head to Rome for their final Six Nations match on Saturday after their slim title hopes were wiped out by a 8-28 defeat at the hands of Ireland in Dublin.

The team have not won a championship clash away from home for two years but Glasgow flyhalf Russell says Scotland are heading in the right direction following their emphatic victory over Australia in November and their first win against England in a decade.

If they beat Italy in Rome, Scotland will record three wins out of five matches for the second year running, a feat last achieved back in 1996 which, for Russell, would be proof that they are no longer also-rans.

"In my first Six Nations I don't think we won a game and that was four years ago," said the 25-year-old, who joins Racing 92 next season. 

"We are building. The 'nearly men' tag isn't the kind of name we want to have and we are definitely working to change that.

"Against Ireland we worked very hard to put the second-best team in the world under a lot of pressure, we put New Zealand under pressure in the autumn [November], so it shows that on our day we can be there against the best."

He added: "It has been a decent competition for us, although there are a lot of things we can look back on and we could have worked on in the Wales and Ireland games and it could have potentially have been different. It has been a successful competition for us."

Italy are mired in another tortuous campaign that has seen them ship 23 tries and record four straight defeats.

But Russell said results do not give a true reflection of their growth under Conor O'Shea.

"They have a lot of danger in attack, a lot of flair, in attack and defence they are solid so we need to stick to our game plan, what we know, and hopefully that will take care of itself," he said.

Players to watch:

For Italy: Sergio Parisse always has a spotlight on him when Italy plays and it will be no different on Saturday. Lock Dean Budd is a big physical player up front while Giulio Bisegni is a threat with ball in hand in the backline.

For Scotland: Stuart Hogg has been one of the best performers in this year's Six Nations and Italy can't afford to give him too much space. Huw Jones has been outstanding in the midfield and he is proving to be a consistent try-scorer for the Scots. Flank Hamish Watson was a menace at the breakdowns against Ireland and he will give Italy plenty of problems in that area.

Head to head: The battle between the two packs should be worth the ticket alone. However, there are plenty of talented backline players on display as well. Both Italy and Scotland are not afraid to throw the ball around and it will be interesting to see if Scotland's back three dominates out wide.

Recent results
2017: Scotland won 34-13, Singapore
2017: Scotland won 29-0 Edinburgh
2016: Scotland won 36-20, Rome
2015: Scotland won 48-7, Edinburgh
2015: Scotland won 16-12, Torino
2015: Italy won 22-19, Edinburgh
2014: Scotland won 21-20, Rome
2013: Scotland won 30-29, Pretoria
2013: Scotland won 34-10, Edinburgh
2012: Italy won 13-6 Rome

Prediction: Italy are under pressure to get a win and they will be fired up in front of their fans. However, Scotland know that they can't afford to lose in Rome if they are to be taken seriously as a world power. Scotland will win by 10 points or more.

Teams:

Italy: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Mattia Bellini, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Tiziani Pasquali, 19 Abraham Steyn, 20 Giovanni Licata, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Jayden Hayward.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Nick Grigg, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay (captain), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Richie Gray, 20 David Denton, 21 Ali Price, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Blair Kinghorn.

Date: Saturday, March 17
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome  
Kick-off: 13.30 (12.30, 12.30 UK time)
Expected weather: There will be light rain and it will be breezy. There will be a high of 14 and a low of 7.
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Agence France-Presse @rugby365com

Mc article scotland celbrate   800

Scotland sneak late win over brave Italians

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 12:00

SIX NATIONS MATCH REPORT: Greig Laidlaw's dramatic last-gasp penalty kick secured them a narrow 29-26 win over Italy in Rome.

Italy had led 17-12 at half-time but suffered their 17th straight defeat after a 79th-minute penalty by Laidlaw handed Scotland victory.

"I'm destroyed for the lads and the fans but we've seen our future, the style and the game that we want, the quality of our young players," said Italy coach Conor O'Shea.

Scotland move provisionally second in the Six Nations table but a win for either France or Wales, who play each other in Cardiff later Saturday, will move them to third.

Italy finish bottom of the table for the third straight year with five defeats in five games, with captain Sergio Parisse suffering his 100th Test defeat.

Italy's losing streak in the Six Nations stretches back to 2015 against Scotland in Murrayfield.

The Italians had gotten off to a blistering start with Tommaso Allan, who played for Scotland at U-20 level, winning the man of the match award as he accounted for 22  of Italy's points.

The 24-year-old touched down after 14 and 45 minutes with Matteo Minozzi getting a third for the hosts after 21 minutes.

Scotland's Fraser Brown and John Barclay both scored tries, in the first half for Scotland, with Sean Maitland and Stuart Hogg  adding two more in the second half.

Scotland led 5-3 after ten minutes when Brown touched down after Allan's opening penalty, but Laidlaw sent the conversion wide.

But Allan pulled Italy ahead 12-5 after quarter-of-an-hour to the delight of the 60,000 crowd with Minozzi slotting down as the hosts opened up a 17-5 lead after 22 minutes.

Back after the break, Sebastian Negri looked to have scored a try as he burst through the post to dot down but it was disallowed because of a knock-on in the build-up.

But two minutes later Allan broke as newcomer Jake Polledri created an opportunity from following a sloppy turnover in the Scottish midfield offloading to Allan who raced through and then converted to open up a 12-point lead after 46 minutes.

Maitland pushed through for another try with Laidlaw converting from a tight angle to pull Scotland 24-19, before Hogg pulled the Scots level and Laidlaw converting.

Allan edged Italy ahead again with a penalty but  Laidlaw slotted in a penalty in the dying seconds for his ninth point of the afternoon to break Italian hearts.

Scotland's title hopes had been extinguished with defeat to Ireland last week, as Italy took the Wooden Spoon for the 13th time even if they had managed a win at the Stadio Olympico.

Man of the match:  Matteo Minozzi deserves a mention while Jake Polledri's work at the breakdown added value to the side. Meanwhile, Scotland's Stuart Hogg was the best for his side and his second-half try came at a valuable time. However, our nod goes to  Italy flyhalf Tommaso Allan for his amazing overall performance and great kicking skills.

The Scores:

For Italy:
Tries
: Allan 2, Minozzi,
Cons: Allan 3
Pens: Allan 2

For Scotland
Tries:
Brown, Barclay, Maitland. Hogg
Cons: Laidlaw 3
Pen: Laidlaw

Teams:

Italy: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Mattia Bellini, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Tiziani Pasquali, 19 Abraham Steyn, 20 Giovanni Licata, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Jayden Hayward.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Nick Grigg, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay (captain), 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Richie Gray, 20 David Denton, 21 Ali Price, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Blair Kinghorn.

Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)