Going in to this match, neither Italy or Scotland had a win in the six nations, both teams were playing to avoid the whitewash (and possibly also the wooden spoon). The game was slow to start, but in the 7th minute, Italy got the first real advantage from Scotland failing to release after a tackle. A good kick gave them a line-out within the Scottish 22, and this soon became a scrum - which in turn earned Italy a penalty. Bergamasco had a relatively easy kick for the first three points of the game, and he brought the score to 3-0 at ten minutes.
Soon after, Bergamasco made a cheeky little chip to threaten a try - but in the footrace that followed, Scotland's Southwell was able to put the ball into touch.
Almost immediately after the restart, a marginal case of hands in the ruck gave Bergamasco another easy kick to bring the score to 6-0.
As the 20th minute approached, John Barkley for Scotland broke for the line, and with the advantage, the play broke down for a penalty to Scotland. This was taken from a similar position to Bergamasco's first three points. Dan Parks had no problems, despite the Italian crowd starting to try and put him off, and the score became 6-3 in the 21st minute.
Another penalty for Scotland equalised the score at 6-6.
Scotland had a good sequence of play with a good overlap. Dan Parks made and early pass, yielding some of the advantage. Metres from the line an Italian player killed the ball, somehow avoiding the yellow card in the process. Dan Parks messed up the subsequent penalty kick, and what should have been seven points for Scotland came to nothing.
At half time it was 6-6.
Early in the second half, Scotland conceded another penalty. Bergamasco had no difficulty in bringing the score to 9-6.
Scotland replied with a bout of sustained pressure, the ball crossed the line in a bundle of bodies and the TMO had a near impossible decision. As the ball was not visible it was a 5 yard scrum to Scotland.
Scotland looked much better at this point, the half term respite being good for them. With the Italian team under pressure the Italian crowd got behind their team with a rousing anthem. Despite the pressure, Italy prevented the try and Dan Parks eventually settled for a drop goal, equalising at 9-9.
In the 55th minute we learned that a Scottish player (Max Evans?) wore floral underwear. I didn't need to know that, I'm sure you didn't either.
With 20 minutes to go, Italy threatened to score. Bergamasco ran down the line and gave a little kick. He was not able to chase, though, so Scotland gathered and cleared.
A Scottish attack broke down, but Italy conceded a penalty with their number ten going off his feet. Scotland took the score to 9-12.
Italy had the perfect reply, Canale took a pass from the number ten, and broke away on a run. As he was tackled he managed to offload to Canavosio, who scored between the posts. The score was now 16-12 in favour of Italy.
It looked like Scotland came back with a try, but it went to the TMO and the replay clearly showed that it was both held up and short of the line.
Scotland lost the scrum, Italy showed great composure and ultimately kicked to touch in the Scottish half.
After the lineout,Scotland conceded a penalty just inside their half. Craig Gower tried to take Otaly seven points ahead, but he didn't have the distance. The score remained 16-12, with minutes to go.
With two minutes on the clock, Italy had phase after phase of attack. they were on their 14th phase with 45 seconds left and 15th with 30 seconds left.
Italy conceded a penalty, with 8.5 seconds left they did not have time for a line out. Scotland kept the ball in hand, but Italy got a turnover only for Scotland to reclaim with another turnover. In the 83rd minute, Italy won a penalty and kicked to touch.
|Table Built: Saturday, 27 February 2010 15:21 UK|