6 Nations Rugby: Scotland 26-6 Italy

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by Andy Blair, Chief Sports Correspondent

Scotland recorded their first win of the 2009 Six Nations with a comprehensive but unspectacular 26-6 over a poor Italian side. It what many considered the game to decide the wooden spoon, Scotland hosted Italy with their coach Frank Hadden hoping for a vast improvement from last year’s game which saw them concede 3 tries within the first 10 minutes.  Again Scotland left Chris Patterson on the bench but he came on within 5 minutes to convert a penalty as a blood replacement for Phil Godman.

An intercepted pass from Scotland’s Hugo Southwell let the Italians break into the Scottish 22, but they were held up before getting to the line, recycled the ball and Sergio Parisse scored a drop goal.  Having just been told he could go to drama school for being knocked over too easily, Simon Danielli scored the first try of the game when he took a pass coming in from the wing just outside the Italian 22 and broke through the defence to score between the posts.  Having converted the try and a couple of penalties Scotland go into the break leading 16-3.

The second half started with a game of ping pong but settled down soon after.  Patterson come on properly this time around and replaces Southwell at fullback for a run out to collect his 93 cap.  Rather than kicking penalties at every opportunity the Italians push for territory in the attempt to get tries to claw back the gap.

A fairly uneventful second half seemed to get a wake up call when a good passing move from Scotland saw Thom Evens stopped just before the line but his lay off was touched down by Scott Gray.  The game became far more open after the second try with both teams coming close to scoring but failing to do so.

The game finished 26-6 to Scotland with fireworks going off above Murrayfield, just a shame they weren’t going off on the pitch instead.

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