Scotland thump Italy

Date published: August 29 2015

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Sean Lamont and Tim Visser scored two tries apiece as Scotland racked up a convincing 48-7 win over Italy at Murrayfield, which gives them confidence.

Scotland were simply too slick and clinical for their visitors, who lacked in confidence as their captain Sergio Parisse watched on from the stands.

Trailing 23-7 at the half-time break, the Azzurri came out and fell apart in the second 40 minutes as intercepts and breakaway tries saw Scotland pull away.

Alasdair Dickinson was the man of the match which paints a picture of how Scotland's triumph was built, as they took on Martin Castrogiovanni and company and won. Meanwhile, openside flanker John Barclay, outside centre Mark Bennett and full-back Stuart Hogg also impressed in the sunshine.

Scotland began with three points from Greig Laidlaw's boot before a lovely cross kick from fly-half Finn Russell set up Lamont for his first. Laidlaw's conversion made it 10-0 on ten minutes which was how it stayed until the 24th minute before Laidlaw added two more three-pointers from penalty offences.

Italy were given hope when outside centre Michele Campagnaro gathered a chip kick in Scotland's in-goal area to make it 16-7 but when Barclay crossed on the back of a maul after Francesco Minto had been yellow-carded, Laidlaw's extras pushed the hosts into a comfortable 16-point lead.

The second half at Murrayfield was a procession on the scoreboard for Scotland as try as Italy did, everything they threw at their hosts line didn't come off. In fact more often than not it resulted in Scotland going down the other end of the field and adding to their growing tally.

Visser was their next scorer on the left wing thanks to a lovely cut out pass from Russell after decent pressure in the Italian half. And with Laidlaw's decision to kick a penalty eight minutes later close to the hour mark, a Scotland side growing in confidence were now 31-7 to the good.

Italy's day was summed up by two intercept tries for the Scots as after good ball in the hosts' 22, first Lamont on 63 minutes and then Visser eleven minutes later raced over untouched to put Vern Cotter's men into a 43-7 lead. The latter score came after prop Michele Rizzo was carded.

Scotland would rub salt into Italian wounds at the death too when centre Bennett ran in from distance but Russell couldn't make it 50 from the touchline. That would not matter to Scotland though who go into their final World Cup warm-up against France full of confidence after this win.

Man of the match: Praise should go to John Barclay, Mark Bennett and Stuart Hogg but anyone who enjoys a day like that against Martin Castrogiovanni deserves a special mention. Scotland loosehead prop Alasdair Dickinson gets our stand-out player award.

Moment of the match: Once Scotland got their first try to go 10-0 in front, confidence was flowing in the home side's ranks. With Italy struggling for ideas, it was going to be a case of by how much.

Villain of the match: Italy replacement prop Michele Rizzo might be set for a hearing in the coming week after his kick out at Scotland's Gordon Reid. It occurred on the ground and fortunately for Rizzo he caught the shoulder and not the head of his opponent. One wonders whether that may save his skin.

The scorers:

For Scotland
Tries:
Lamont 2, Barclay, Visser 2, Bennett
Cons: Laidlaw 2, Russell
Pens: Laidlaw 4

For Italy
Try:
Campagnaro
Con: Allan
Yellow Cards: Minto, Rizzo

The teams:

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 David Denton, 7 John Barclay, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Jonny Gray, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Rob Harley, 20 Blair Cowan, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Matt Scott.

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Joshua Furno, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Andrea Manici, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Mauro Bergamasco, 21 Marcello Violi, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Andrea Masi.

Venue: Murrayfield
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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