Planet Rugby

Sensational Scotland hammer Italy

09th February 2013 16:14

Share:

Scotland v Italy Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg

Star man: Stuart Hogg

An exceptional effort at the breakdown helped Scotland to a confident 34-10 victory over Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Four tries, including a brilliant length of the field interception try from Stuart Hogg, led to a memorable victory for Scotland in front of a vocal home crowd at Murrayfield, compensating for the performance against England at Twickenham last weekend.

Interim head coach Scott Johnson had bemoaned his side's lack of intensity in the tackle area against England in Round One, but there was to be no let-up from the Scots at Murrayfield - throwing their bodies into the breakdown and forcing the Italian platform that stood solid against France to collapse.

That pressure on the half-backs was illustrated by the performance of Luciano Orquera. Sensational against Les Bleus, Orquera fumbled, shanked and laboured against Scotland - a shadow of the player who was so impressive six days before in Rome.

Both sides played with a level of ambition that this fixture has witnessed too little of in previous years, with Italy still riding high after last weekend's victory over France.

Handling errors were a plenty though and it took a penalty from Greig Laidlaw after 15 minutes to open the scoring, handing Scotland the lead.

Little errors continued to compound long periods of Italian possession throughout the opening quarter, with Scotland frustrating the Azzurri at the tackle area, Laidlaw adding another further three points to hand Scotland a 6-0 lead after 25 minutes.

A howling missed kick from Tommaso Benvenuti handed Scotland centre Matt Scott the opportunity to score in the left corner, only to be denied by a brilliant try-saving tackle from Tobias Botes.

The missed chance though was a warning shot - Ruaridh Jackson creating the space for Tim Visser minutes later down the left-hand side and the Edinburgh flyer jinked his way through for the opening try.

Italy looked to have the final say in the first half and Orquera's made no mistake with his second penalty attempt to leave the score at 13-3 going into the break.

Scotland's dominance continued after the interval - an attacking lineout producing a second try as Matt Scott dived over following a great offload from Sean Maitland in midfield.

Stuart Hogg then hammered the nail into the Italians coffin, intercepting a two-on-one that would have certainly led to a try for Italy to scamper down the length of the pitch himself, his second exceptional try of the Six Nations stretching the lead to 27-3. Orquera, his final act of the afternoon being the pass that set Hogg free, swiftly left the field.

Fortune continued to work against Italy as the half wore on, a strong attacking position in front of the Scottish posts snuffed out by a powerful drive in the scrum from the home pack.

Maitland looked to have made another fine assist for Scott in the right-hand corner later on, but his pass was marginally forward as Scotland sought to pile on the humiliation with a fourth try.

They did not have to wait long. Sean Lamont pouncing for his ninth international try, a loose ball at the back of the Italian ruck snatched up by the centre who raced away to score under the posts on a dream afternoon for the home side.

Italy did work a consolation score, a well-worked scrum resulting in an inside flick from Parisse into the grateful path of Alessandro Zanni who powered over for the try.

But this was Scotland's day - a great response to the criticism thrown their way after their defeat at Twickenham and a feast of tries for Murrayfield to savour.

Man of the Match: Scotland's pack were so strong that this honour is split between Euan Murray and Kelly Brown - each player making 15 tackles in an excellent defensive performance.

Moment of the Match: Undoubtedly Stuart Hogg's breakaway score that put Scotland out of sight. A potential Lion in waiting.

Villain of the Match: The wild missed hack from Giovambattista Venditti was both hilarious and tragic, but more importantly nearly cost his side a try.

The scorers:

For Scotland:
Tries: Visser, Scott, Hogg, Lamont
Con: Laidlaw 4
Pens: Laidlaw 2
Yellow Card: Cross

For Italy:
Try: Zanni
Con: Burton
Pen: Orquera

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Kelly Brown (capt), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Moray Low, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Max Evans.

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovambattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Gonzalo Canale, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Francesco Minto, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Kristopher Burton, 23 Gonzalo Garcia.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26