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BBC Sport's Nick Mullins
"Hardly a warming Scotland performance"
 real 14k

Scotland coach Ian McGeechan
"I'd be more worried if we weren't creating the openings"
 real 56k

Scotland captain Budge Poutney
"To get the first win on the board is good from the team"
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Man-of-the-match Italy's Mauro Bergomasco
"We need to win one match in this tournament"
 real 56k

banner Saturday, 17 March, 2001, 17:43 GMT
Scots survive Italian scare
Mauro Bergamasco of Italy scores
Mauro Bergamasco goes over for a superb try
Scotland 23-19 Italy

Scotland recorded their first victory in the Six Nations championships - but were pushed all the way by a determined Italian side at Murrayfield.

The Italians produced a spirited display, exemplified by Mauro Bergamasco's superb 25th minute try.

But the Scots had the kicking accuracy of Duncan Hodge to thank, the fly-half kicking 18 points in the game.

The home side began positively when Hodge opened the scoring with a drop goal in the first minute.

But despite their dominance in possession, Scotland failed to break down the stoic Italian defence.

But Bergamasco turned the first half on its head when he scored a truly memorable try.

Martin Leslie is tackled by Manuel Dallan
Martin Leslie is tackled by Manuel Dallan
The 21-year-old displayed all the attributes of the modern back row forward - power, pace and excellent handling skills.

The flanker, taking the ball close to the touchline inside his own half, beat full-back Chris Paterson on the outside for the try, converted by Diego Dominguez.

The Italian fly-half then added another three points with a penalty on 33 minutes after Budge Poutney was penalised for killing the ball.

Scott Murray went close before the interval, but was held up just short of the tryline by some desperate, but effective, Italian defending.

Despite trailing 10-6 at the interval, the home side began the second half brightly - Hodge immediately bringing the deficit to only one point with a penalty.

But for all of Scotland's perseverance, a moment of indiscipline conceded a penalty - competently dispatched by Dominguez - extending Italy's lead to four points.

But the visitors suffered a major setback when influential number eight Carlo Checchinato was sin binned for killing the ball - an offence he was previously warned about by referee Joel Dumé.

Late penalties

And Hodge penalised them further when he successfully kicked the three points, followed by Scotland's try on 55 minutes.

Tom Smith just managed - with the aid of the video referee - to bundle the ball over the line.

The Scots took the lead for the first time in the game - but could not hold onto their advantage for long.

Italian pressure, coupled with the return of Checchinato, resulted in two needless penalties - successfully kicked by the consistent Dominguez.

But the Scots finally eased the mounting pressure when Hodge kicked two late penalties to take the game away from an Italian side growing in confidence.

Scotland: Chris Paterson (Edinburgh Reivers); James Craig (Glasgow Caledonians), Gregor Townsend (Castres), John Leslie (Northampton), Kenny Logan (Wasps); Duncan Hodge (Edinburgh), Bryan Redpath (Sale); Simon Taylor (Edinburgh), Budge Pountney (Northampton, capt), Martin Leslie (Edinburgh); Stuart Grimes (Newcastle), Scott Murray (Saracens); Mattie Stewart (Northampton) Gordon Bulloch (Glasgow) Tom Smith (Brive).

Replacements: Steve Scott (Edinburgh), Gordon McIlwham (Glasgow), Richard Metcalfe (Edinburgh), Jon Petrie (Glasgow), Andy Nicol (Glasgow), Glenn Metcalfe (Glasgow), Cameron Murray (Edinburgh).

Italy: Christian Stoica (Narbonne); Massimiliano Perziano (Treviso); Walter Pozzebon (Treviso); Manuel Dallan (Treviso); Luca Martin (Northampton); Diego Dominguez (Stade Francais); Filippo Frati (Parma); Carlo Checchinato (Treviso); Mauro Bergamasco (Treviso); Aaron Persico (Viadana); Andrea Gritti (Treviso); Wim Visser (Treviso); Franco Properzi Curti (Treviso); Alessandro Moscardi, (Treviso, capt), Andrea Lo Cicero (RDS Roma).

Replacements: Giampiero De Carli (RDS Roma), Salvatore Perugini (L'Aquila), Carlo Caione (RDS Roma), Andrea Benatti (Viadana), Matteo Mazzantini (Treviso), Giovanni Raineri (RDS Roma), Andrea Scanavacca (RDS Roma).

Referee: Joel Dumé (France).

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See also:

17 Mar 01 |  Six Nations
Clockwatch: Scotland 23-19 Italy
17 Mar 01 |  Scotland
McGeechan relieved with Italy win
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