Scotland (12) 18
Paterson is yet to miss a kick in the tournament
Pens: Paterson 6
Italy (10) 16
Pens: Bortolussi 3
Scotland edged into the quarter-finals of the World Cup after a tense win over Italy in rain-lashed St Etienne.
Once again Scotland had the unerring kicking of Chris Paterson to thank, with the winger knocking over six penalties from six attempts.
Italy skipper Alessandro Troncon bundled over for a first half try and David Bortolussi kept Italy in touch.
Neither side showed much in the way of attacking ambition but the Scots showed superior discipline to progress.
In the last eight Scotland will play the winners of Pool D, who are likely to be either Argentina or France.
Scotland made a bright start with Paterson confidently clipping over two penalties inside the first five minutes.
And, when Mauro Bergamasco was sin-binned for a cynical challenge on Simon Taylor, Scotland looked ready to seize the initiative and build on their early lead.
However, the Italians recovered from a jittery opening to come roaring back and a huge up-and-under from Ramiro Pez resulted in a bruising game's only try.
Mirco Bergamasco flattened the referee as he followed up and appeared to take Rory Lamont out before the dropping ball had reached the Scot.
From the resulting ruck, Troncon burst over from close range to put Italy into the lead.
Bortolussi landed the conversion before stretching the advantage with a long range penalty.
Mirco Bergamasco should have been the second Italian to have a yellow card but the officials somehow missed a blatant trip on Dan Parks.
There was a further blow for Scotland when influential full-back Rory Lamont had to be replaced by Hugo Southwell, following a bone-shuddering collision with Andrea Masi.
But the dependable Paterson slotted two more penalties to give Scotland a narrow lead at the interval.
After the break Bortolussi was inches short with a long range penalty and Paterson tucked over a close range effort after a dangerous Scottish break.
The Gloucester signing made it six from six as Italian indiscipline gifted the Scots another cheap three points.
Nathan Hines was then sin-binned for a high tackle after a slick passing move from Italy, who were showing marginally more imagination with the ball in attack.
Bortolussi kicked the penalty and the impressive fullback narrowed the gap to two points as Italy enjoyed their man advantage.
Scotland had a rare glimpse of the try-line when a Pez clearance kick was charged down but the bouncing ball would not fall the way of Frank Hadden's side.
Scottish nerves were frayed when Italy won a 75th minute penalty but Bortolussi was again just out of luck from a long way out.
Scotland: R Lamont; S Lamont, Webster, Dewey, Paterson; Parks, Blair; Kerr, Ford, Murray, Hines, Hamilton, White (capt), Hogg, Taylor.
Replacements: Lawson, Smith, MacLeod, Brown, Cusiter, Henderson, Southwell.
Italy Bortolussi; Robertson, Canale, Mirco Bergamasco, Masi; Pez, Troncon (capt); Perugini, Festuccia, Castrogiovanni, Dellape, Del Fava, Sole, Mauro Bergamasco, Parisse.
Replacements: Ongaro, Lo Cicero, Bernabo, Ghiraldini, Griffen, De Marigny, Galon.