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Italy 16-12 Scotland

Italy (6) 16
Tries: Canavosio Cons: Mirco Bergamasco Pens: Mirco Bergamasco 3
Scotland (6) 12
Pens: Parks 3 Drop-goals: Parks

Gonzalo Garcia of Italy is tackled by John Barclay of Scotland

Highlights - Italy 16-12 Scotland

By Clive Lindsay

Pablo Canavosio's superb try gave Italy victory over Scotland in a tense and error-strewn Six Nations match in Rome.

The Italians took the early initiative and Mirco Bergamasco slotted two penalties before Dan Parks replied to square the scores at half-time.

Parks penalties twice put the Scots ahead, with Bergamasco replying.

But Canavosio found a gap to touch down under the posts and Bergamasco's conversion ensured an Italy victory that leaves Scotland without a point.

Injury-hit Scotland's defeat at the Stadio Flaminio means they lie bottom of the table and face the prospect of taking the Wooden Spoon unless they can take points from Ireland or England.

For Italy, it was their first Six Nations victory since beating Scotland two years ago and ended a seven-match losing streak in the competition.

John Beattie's blog

The match started in glorious sunshine, however, the players' fingers took some time to warm up judging by the number of times the ball was dropped in the scrappy opening exchanges.

Scotland were the ones trying to play a more adventurous, passing game, but it was an unchanged Italy who took the lead after nine minutes.

Tight-head Euan Murray was penalised for standing up in the scrum and Bergamasco slotted over the simple penalty.

Allan Jacobsen is held up on the line
Jacobsen was twice denied a try by last-gasp challenges

That score further fired up the Italians and they extended the lead four minutes later after a dubious offside decision gave Bergamasco another easy kick in front of the posts.

A fine kick to touch from Parks at last put the Scots deep into Italian territory and, when the the visitors stole the subsequent line-out, the ball was knocked on and play inched towards the try line.

Parks was clinical with the penalty from wide on the right to narrow the margin to three points after 21 minutes.

Italy winger Andrea Masi was lucky not to be yellow-carded for a tackle that was not only high but off the ground as Simon Danielli jumped to catch.

The Scots had changed tack, with Parks and Hugo Southwell electing to kick instead of trying to play from their own half.

And another offside call gave Parks the chance to square the scores, the fly-half making no mistake with his penalty after 33 minutes.

Win means everything to Italy - Mallett

English referee Dave Pearson was again lenient on the Italians when Josh Sole intercepted from an offside position close to his own line.

Not only did the Italians retain 15 men but Parks' penalty attempt drifted just wide.

The first half ended all-square with the Scots raging that a punch on John Beattie had not been spotted.

Italy won a penalty for offside two minutes after the break despite the ball being outside the ruck and Bergamasco launched the ball between the posts to put the home side back in front.

Allan Jacobsen charged over the Italy try line despite the Scots' flowing passing move having to sidestep a couple of Italian physios, but the video referee decided that the ball had been held up in the maul.

Some superb Italian tackling and Scots indecision denied the visitors again as they pressed for a try and Parks settled for a drop-goal that squared the scores again after 49 minutes.

Scots were punished for one mistake - Robinson

Italy looked to have genuine claims for an infringement when Bergamasco powered down the wing only to be shoulder-charged by Southwell, earning his 50th cap along with Chris Cusiter, after kicking ahead.

Scotland survived the intense pressure and won a penalty against Craig Gower after 63 minutes that Parks slotted over from in front of the posts.

However, Gonzalo Canale made an excellent break four minutes later before offloading to replacement scrum-half Canavosio, who touched down under the posts for a try that was converted by Bergamasco.

Jacobsen again came close to a Scotland try, but once more the Italians held the ball up superbly on the line.

The home side held on to record their victory, while the Scots have now still not recorded a Six Nations away win since visiting Rome in 2006.

Italy: McLean, Masi, Canale, Garcia, M. Bergamasco, Gower, Tebaldi; Perugini, Ghiraldini, Castrogiovanni, Geldenhuys, Bortolami, Sole, M. Bergamasco, Zanni.

Replacements: Robertson for Garcia (69), Canavosio for Tebaldi (52), Aguero for Perugini (69), Ongaro for Ghiraldini (73), Del Fava for Bortolami (69). Not Used: Derbyshire, Bocchino.

Scotland: Southwell, Danielli, M. Evans, Morrison, S. Lamont, Parks, Cusiter; Jacobsen, Ford, Murray, Hamilton, Kellock, Brown, Barclay, Beattie.

Replacements: De Luca for Danielli (55), Blair for Cusiter (55), Dickinson for Murray (70), Hines for Hamilton (70), Strokosch for Beattie (55). Not Used: S. Lawson, Godman.

Att: 32,000

Ref: Dave Pearson (RFU).

Gonzalo Canale

Italy's match-winning try sparks celebrations

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see also
Scots left to rue missed chances
27 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Italy v Scotland match stats
31 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Evans and Paterson make progress
19 Feb 10 |  Scottish
Scots make four changes for Italy
23 Feb 10 |  Scottish
Evans to undergo second neck op
16 Feb 10 |  Scottish
Italy 12-17 England
14 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 29-11 Italy
06 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Wales 31-24 Scotland
13 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 9-18 France
07 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations table
10 Aug 06 |  Tables

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