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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 August, 2003, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Scotland cruise past Italy
Simon Danielli enjoyed a promising debut on the wing
Scotland 47-15 Italy

An experimental Scotland side turned in an impressive display at Murrayfield as Italy were brushed aside in a warm-up match for the forthcoming World Cup.

Scotland coach Ian McGeechan gave several fringe players the opportunity to impress and that chance was duly taken as the home side ran in six tries on a warm Edinburgh afternoon.

Jason White, James McLaren, Mike Blair, Gordon Ross, Simon Danielli and Brendan Laney all crossed the try-line for Scotland.

Scotland were full of strong running and McGeechan has several nice selection problems ahead of the next friendly games with Wales and Ireland.

Both teams looked a little rusty during a scrappy opening 15 minutes with the home side establishing a 6-3 lead courtesy of two penalties from Gordon Ross, while Ramiro Pez was on target for Italy.

Scotland (28) 47
Tries: White, McLaren, Blair, G. Ross, Danielli, Laney
Cons: G. Ross 2, Paterson 2
Pens: G. Ross 3
Italy (8) 15
Tries: Palmer, Mazzucato
Cons: Pez
Pens: Pez
There was a set-back for Scotland in the opening minute of the game when winger Kenny Logan had to leave the field after a hefty challenge.

He was replaced by Chris Paterson.

After 18 minutes Simon Danielli, winning his first cap on the wing, was stopped short of the line but the ball went wide to White who touched down.

However, Italy forced their way back into the game six minutes later when some slippery running from Pez carved open the Scots defence and a quick free kick from skipper Alessandro Troncon allowed Scott Palmer to cross the line to make it 11-8.

Soon after, the visitors were reduced to 14 men when Gert Peens was yellow-carded for playing the ball on the ground.

And Scotland made their advantage count with two tries in the last 10 minutes of the first half.

The impressive White intercepted an Italian pass and took his 17stone frame from deep inside his own half to in front of the posts and he found McLaren with a speculative pass.

James McLaren was a try-scorer for Scotland
And Blair was on hand to round-off a strong run by Paterson. Ross was successful with both conversions to make it 28-8 at half-time.

The Leeds Tykes stand-off failed with two long range penalties early in the second half and in the 46th minute Italy scored their second try of the afternoon when more good work from Pez released Mazzucato, who beat Danielli in the race for the line.

Pez made the conversion count but Scotland hit back almost immediately and it was Ross who was on hand to crash over the try-line after an exchange of passes with Danielli.

Danielli was rewarded for a day of enterprising running when Ben Hinshelwood and Blair combined to supply the Bath winger with the ammunition for Scotland's fifth try.

And, with the Italians ending the game at sixes and sevens, replacement Brendan Laney crossed for the final try deep into injury time.

With Ross off the park, Paterson took over the kicking duties and secured two simple kicks to convert the late scores.


Scotland: B Hinshelwood (Worcester); S Danielli (Bath), J McLaren (Aviron Bayonnais), A Henderson (Glasgow), K Logan (Wasps), G Ross (Leeds), M Blair (Edinburgh); T Smith (Northampton), R Russell (Saracens), B Douglas (Borders), S Murray (Edinburgh, capt), N Hines (Edinburgh), J White (Sale), S Taylor (Edinburgh), J Petrie (Glasgow).
Replacements: G Bulloch (Glasgow), G McIlwham (unattached), I Fullarton (Sale), M Leslie (Edinburgh), G Beveridge (Glasgow), C Paterson (Edinburgh), B Laney (Edinburgh).

Italy: G Peens (Overmach Parma); N Mazzucato (Calvisano), A Masi (Viadana), C Stoica (Montpellier), Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Francais); R Pez (Leicester), A Troncon (Treviso, capt).); A Lo Cicero (Lazio), C Festuccia (Gran Parma), S Perugini (Calvisano), S Dellape (Treviso), M Bortolami (Padova), M Zaffiri (Calvisano), M Phillips (Viadana), S Palmer (Treviso).
Replacements: F Ongaro (Treviso), R Martinez (Treviso), S Parisse (Treviso), Mauro Bergamasco (Stade Francais), M Queirolo (Beziers), F Mazzariol (Gran Parma), G Canale (Treviso).




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