Saturday, February 27, 2010
Italian rugby has reason to celebrate tonight after they beat Scotland for their first win in the Six Nations since two years ago, winning 16-12 at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome.
Neither side had won a match going into this match, and both looked determined to change that, but they struggled to crack one another's defence for a large portion of the match. It was 6-6 at halftime, and 9-9 ten minutes into the second.
Mirco Bergamasco and Dan Parks exchanged penalty kicks, before replacement scrumhalf Pablo Canavosio scored the only try of the match, a brilliant effort, that ultimately took victory away from the visiting Scots and lifted the spirits of the loyal Italian fans.
"We've been trying to move the ball wide more and keep it in hand," said Italy's coach Nick Mallett. "It was a great break by Gonzalo and excellent support running from Pablo. But it is on such fine margins that games are won and we are not getting carried away."
"This is the seventh time we've won in this competition and every win is significant," Mallett said. "We've come close in other games and it is pretty frustrating when, like last time against England, you lose by five points.
"Everyone was very nervous about how Scotland would play, especially on a sunny day perfect for running rugby. But now we are proud that we stopped them scoring a try and proud of our defence.
"We've shown for two games we are perfectly capable of keeping the ball in hand. We've improved our defence consistently over the last six months," said Mallett.
"That's not a bad effort for a team that used to be at sea against sides who play quickly."
Despite looking promising in recent times, Scotland now face the possibility of taking the wooden spoon.
"Any losing experience is pretty difficult," Scotland coach Andy Robinson said. "The players put a lot into their performance, but didn't do enough to score a try."