Listen to Karmichael Hunt Mic'd up!

Rayno Benjamin's sneaky trip gets yellow

HUGE hit between giant Polish forwards

Toulon play the France '98 FIFA WC squad

Sona Taumalolo fend like right hook

Levani Botia smashes Tonga to set up try

Sky Sport NZ's Super Rugby Player Awards

Super Rugby Hits of the Season 2015

Jerry Collins appearance for club 2nd XV

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Scotland snatch victory from Italy with late drop goal in Rome

Scotland scored two tries and slotted a drop goal with time up to snatch a 21-20 victory from Italy in Rome on Saturday afternoon. Duncan Weir took his team into the lead at the death in what has become the yearly battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

Alex Dunbar scored twice for the visitors, while Tommy Allan and Joshua Furno scored for Italy as they looked on course for their first win of the campaign. Weir's calm head under pressure broke the hearts of all at the Stadio Olimpico. He said he was 'absoultely delighted' with the kick.

"It's the first time I have dropped a goal for Scotland and it has never been more important.

"In those pressure moments you can only focus on your routine. I made sure I got my ball drop right and got a clean connection. I'm just so thankful it went over.

"I ran off celebrating, going off my head. It was an immense feeling. I had no doubts about taking it on. Chris Cusiter put it on a plate for me, on the right side of my body. The whole thing went perfectly," added Weir.

Despite Weir's confidence in his own ability, Scotland coach Scott Johnson said he was surprised.

"I've been watching him in training for the three weeks and he hasn't looked like kicking one. I was delighted for him, because his is a position that carries a lot of responsibility. I seen some growth in the lad and I'm so pleased for him," Johnson said.

"We can't get carried away with a win that could have gone the other way. We got a little bit of luck but we showed great resolve. But it won't mean a lot if we don't put on a show against France."

Scotland play France at Murrayfield in two week's time, while Italy travel to Dublin to play Ireland.

Posted by Rugbydump at 4:38 pm | View Comments (8)

Posted in Six Nations 2014

Viewing 8 comments

DrG February 23, 2014 7:46 pm

I think the whole thing is a bit premature - I heard lots of comments such as 'is this now the turning point in Scottish rugby' - 'Scotland are now on the up' - 'This is the result Scotland needed' etc etc. I agree Scotland did need the win (then again, so did Italy) but is it possible to read far too much into this?

Put it this way, Scotland still has 2 massive games, France and Wales and I have a sneaky suspicion that Scotland are going to get hammered twice and the whole thing is going to go on this 'oh what happened since the Italy game? Scotland appeared to have gone backwards since then' etc..

I think the only way Scotland can improve is to reduce their penalty count.

· Reply · Report

DrG February 23, 2014 7:50 pm

Just to add, it was very exciting game, nice to see the scrums on both teams actually working and not replicating that farce on Friday night.

Well done to Scotland. Hopefully they can continue to improve.

Commiserations to Italy, they have to take heart that it was a very close game, hopefully they can get a good result in their next two matches (even if it is just a close loss).

· Reply · Report

Canadian content February 23, 2014 11:10 pm

A lil harsh dr g but possibly true. But maybe gray was being an ass and Johnson was right to drop him, he looked fantastic. Dunbar looked Great too, was he in the first two matches?

This was Italy, but then again, you've got to win the games your supposed to and who knows? Maybe this is how Scotland can win. Maybe they have found their game? Time will tell

· Reply · Report

Tanqueray February 24, 2014 10:35 am

DrG you are correct in that this is no turning point yet. If the improvements from the 2nd half can be taken in to the next two games and beyond, then there is the potential for people to look back at this game and identify it as such at that point.

The penalty count was high and that needs to be addressed, although we got precious little from Walsh. The lineout went back to basics which is what has been needed, and Lawson was outstanding, as were Gray and Beattie, whose linking with the backs was a refreshing change from the predictable (and easily defended) "truck it up" style we saw in the first 2 games.

Ultimately though, Scotland's confidence has been rock bottom, and this will go a little way towards restoring that. Scott and Dunbar in the centre will continue to grow as a partnership and that can only be a good thing. If they can provide a platform and some space for Hogg, then the backline may cause some problems.

By no means a turnaround, just nice to be able to take some positives for a change (and not the positives that the players are contractually obliged to talk about in their post match interviews).

· Reply · Report

DrG February 24, 2014 12:59 pm

Totally agree with both of you, I re-read my comment and it does come across as a bit harsh/negative, that was not my intention. I think perhaps the problem lies with the TV post match interviewer who will applaud this fantastic Scotland game because it was a win, then will perhaps comment on nothing positive if Scotland lose their next game; because it will be a loss.

The rest of us can see positives in a teams game, even if they do lose.

Gray was brilliant, glad to see him back on. As you said Tanqueray, Hogg needs that bit more space. I do worry that Scotland seem to have few players to fill the gaps, Lamont is now 33, he'll surely be hanging up the international boots in the near future (maybe he'll make the World cup) and as yet. I sometimes get the impression Scotland has a few great players, dotted around between 1-15 (inclusive) and the rest are sort of the best picks of an ok bunch. I suppose player pool is key.

Anyway, positive thinking. Good luck in your next games Scotland AND Italy!

· Reply · Report

Smiling Death February 24, 2014 4:08 pm

So ... I agree with Dr G etc that it's far too early to be talking about turning points and we should reserve judgement until the tournament is done - if not longer.

But it's amusing to see RD talk about this as the 'annual' wooden spoon decider - for those with short memories, let's recall that these two sides finished third and fourth last year - and the wooden spoon decider turned out to be the drawn game between Ireland and France (postponed because the French couldn't provide a playable pitch on the scheduled day).

· Reply · Report

Frenchie February 26, 2014 7:17 pm

Exciting game coming up at Murrayfield…who would have thought?? Should be a cracker.

· Reply · Report

07015678 February 28, 2014 4:00 pm

Congratulations Scotland, hopefully some green shoots in what is to be a new and successful era for one of the IRB's most traditionally respected rugby nations.

It must be said, had Weir's drop goal attempt sailed wide, the mood within Scottish rugby would have continued along that gloomy level.

Supposedly Scot Johnson's main goal is to develop better strength and depth within the squad, for Cotter for then come in and strategically and consistently select the best performers. This is the only explanation to his bizarre team selection style just now.

· Reply · Report

Commenting as Guest | Register or Login

All comments are moderated and will be removed immediately if offensive.