So close yet so far will be the saying once again for Italy as they fell to yet another Guinness Six Nations wooden spoon.
Letting a golden opportunity slip in round four against a struggling Welsh side, the Azzurri travelled to Scotland looking to make amends.
Scotland on the other hand came into the clash on the back of disappointing losses to France and Ireland respectively.
Shorn of Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg, Scotland were viewed as being there for the taking.
Despite rushing out to a strong lead, Gregor Townsend’s side faced a major Italian fightback.
Clawing their way back to within five points and battering the Scottish line, Italy were on the precipice of what would’ve been a historic victory.
Alas as it has been throughout this season’s Championship, mistakes at crucial moments cost the Azzurri.
In a cruel twist, Scotland would show their brilliance as they went the length of the pitch to secure a victory to close out their campaign.
It would be Blair Kinghorn in for the injured Russell who would finish off the score. Interestingly Kinghorn scored from the fullback position where he looked far more assured throughout this season.
With the Championship now done and dusted, both sides begin their preparations for the World Cup with some level uncertainty.
For Scotland, their inability to match the big two of France and Ireland is a major concern given they are drawn on the same side of tournament. In addition to a pool clash with Ireland. Scotland will need to contend with South Africa followed by a possible quarterfinal against New Zealand or France.
Kieran Crowley’s Italy face an equally daunting task having been drawn on the same side of the draw. Playing against both New Zealand and France, the chance of an Italian quarterfinal appearance is incredibly slim. Should they pull off the upset they will then face either Ireland or South Africa.
Today’s performance by both sides whilst entertaining will leave their respective coaching teams knowing there is plenty of work to do.
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 18, 2023