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Monday Aug 24, 2015

Scotland grind out victory with late try against Italy in Turin

Scotland grind out victory with late try against Italy in Turin
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After suffering a narrow defeat to Ireland in their first World Cup warm up match last week, Scotland bounced back to beat Italy 16-12 in Turin in a nervy and uninspiring encounter. 

Head coach Vern Cotter made 11 changes to the side that played in Dublin, while Italy were playing their first match since the end of the Six Nations in March.

Among the changes for the Scots was Highlanders flanker John Hardie, who was only called up by Cotter in July. The 27 year-old Kiwi impressed throughout, making several big tackles and being very active at the breakdown.

Despite dominating the opening 40 minutes, Scotland had to make do with being pegged back to 9-9 at the half-time break. Two Duncan Weir penalties gave the visitors an early lead before Italy – through kickers Gonzalo Garcia and Tommaso Allan – responded.

The second half was a shadow of the first in terms of both quality and accuracy. Allan’s third penalty gave the home side the lead for the first time on 61 minutes.

Denied a try despite a driving maul breaching the Scottish line, Italy conceded in the closing stages as Henry Pyrgos finished off a well taken counter-attacking try for Scotland. 

Winger Sean Lamont made use of scrappy ball to put Greig Tonks into space. The full back then released Matt Scott down the wing before the centre gave scrum-half Pyrgos an easy walk-in. Weir converted and Scotland secured the victory with a final minute scrum penalty.

Speaking of the strength of character displayed by his side in challenging circumstances: Scotland struggled to keep composure and accuracy in the second period – Cotter was happy with the way the team grinded out victory.

“We wanted a hard game and we got that,” he said. “It was not an easy game, very physical. We are happy with a few things. It was a reasonable performance, not perfect and could have gone either way.”

Both sides must now focus their attentions on the re-match at BT Murrayfield this Saturday 29 August, kick-off 3.15pm. The meeting in Edinburgh will be the last competitive weekend before all sides’ final Rugby World Cup squads have to be announced on 31 August.  

Scotland have annoucned that seven players have been released from the wider training squad: Glasgow’s Mike Cusack and Kevin Bryce, along with Edinburgh quintet Dougie Fife, Ben Toolis, Damien Hoyland, Allan Dell and Hamish Watson will all return to their clubs.

credit: rugby channel

8 Comments

  • kadova
    9:48 PM 31/08/2015

    Nacho, your english is very good, and your message is pretty clear. The rugby school issue should be looked after by the Italian board ? World Rugby could help ?

    Reply
  • drg
    11:53 AM 26/08/2015

    He had wicked fancy work though, could step as well as bulldoze. I thought his ball in hand and kicking from hand wasn't too bad though? Just seemed to be Italy's usual woe of place kicking that wasn't good?

    Reply
  • reality
    10:27 AM 26/08/2015

    Haimona was poor. He would have been a good inside centre or backrower but he was very limited as an outhalf, too slow a defender, and too poor a kicker. I think Sergio Parisse could have done a better job than him, and that's not actually a joke - Haimona looks like a backrower player at outhalf.

    Reply
  • drg
    9:17 PM 25/08/2015

    Italy is really in trouble in the 10 area, I thought Haimona was a brilliant entrance point, but he needed polishing. I'm saddened to see he is out injured though.

    Reply
  • reality
    11:32 AM 25/08/2015

    It's not like they're spoilt for talent, but they've plenty of good tightheads that are far better than Castrogiovanni, they've a few decent backrowers that could replace Bergamasco, they've some really good centres for Garcia (Morisi, Campagnaro for example), anyone really would do for McLean. Geldenhuys I suppose could be used as a backup, but he shouldn't be starting anyway. Regarding outhalf, you're right, DrG, but in other positions they're not in such dire straits.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:16 AM 25/08/2015

    Does Italy have the choice though? I don't know one way or the other so I'm relying on others inputs, but from I gather through the years of watching them struggle in the 6N Italy has had very little player depth. They lose their 10 and they spend the next 5 years focussing on finding a 10 and ignoring every other position...

    Reply
  • c_gillon
    11:54 PM 24/08/2015

    Experience?

    Reply
  • reality
    10:21 PM 24/08/2015

    Why oh why didn't Brunel get rid of some of the dinosaurs holding Italy back? The last play here was a perfect example of why Castrogiovanni shouldn't be going to the world cup - he's simpy not good enough and hasn't been good enough for the last five years. Same goes for Garcia, McLean, Geldenhuys and Mauro Bergamasco. If it's a choice between two players who are equally talented and one is old and on the way down and one is young and on the way up, why does Brunel continue to pick the old ones?

    Reply


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