Scotland U20 vs Italy U20, Thu, 08/06/2017 - 10:00

Scotland U20
17 - 16
Full time
Italy U20
Thursday, 8 June, 2017 - 10:00 | AIA Arena, Kutaisi

Scotland U20 fought off a late Italian comeback to record a hard-earned 17-16 victory and secure second place in Pool B of the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship.

John Dalziel’s charges scored three tries through Robbie Nairn, Luke Crosbie and Tom Dodd, with Connor Eastgate’s sole conversion proving crucial come the final whistle.

The opposition were only able to cross the whitewash on one occasion through centre Marco Zanon, yet a fine kicking display from stand-off Antonio Rizzi kept Italy in the game throughout.

The Dark Blues started the stronger of the sides and looked energetic in the opening exchanges.

Making amends for a missed opportunity in the opening minutes, Robbie Nairn opened the scoring with a sensational try in the corner in which he displayed guile, power and pace to finish.

Italy fired back with a well-worked try from centre Marco Zanon, with Rizzi’s conversion giving the Azzurri the lead (5-7).

Eastgate turned down the option of a kickable penalty on the 14 minute mark, and the risk paid-off with a try. Scotland went to their driving maul – a key feature to their success in the tournament – and following a few phases, Crosbie sniped over through the centre of the ruck to regain the lead for his side (10-7).

Stand-off Eastgate slotted the conversion, yet was unable to add three points with another shot at goal on 22 minutes (12-7).

Excellent scramble defence from Blair Kinghorn stopped an almost certain try shortly after, with the TMO judging the full-back had managed to get under the ball before Italy’s livewire wing Giovanni D'Onofrio touched down in the corner.

Italy did, however, have the last say of the half with Rizzi kiking a 36th minute penalty to close the gap to just two points at the interval.

HALF-TIME | Scotland 12 – 10 Italy

And the Italians continued to build on their momentum in the second-half with the only points of the third quarter coming through the boot of Rizzi, who slotted a further two penalties to give his side a 16-12 lead.

Scotland showed their character and put a rough patch behind them when back-row Dodd touched down following another well-worked driving maul. Replacement Josh Henderson was unable to add the extras, but Dodd’s score gave his side a 17-16 lead going into the final 10 miuntes.

It was a grandstand finish. Italy continued to fire shots at the Scotland line, yet the defence stayed resilient and kept them out on a number of occasions, most notably when Nairn bundled his opposite number into touch on approach to the line.

FULL-TIME | Scotland 17 – 16 Italy

Team lineups

Scotland U20
Italy U20

Backs

Backs

Forwards

Forwards

Substitutes

Substitutes

World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1New Zealand U2011004
2Scotland U20 21104
3Italy U2010101
4Ireland U2000000

World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 latest results

Scotland U20 17 v 16 Italy U20
New Zealand U20 42 v 20 Scotland U20