Scotland U20 vs Italy U20, Wed, 15/06/2016 - 15:15

Scotland U20
27 - 19
Full time
Italy U20
Wednesday, 15 June, 2016 - 15:15 | Manchester City Academy Stadium, Manchester

Scotland under-20 recorded their best finish in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship pool stages as a 27-19 victory over Italy under-20 gave the dark blues their second win in the group for the first time ever.

Tries from prop Murray McCallum, wing Robbie Nairn, full-back Blair Kinghorn and back-row Ally Miller, complemented by seven points from the boot of Adam Hastings, secured Scotland a bonus-point victory, which would see them finish the pool stages with nine points from three games.

Scotland will now progress to the middle four group (5-8) for the last two games of the Championship, where they will compete to trump their previous highest finish of eighth, achieved in last year’s competition.

Head coach John Dalziel said: “I’m relieved for the group. We set the goal to win these two games.

“We started off with a good win, and moving into the England game we needed to shuffle things up a bit and our pride took a bit of a dent in that match.

“We knew we had a clear focus for this match and we arrived here in good spirits, and despite some of the injuries and the important players we’ve lost, but we played some really, really good rugby.

“As normal, we are pretty disappointed at the end of it because of the overall performance, but we’re delighted with the maximum points and two wins in the pool stages.”

Scotland’s first chance went begging in the third minute, as an easily kickable penalty for Dalziel’s men was reversed for foul play at the contact, following a TMO referral from referee Thomas Chabaras.

The TMO was once again called into action after seven minutes as Scotland wing Ben Robbins sailed through the Italian defence before chipping the full-back to touchdown. However, the try was disallowed as the video replay showed the ball went forward off Robbins’ hand, as he was challenged by his opposite number.

Scotland’s persistence paid off in the 17th minute when prop Murray McCallum rumbled over the line to post his side’s first score of the day following a great individual break from Adam Hastings. The latter’s conversion attempt glazed the outside of the post (5-0). 

Following a disallowed try in the 27th minute, Italy levelled the score on the half-an-hour through back-row Giovanni Licata. Stand-off Leonardo Mantelli slotted the conversion to give his side a 7-5 lead, which remained intact until the interval.

Half-time: Scotland under-20 5 – 7 Italy under-20

Hastings put Scotland back in the lead three minutes after the turn when he slotted a penalty from in front of the sticks (8-7).

Wing Nairn was next on the scoresheet as he gathered a fumbled high-ball  from his opposite man, Luca Sperandio, and stormed in untouched from 60 metres for the score. Hastings produced a neat kick with the conversion to give his side an eight-point lead (15-7). 

Man-of-the-match Kinghorn followed Nairn’s lead as he raced in at the corner just three minutes later following some fluid handling from the Scotland back-line. Hastings failed to hit the target with the touchline conversion (20-7). 

The 13-point lead didn’t remain intact for too long, as Italy produced a reply through prop Daniele Rimpelli, with Mantelli’s conversion closing the gap to eight points after 62 minutes (20-12).

The gap again opened up, however, as quick hands from Scotland found Miller lurking in the outside channels, where the back-row made no mistake in beating a man and racing into the corner for the bonus-point score. Hastings connected well with the strike to give Scotland a 27-14 lead. 

The lead proved too great for Italy to overcome, yet the Azzurri had the last say with a 76th minute try from wing Pierre Bruno, after a long spell of pressure on the Scotland line.

Full-time: Scotland under-20 27 – 19 Italy under-20

Team lineups

Scotland U20
Italy U20

Backs

15
14
13
12 Matt McPhillips
11
10
9

Backs

15 Matteo Minozzi
14 Pierre Bruno
13 Marco Zanon
12 Dario Schiabel
11 Luca Sperandio
10 Leonardo Mantelli
9 Riccardo Raffaele

Forwards

1 Daniele Rimpelli
2 Marco Manfredi
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Leonard Krumov
5 David Fragnito
6 Lorenzo Masselli
7 Giovanni Pettinelli
8 Giovanni Licata

Substitutes

16
17
18
19 Alex Craig
20
21
22
23 Cameron Gray

Substitutes

16 Engjel Makelara
17 Damiano Borean
18 Giosue Zilocchi
19 Giordano Baldino
20 Davide Ciotoli
21 Matteo Panunzi
22 Roberto Dal Zilio
23 Andrew Bronzini

World Rugby U20 Championship 2016 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1England U20330014
2Australia U20422011
3Scotland U20 52308
4Wales U2011004
5Italy U2030300

World Rugby U20 Championship 2016 latest results

Scotland U20 19 v 42 Wales U20
Scotland U20 19 v 35 Australia U20
England U20 17 v 13 Australia U20
Scotland U20 27 v 19 Italy U20
England U20 44 v 0 Scotland U20