Scots Succumb To Second Half Italians

Scotland U20 10, Italy U21 27 With a single point advantage at half-time, the Scotland U20 team lost 27-10 to Italy U21 at The Falkirk Stadium tonight. Having been by far the best side in the open stages, the Scots failed to score in the second half and let Italy claw back to an impressive win.Scotland U20 10, Italy U21 27

With a single point advantage at half-time, the Scotland U20 team lost 27-10 to Italy U21 at The Falkirk Stadium tonight.

Having been by far the best side in the open stages, the Scots failed to score in the second half and let Italy claw back to an impressive win.

Speaking after the game, Scotland U20 team manager John Jeffrey said: “To lose a game after being 10-3 up just shouldn’t happen.

“We didn’t play smart rugby and there some bad decisions from a number of individuals. We just panicked and never used our heads.”

Scotland started the game well containing the Italians in their own half and controlling the game through scrum-half Murray Bringhurst and stand-off Cameron Ferguson.

It took the Scots only eight minutes to make the score-sheet as Border Reivers flanker Richie Vernon received a well timed pass from Bringhurst and broke the line to run in from half-way to score a fantastic solo effort, beating both the winger and the fullback to the line. Ferguson converted.

As the Scots kept their grip on the game and held the older and more physical Italians inside their own half, the visitors’ tempers were tested and a scuffle broke out resulting in inside centre Davide Duca requiring a change of shirt.

Italy scored a penalty to put their first points on the board in the 12th minute but that was countered only four minutes later as Alex Grove slotted a very smartly taken drop goal.

Italian centre Davide Duca scored two further penalties as Frazer McKenzie was sent to the sin bin.

However, Scotland kept up their enterprising attack play and they almost slipped through the Italian defence with a great grubber along the right channel which popped up nicely for winger Dave McCall, but he was brought down and his foot touched over the line before he could offload.

Italy tried to finish off the first half with a high ball into the Scotland 22, but a great collection by fullback Colin Goudie ensured the Scots kept possession and Ferguson’s clearance signalled the half-time whistle.

Half-time score: Scotland U20 10, Italy U21 9

The second half went from bad to worse for Scotland as Duca bagged his fourth penalty before referee Dean Richards awarded the Italians a penalty try after the Scots twice brought down a five meter scrum. Duca converted.

Even with lock Andrea Barbiere in the sin bin, the Italians still had the resources to keep scoring.

A cross-field chip to the hooker saw him beat prop Kyle Traynor to the ball for the touchdown

Two minutes before Barbieri returned from the sin bin, Duca scored his fifth penalty to seal the convincing victory.

Man of the Match: Plinio Sciamanna

Scotland U20: Colin Goudie; Dave McCall, Alex Grove, Graham Hogg, Callum Anderson; Cameron Ferguson CAPTAIN, Murray Bringhurst; Alan Dymock, Pat McArthur, Kyle Traynor, David Lambert, Frazer McKenzie, Richie Vernon, Graeme McGilchrist, Willie Lipp
Substitutes: Jamie Hunter for Bringhurst (55 mins), Frazer McArdell for Lambert and Alex Cox for McCall (both 72 mins), Bruce Pow for Traynor and Nick McTaggart for McGilchrist (both 78 mins)
Unused: Frazer Wilford, Robin Holroyd

Italy U21: Giulio Rubini; Michele Sepe, Alberto Sgarbi, Davide Duca, Andrea Bacchetti; Paolo Buso, Michael Wilson; Plinio Sciamanna, Davide Giazzon, Alberto De Marchi, Luca Beccaris, Andrea Barbieri, Filippo Cristiano, Paul Derbyshire CAPTAIN
Substitutes: Alberto Saccardo for Natale Duca (73 mins), Alessandro Borsi for De Marchi (76 mins), Enrico Ceccato for Duca (77 mins) Francesco Minto for Barbieri (79 mins)
Unused: Nicola Gatto, Tito Tebaldi, Gilberto Pavan

Referee: Dean Richards (RFU)