Italy U20 vs Scotland U20 , Fri, 26/02/2016 - 19:10

Italy U20
14 - 24
Full time
Scotland U20
Friday, 26 February, 2016 - 19:10 | Stadio Plebiscitio

Scotland under-20 returned to winning ways in Padova, as they defeated a stuffy Italian outfit, 24-14, to claim their second victory from three games in this year’s Six Nations Championship.

The team gave a truly gritty performance as they disposed of their Italian counterparts, and managed to endure twenty minutes of being a man-down to secure the win at Stadio Plebiscito.

Scotland trumped Italy three tries to two, with stand-off Rory Hutchinson and wing Robbie Nairn crossing the whitewash, along with prop Murray McCallum, who added to his two tries in the opening two games of the Championship.

Hutchinson successfully converted two of the tries, as well as opening his scoring account with a penalty, and scrum-half Hugh Fraser also got on the scoresheet in converting Nairn’s try. 

Run of play

Italy caught Scotland off guard in the opening exchanges and opened the scoring after only three minutes through Luca Sperandio. The wing beat Scotland’s scramble defence to collect a clever chip from stand-off Leonardo Mantelli, and touch down to put his side ahead. Mantelli added the extras to extend Italy’s early lead, much to the delight of a busy Stadio Plebiscito (0-7).

Scotland retaliated an continued to mount pressure, yet could only salvage three points from the boot of Rory Hutchinson, as errors continued to prove costly on the approach to the line in the opening quarter(3-7).

Under the cosh on twenty minutes, Scotland managed to make a smooth transition from defence to attack which resulted in a truly mesmeric length of the field score.

Captain Scott Cummings won a lineout against the head in his own 22m, and when the ball found tenacious back-row Matt Smith in midfield, he bulldozed through the first line of defence, before offloading to the Rory Hutchinson, who exhibited a great turn of pace to run 70 metres for the score. Hutchinson duly added the extras to his score to give Scotland a 10-point lead (10-7). 

Scotland looked as if they would build further on their lead on numberous occasions in the second quarter, but errors continued to hinder good opportunities close to the Italy line.

However, in the 38th minute, Scotland’s persistence in attack paid off, as prop Murray McCallum carried the ball over from close range to score his third try in as many games.

Huthchinson casually slotted the conversion to give his side a 17-7 lead at the turn.

Half-time: Scotland under-20 17 v 7 Italy under-20               

Italy seemed riled following the interval, and came out the tunnel firing, putting pressure on Scotland from the offset.

The scrum proved a problematic area for Scotland all game, and Italy took advantage of such, as they opted to go to the set-piece as the away side were continually penalised.

After five minutes of scrummaging, the referee had decided enough was enough, and awarded the Azzurri with a penalty try and an easy seven points, closing the gap to just three points (17-14). 

The pressure on Scotland cranked up another notch on 50 minutes as pivotal stand-off Rory Hutchinson was shown a yellow card by referee Pierre Brousset, after his TMO assisted in concluding that the fly-half had tackled a man in the air.

Dalziel and his coaching team decided to take the opportunity to freshen up their side as Robbie Nairn came on to replace Darcy Graham on the wing, and Callum Hunter-Hill replaced Scott Burnside in the pack.

Undeterred by the mounting Italian pressure and being down to 14-men, Scotland turned such on its head with a try of their own, only one minute after Hutchinson was sent to the sidelines.

Man-of-the-match Ally Miller picked the ball from the base of a scrum deep in Scotland’s 22 and went on a rampaging run, beating numerous defenders up the blindside flank, before finding former schoolmate Robbie Nairn, to add the pace and finishing touches for the score. In Huthcinson’s absence, scrum-half, Hugh Fraser, took on kicking duties and slotted the conversion to extend his side’s lead (24-14).

Scotland displayed some real grit in the final quarter to close out the win, as, only six minutes after Hutchinson’s return to the park, the boys in blue were once again reduced to 14-men as Callum Sheldon was penalised for repeat infringement in the scrum.

Italy ramped up the tempo in the last ten minutes, but were unable to break down a tenacious Scottish defence.

Full-time: Scotland under-20 24 v 14 Italy under-20

Man-of-the-match: Ally Miller


Team lineups

Italy U20
Scotland U20


15 Matteo Minozzi
14 Pierre Bruno
13 Roberto Dal Zilio
12 Marco Zanon
11 Luca Sperandio
10 Leonardo Mantelli
9 Charlie Trussardi


1 Daniele Rimpelli
2 Marco Manfredi
3 Marco Riccioni
4 Leonard Krumov
5 Samuel Ortis
6 Davide Fragnito
7 Davide Ciotoli
8 Gabriele Venditti


16 Niccolo Broglia
17 Damiano Borean
18 Giosue Zilocchi
19 Giordano Baldini
20 Michael De Marco
21 Matteomaria Panunzi
22 Peter Mokom
23 Antonio Rizzi


16 Fraser Renwick
20 Stephen Ainslie
22 Chris Lines

U20 6 Nations Championship 2016 table

1Wales U20550010
2France U2054108
3Ireland U2053206
4Scotland U20 52304
5England U2051402
6Italy U2050500

U20 6 Nations Championship 2016 latest results

Ireland U20 26 v 18 Scotland U20
Wales U20 35 v 6 Italy U20
France U20 41 v 17 England U20
Scotland U20 21 v 36 France U20
England U20 16 v 42 Wales U20