Italy v Scotland

Scotland secured their first win of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations championship with a solid defensive effort, as they kept their Italian counterparts pointless in glorious conditions at Stadio Olimpico in Rome (0-17).

The first-half saw the visitors hold a narrow five-point lead going into the interval, following a terrific solo try from captain and full-back Stuart Hogg, who picked a fine line and held his nerve as he raced through the Italian defence.

The second-half was initially a more turgid affair but a try from centre Chris Harris was enough to spark inspiration for Scotland who carried their momentum to the end of the game.

Scotland captain, Hogg, said: “We were delighted with that. We came here to do a job and we’ve done exactly that. I’m so proud of the boys.

“We had a huge challenge in terms of their back-row. We challenged our boys to stand up and you can see that with Hamish Watson getting man-of-the-match, backed up by Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury.”

Match report…

Dominance and brute force in the scrum fell in Scotland’s favour early on as the side were awarded a penalty, to which Stuart Hogg booted into touch to set-up a lineout ten metres from the line.

Hooker Stuart McInally threw it long and into the hands of Sam Johnson as the centre picked a superb line to bring the side close to the Italian whitewash, however, an unfortunate knock-on thwarted their progress.

The Scotland pack remained in control in the scrum and lineouts in the opening exchanges, winning penalties and keeping the Azzurri at bay.

Stand-off Adam Hastings was handed his first sight of goal on the 10th minute but his attempt unfortunately failed to hit target.

Scotland lacked the clinical edge required for the next ten minutes, as the side struggled to penetrate through the Italian defence. A series of costly errors continued to mar their progress.

On the 21st minute, however, a series of slick passes created a sliver of an opportunity for Hogg. A neat dummy allowed him the space to accelerate down the right touchline where he evaded three defenders before diving into the corner.

Scotland thought they had their second try of the game nine minutes later when scrum-half Ali Price dotted down, however it was disallowed following a TMO review, which showed a forward pass from Watson to Johnson in the lead-up.

Italy started to test the resolve of the dogged Scotland defence but were struggling to craft the breakthrough.

The side had to settle for a chance at the posts but Scotland breathed a sigh of relief when Tommaso Allan’s kick hit the posts just before the interval.

HALF-TIME: Italy 0-5 Scotland

Scotland came firing out the blocks in the second-half and were agonisingly close to the try line following a good break by Watson, who offloaded to Magnus Bradbury, who carried hard and deep into the Italian 22 before being thwarted at the 5m line.

He got his popped up offload away to supporting back-row compadre Jamie Ritchie who was tackled as the ball met his arms and knocked on.

Buoyed by the growing momentum, Scotland cranked through the gears in a series of pick and goes.

The ball was then moved wide to the on-rushing Chris Harris who crashed over the line.

Hastings' struggles from the tee continued as the he missed the conversion from out wide.

Scotland lost a bit of momentum as Italy started to make some promising attacks in the visitor's territory, however, the pendulum swung once again as Federico Zani was shown a yellow card for a tip-tackle on replacement lock Grant Gilchrist.

With a penalty decision reversed as a result, Scotland had a good attacking opportunity knocking at their door again, however, the lineout failed to hit the target, which allowed Italy to get back on the ball.

Scotland's third and final try came in the last minute as Hastings collected the ball from around 30 metres out to cruise past a passive Italian defence down the blindside before sauntering over the line.

Hastings made no mistake with the conversion to extend the gap on the scoreboard and see out the match,

FULL-TIME: Italy 0-17 Scotland

live commentary 2:15 PM Saturday 22 Feb 2020

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Kick-off 2:15 PM

Italy

Scotland

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