70 min: Nel on for Fagerson in the Scotland front row. Zanon on for Morisi for Italy in the midfield.
69 min: Price snatches an intercept as Italy steal a turnover within striking distance. The Scottish 9 runs 50 metres up field. He’s motoring ahead. Italy are scrambling. He’s brought down but the ball is recycled at pace and Scotland have a chance. Healy shifting it on. It goes right and then left. Italy work hard to get back in their shape before Ruzza makes a tremendous steal on the ground to win a penalty.
68 min: A kicking contest ends with Scotland putting it out inside Italy’s half. Neither side is showing that same willingness to run from deep, perhaps a sign that this is getting tense. Redpath is on in midfield in place of Tuipulotu and Healy slots in at flyhalf as Smith takes his leave. Kinghorn will shift to fullback.
Penalty! Scotland 19-14 Italy (Garbisi, 66)
Garbisi slots this from his left boot just to the right of the posts around 30 metres back. Game on now.
65 min: Strong defence from Italy puts Scotland under pressure. The men in pink are loose and that allows Italy to swarm over the bobbling ball. Tuipulotu gets there first but he’s penalised for holding on. Italy will go for posts here. This would take them within a try of nicking it.
That was magnificent from Garbisi. Just a lovely deft touch off the toe.
TRY! Scotland 19-11 Italy (Allan, 63)
A try from nothing. Ali Price’s clearing box kick didn’t find touch and Brex counters. His offload to Gesi maintains momentum. Garbisi takes the ball flat at the line and puts through a grubber on the left win and Allan is sharp enough to gather it on the bounce and dot down. He misses the conversion so Italy are still beyond a converted try away, but the comeback is on.
61 min: The Italian line-out is secure this time. The ball worms its way infield. But they can’t stitch together a cohesive move and Dempsey has the ball in his hands.
60 min: Allan counters after fielding a kick and hands to to Gesi. He does well to keep the ball in field on the right wing. Some kicking tennis keeps the ball in play. Both teams look knackered. Gray strays offside so Garbisi tries a cute pop kick to Gesi again, but it’s out on the full. And breathe…. Penalty for the offside. Garbisi hoofs it into touch.
Price replaces White. Cummings for Gray. Sutherland for Schoeman.
57 min: A poor throw means the line-out is spilled and Italy have it back. Brex and then Allan carry without much success. They’re 10 metres into Scotland’s half. Morisi charges. Eight phases before Paolo Garbisi puts in a nothing kick and Steyn fields under no pressure.
56 min: Another penalty at the scrum against Italy. Fischetti turning in and then collapsing under pressure. Scotland hoof it up field.
54 min: Italy overthrow in the line out. Kieran Crowley must be tearing his hair out. White’s clearing kick is good. Italy play it quick and Allan’s cross kick finds Morisi. There’s a forward pass after contact. Scotland scrum. It’s all becoming a little ragged.
53 min: Ruzza brings it down and the maul motors forward. Scotland give away a penalty after a side entry. Matt Fagerson to blame for that one. That’s three quick penalties in a row that has taken Italy from their own 22 right to Scotland’s try line. They go to the corner.
52 min: Ashman is off side so Italy have another penalty and kick to the corner. They’re within striking distance. A chance to maul.
51 min: Italy go over the top in that line-out. Brave right in their 22. They also get a penalty for a high tackle and clear beyond the halfway line. Fagerson the guilty man there.
50 min: Good hands down the line, and a clever pass from Kinghorn, opens space for Steyn who makes 10 metres. Tuipulotu kicks a smart grubber through for Van der Merwe to chase. He can’t reach it but that puts Italy on the back foot.
Loads of changes. The younger Garbisi is on at 9. Matt Fagerson joins the scene for Scotland in place of Watson. Ashman on for Turner at hooker.
49 min: Italy make a mess of a line-out but have it back as Sctoland fumble. It almost works but the pass down the blindside bisects two runners and it dribbles out for a Scottish throw. Sloppy again from Italy.
47 min: Italy have a break but the pass left can’t find the hands of Gesi. He was free as well. More inaccuracy costing Italy.
46 min: Italy make a couple of changes. Negri and Iachizzi off. Niccolo Cannono comes on to join his brother. So too does Zuliani.
TRY! Scotland 19-6 Italy (Kinghorn, 44)
A second for Blair Kinghorn. Scotland are twice dragged back from over the line as the Italian defence holds firm. That is, until they spin the ball right and Kinghorn spots a gap and manages to brush off Negri, no easy accomplishment, and he smashes through the tackle and dots down. That looked an easy finish but it was anything but. Very impressive strength there from the fly-half. He converts as well.
43 min: The line-out is off the top and Tuipulotu runs hard to the line. Gray gets close. Italy are impenetrable on their own line. Dempsey scrambles but can’t get to the line. Still Scotland a metre out.
Nigel Owens on the BBC comms reckons Italy had a case there.
41 min: Bruno runs through a hole down the right wing but Scotland have it back soon enough. Kinghorn gives it to Tuipulotu who gives it to Ritchie. Zander Fagerson takes it in. Smith to Steyn who wriggles back off his wing. Nice interplay from Scotland but Italy seem to win it on the floor. Nope, Italy are off their feet so its a Scotland penalty. Lamaro argues but Gardner ain’t hearing it. Kinghorn kicks to the corner.
OK then. Next 40 to come.
Here’s Stuart Hogg again:
We back ourselves to score points. We can sit on the side and tell them to take three points, but Jamie and the leaders out there kept plugging away. There have been some good things and not so good things. Credit to the Italians. They’re a gritty bunch. We can count ourselves lucky not to concede [a try] to be honest.
Get a load of this madness from Duhan!
Half-Time: Scotland 12-6 Italy
Scotland almost score a remarkable try four minutes after the half time hooter. It’s a line-out off the top and Kinghorn ignites a back line move that has Van der Merwe joining off his wing. Smith on the wraparound finds Steyn who bursts through a half gap on the right flank and throws a pass back inside but it doesn’t find a Scottish hand five metres from the Italian line. Italy gather and clear to bring the half to a close.
Scotland are only six points ahead but they really should be miles infront. Italy have been careless in possession in their own half but haven’t been punished. They could have scored a try themselves.
40+3 min: Scotland win the penalty. Fagerson who stole it on the ground. Remarkably, Scotland choose to play it and go to the line-out.
40+2 min: Italy win the penalty and play some pretty rugby before Cannone busts through the middle. Garbisi is in fluent form as he strings together a backline move. They’re up to the 22. Brex involved. Scotland holding firm. Schoeman almost nabs it on the floor but is pushed back. Still Italy play it.
40 min: Steyn make about five metres as he carries a tackler with him. Kinghorn plays a great short pass for Smith. Kinghorn then plays a poor pass to no one and the scrambling Ritchie knocks on and then gives away a penalty. Italy with the chance to clear into Scotland territory. They’re back to 15 men and will have the line-out
38 min: The scrum goes down but Gardner says play on. Kinghon hoofs a deep kick. Garbisi sends it back and Scotland have a penalty advantage on the half way line. Van der Merwe carries with great strength. Gray in midfield secures the ball. Jones on the left win gets far enough so the advantage is over. Steyn wriggles but can’t work the space. Scotland still have it.
36 min: Brex straightens and keeps the ball moving for Lamor. 13 phases and they’re on the five metre line. But there’s an accidental off side as Ruzza cops a pop pass to the face. Iachizzi who played the ball is therefore offside as he regathers. Scrum for Scotland with their heels on their own line.
35 min: The Italian line-out goes to the middle and is sent straight down as Scotland contest. Fischetti charges. So does Brex. Italy on the front foot in Scotland’s 22 and playing it narrow and direct.
34 min: Zander Fagerson is penalised in the scrum so Italy this time get the penalty. We’ve yet to have a completed scrum. Garbisi drills a kick deep into Scottish territory.
33 min: After a bit of kick tennis Scotland have it and Dempsey steps to create momentum down the left. Van der Merwe gets the ball and the crowd raise their voice. He’s nailed by Negri and the attempt to off-load in the tackle ends with a knock-on
TRY! Scotland 12-6 Italy (Kinghorn, 30)
Scotland finally have their try after what felt like 20 minutes in Italy’s red zone. White runs laterally at the base of the set piece and gives it to Kinghorn. Tuipulotu runs a great dummy run which allows Kinghorn to step off his left foot and cut back against the grain. He barges over to score. He then steps up and slots the conversion.
Yellow! Italy (Riccioni 29)
The scrum goes down again and Riccioni is shown a yellow. Gardner makes good on his word but I think he’s sent off the wrong man as the scrum collapsed on the other side. Either way, the Scottish pack is well on top. The winger Gesi, on debut, is the sacrificial lamb as Italy send on another prop.
28 min: Another penalty against the Italian scrum. It’s for collapsing and not controlling their weight. Angus Gardner gives them a telling to. “Either hold your weight up or guys will be sitting down.” Scotland with options either side.
27 min: This time a scrum penalty for Scotland. To be honest, I have no idea why. Scotland choose to pack down again, so, as we were.
25 min: Italy take a an age to put the ball in so Scotland have a free kick. What was going on? Tuipulotu at first receiver smashes at the line. Ritchie tries to find a gap in the line but can’t. Schoeman makes a yard. White goes right to Gray. The counter ruck is good and Italy almost snatch it back but there’s a knock on so Scotland will have the scrum right beneath the Italian poles. They MUST leave here with seven points. Italy though holding strong.
24 min: Scotland make a mess of that line-out. Ricthie lifted but the ball doesn’t come and Italy don’t hoist anyone. As Ricthie comes down Italy nail the Scottish pack and the ball is fumbled. First scrum of the match with Italy feeding five metres from their own line.
23 min: Scratch that. It’s a Scotland penalty after the TMO has overruled the initial call as an Italian committed a no-arms tackle which led to the Scottish knock on. So Scotland have the ball again on the Italian try line. Iachizzi goes off for a HIA for Cannone. Scotland go to the corner again.
22 min: Scotland win the line-out but the maul doesn’t make yards. The ball moves infield. Schoeman gives it to Gray. White darts for the line but is short. They’re so close after eight phases. Italy holding. Scotland lose and Italy can clear. A Scot is off side and Italy will have a penalty on their own try line. Immense defence from the men in blue.
20 min: The Scottish maul takes it close and Turner darts for the line. He’s held back. Fagerson goes before it’s spread left. Kinghorn comes close as he attempts to squeeze between two tacklers in the corner but is shunted out. Solid defence from Italy. It’s Scotland’s ball though.
18 min: Scotland have a penalty after Italy stray off side after that kick. Five metres out. Scotland go for the corner. Oh, he’s shanked that. Should have been in the corner but it’s about eight metres out.
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