Italy beat Scotland but come last in Six Nations

Italy beat Scotland 23-20 in their Six Nations match at the Stadio Flaminio on Saturday.


Chris Paterson kicked a penalty kick in the 72nd minute to level the scores.


With 10 seconds to go on the clock Full-back Andrea Marcato scored a last minute drop goal to give Italy their first win under South African coach Nick Mallett as they beat Scotland 23-20 in the Six Nations at the Stadio Flaminio here on Saturday.

Despite the dramatic finale and the wild celebrations that followed, Italy still finished the championship with the wooden spoon as they needed to win by at least five points to overtake Scotland.

Both sides finished the tournament with one win apiece but Italy will be the more satisfied of the two as they are in the midst of a transitional period with a number of inexperienced players – Marcato included -amongst their ranks.

Mallett even shed a tear at the whistle as his side celebrated like a team who had won the tournament, but the South African insisted that finishing last was of no significance.

“It’s of no significance, it doesn’t bother me at all,” said Mallett.

“I come from the southern hemisphere where you get a point for finishing within seven points of the opposition.

“We lost by five points against Ireland and four points against England which would have given us two bonus points.

“If it had gone on southern hemisphere criteria we would have finished above Scotland.

“This tournament is about winning, if you don’t win you get nothing.

The important thing was to improve.” Italy came out firing and an early interception from captain Sergio Parisse eventually allowed Andrea Masi to kick deep into Scotland territory and force a line-out.

Italy messed up the line-out but then won back the ball from a Scotland scrum only for Masi to be held up a yard short of the line.

Scotland lost winger Simon Danielli to a twisted ankle after five minutes but on eight minutes Marcato missed a penalty from the left after a collapsed scrum.

Scotland were rattled and a missed pass in midfield allowed Kaine Robertson to kick ahead with three Italian players eventually forcing Chris Paterson to touch down over his own line.

From the five-yard scrum Italy drove forward and although Parisse touched down, the referee had already given a penalty try for Scotland collapsing the scrum.

But thereafter Scotland hit back and on 21 minutes they too scored a try.

After a thrilling break in the backs Andrew Henderson slipped 10 yards from the line and seemingly lost the chance but Scotland went through the phases and Allister Hogg picked up the ball and sprinted over for a try.

Dan Parks and Marcato traded penalties to bring the score to 10-10 but disaster struck for the hosts in first half added time.

Italy went to sleep at a break down and Scotland scrum-half and captain Mike Blair quickly picked-up and darted under the posts with Paterson converting for a 17-10 half-time lead.

Scotland coach Frank Hadden lamented the fact that his side did not push on from there.

“We got into a situation where we were dominating and controlling the game and if we had scored we could have gone on to record our best victory here in Italy,” he said.

Marcato missed another penalty on 49 minutes and Scotland were laregly on top at this stage with their strong defence frustrating the hosts’ attacking aspirations.

But that all changed on the hour mark as Parisse intercepted a Parks pass inside his own half and sprinted for the line.

Seeing he wouldn’t make it, the Argentina-born captain sent a long inside pass to Gonzalo Canale, who picked it up off the bounce and streaked home under the posts.

Marcato and Paterson traded penalties to leave the score 20-20 with the clock ticking down.

A brilliant long diagonal kick

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