Italy condemn Scotland to another defeat
March 6, 2004
Italy players celebrate a famous victory
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Fly-half Roland de Marigny kicked five penalties as Italy condemned Scotland to a 20-14 defeat - and probably to the Wooden Spoon.
Italy's first victory of the campaign was sealed by their first try of the championships, scored by hooker Fabio Ongaro.
John Kirwan's men dominated the second half following Ongaro's try moments after the interval and richly deserved the victory. Chris Paterson collected three penalties and there was a late try from Simon Webster but it was not enough as the Scots produced a lack luster display.
The Scots retaliated and were rewarded with a penalty which Paterson landed despite a crescendo of boos from the home fans, only for De Marigny to nudge his side ahead once again after the visitors had infringed in front of the posts. The Italians repeatedly found themselves on the wrong side of referee Nigel Whitehouse's whistle.One infringement handed the Scots another penalty well within Paterson's range but the Edinburgh back pushed his effort wide of the upright.
Brendan Laney nearly escaped at the other end once Matt Williams' men had cleared the danger and Simon Taylor was in support to maintain the momentum until a hand in the ruck from Italy allowed Paterson to slot another three points.
And the Italians proved their own worst enemies once again as they strayed offside in a bid to halt a late Scottish flurry and Paterson kept his cool to nudge over the penalty, giving his side the lead for the first time.
But the first-half action was not over as Italy still had time to launch one last attack which this time saw Scotland fall foul of Whitehouse, and Marigny made no mistake to level the score. Scotland made the worst possible start to the second half as Italy hooker Ongaro leapt on the loose ball which had clipped Stuart Grimes' hands at a line-out and bounced over the try-line.
It was quick thinking from Ongaro which resulted in the try but there was a hint of misfortune about it, and the visiting fans were at least allowed some relief as De Marigny's conversion bounced off the left post.
Italy piled forward in the last 20 minutes with all the rugby being played in Scotland's half and their endeavour paid off as the visitors' discipline crumbled, conceding a penalty which De Marigny potted.
De Marigny added another three points with two minutes to go and, although Simon Webster crossed in the dying seconds for Scotland, the game was over as Italy completed a famous victory.