Scotland fight past Italy in dismal affair
February 26, 2005
Chris Paterson lands a penalty at Murrayfield
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It was a make or break wooden spoon decider for Italy and Scotland and much of the 80 minutes' play reflected this. Italy were looking for their first ever Six Nation's away win and Scotland were desperate to put an end to a demoralising run of defeats. The game turned out to be a battle of the boot with Italy once more coming out as losers.
The game was scrappy and there were errors and lapses in concentration on both sides with neither team looking sharp enough to punish their opponent's mistakes.
In the first half Scotland struggled to gain possession but made most of their chances with some confident kicking from Chris Paterson.
Paterson opened the scoring with a penalty in the 4 th minute. Just one minute later Italy missed the chance, to level the score when Roland De Marigny kicked wide.
Despite a good start by the Italian forwards and consistent line outs, Italy once more failed to turn good attacking moves into points. Luciano Orquera missed a drop kick after a perfect build up. After having had much of first half possession and controlling the game Italy were let down by loose passing, unsure hands and silly mistakes in crucial phases of the game.
Italy 's best chance came in the 20 th min when the Italian forwards turned the screws on the Scottish defence. However they lacked the killer instinct to go for the jugular and failed to score what should have been a certain try. They came away with 3 points from a penalty slotted by De Marigny to level the score at 3-3. In the 27 th minutes Italy missed another penalty but moments later Chris Paterson made the most of his chance and edged Scotland ahead 6-3.
At the beginning of the second half Luciano Orquera took over kicking duty from a disappointing De Marigny but he too pushed another penalty wide and wasted the chance to put precious points on the board.
Two penalties in quick succession by Paterson put some clear water between Scotland and Italy taking the score to 12-3. Italy began to show signs of strain and Scotland grew in confidence and had the upper hand. Once in the driving seat the deep kicks from the boot of Dan Parks confined Italy to their own half.
A try by winger Sean Lamont in the 64 th minute was disallowed after a forward pass. The substitution of n°10 Orquera for Scrum Half Paul Griffen was Italy 's do or die attempt to pull something out the hat but for the Azzuri it was all too late. Five minutes from the end the safe boot of Paterson kicked another three points for Scotland while a face saving try by Italy's n°13 Andrea Masi in a fiery finish took the teams to a final score of 18-10.
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