Italy scored a bonus-point victory in beating Scotland 32-22 The young Scotland team hopefully learned a valuable lesson. Remain switched on and disciplined for the full 80 minutes on the pitch. The Scots on several occasions lost the plot and allowed a very determined Italian side to turn defence into points scoring opportunities. The Italians on their part showed that they are going for an even better 2019 campaign with their scrum again a major weapon.
Scotland U20 Head Coach, Carl Hogg, said: “We lacked accuracy tonight. Especially in our exit zones – we put ourselves under a lot of pressure with spilt passes and poor execution. After half-time, we had a twenty period where we were nice and composed in our own half. We played the ball out and put some speed on the ball and we looked a dangerous side, however, unfortunately w,e didn’t do that over the 80 minutes.
“I thought we came in to the game with lots of energy and lots of endeavour, but because our error count was so high, it’s difficult to maintain intensity within the game.” He continued: “When we get it right, we look a good rugby team. But we didn’t get it right over an 80-minute period. “There was a twenty-minute period where there was a good insight into what this team can achieve this Six Nations. There’s definitely talent within this team and you could see that we’re capable of playing some really good rugby.”
The first half saw Italy lead 11-3 at the break with mistakes by Scotland allowed a try by Matteo Nocera who charged down a kick and collected the ball to walk over for an easy try.
The second half saw a "new" Scotland as the side came out firing when an initial searing break by Sam Grahamslaw broke up the Italian defence before the ball eventually found Connor Boyle who darted over the whitewash, with Thompson adding the extras (10-11).
With momentum growing, the Scots hauled themselves back into contention and were able to take the lead for the first time in the game when Charlie Jupp darted over the line, with Thompson successfully converting the score (17-11).
Italy was down to 14-men when Koffi was shown a yellow card, however, Scotland was unable to capitalise during the period.
Italy unlocked the Scottish defence once again when hooker Niccolo Taddia pushed past to score in the corner, with Garbisi splitting the uprights (17-18). The Italians were able to hit their stride once again and strengthened their position in the game when Federico Mori crossed the whitewash (17-25).
On the 69thminute, the Netherdale crowd were on their feet as Jack Blain picked a great line to sidled his way through the defence before off-loading to Rufus McLean who sprinted over the line (22-25). The visitors quashed any potential comeback in the last minute of the game when the Italians dotted down on the line, with Garbisi adding the final touches of the night with another successful conversion (22-32).
Scotland (22): Tries: Boyle, Jupp, McLean Conversions: Thompson (2) Penalty: Thompson
Italy: Tries: Nocera, Taddia, Mori, Moscardi Conversions: Garbisi (3) Penalties: Garbisi (2).