In recent seasons, it has been these two countries battling it out to avoid last place. So, it gives something for the fans to shout about….I suppose.
Scotland were looking to stop their current losing streak, to avoid their first whitewash of the competition since 2004, in front of just over 42,000 fans. It didn’t look good half way through, though. Italy went in 8-6 leaders after an Andrea Masi try in the early stages but the much-improved Scots hit back with second half tries from Nick De Luca and Nikki Walker. Some expert kicking from Chris Paterson sealed the win for Andy Robinson’s side.
Interestingly, it was Scotland s first tries in 8 games at Murrayfield. This unwanted record stretched back to November 2009! Easy to see why the team have been lacking confidence lately, and slumping to defeat after defeat.
However, this was a much improved performance which pleased the fans and manager alike.
Robinson told the BBC…
“I’m delighted with the composure that’s been shown by the squad and the attitude that’s been there in every training session.”
He added: “I’ve been seeing improvements throughout the championship….I thought our shape was good in attack and defence”
Elsewhere, despite losing 24-8 to Ireland, fierce rivals England still picked up the trophy to end an impressive campaign.
So, overall a very disappointing 6 Nations for the Scots, as usual. It seems this is what they play for these days – to avoid the wooden spoon. To give them some credit, they have done that!
All joking aside, this game against Italy showed that there are some up and coming stars in the Scotland squad. Players such as Ruraidh Jackson and Richie Gray, who got the man-of-the-match award, excelled in this game. And with Andy Robinson signing a contract extension until 2015, lets hope he can take the on to bigger and better things.
Will Scotland start to compete for trophies now? We can only hope..