Danielli the party pooper
Scotland winger Simon Danielli admits cheering on Italy against France, but now hopes to spoil their party on Saturday.
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 18/03/11 12:54pm
Scotland winger Simon Danielli admits he was cheering on Italy as they stunned France last week, but will now be hoping to spoil their party on Saturday.
Italy's thrilling victory over France in Rome last week may have been good for rugby, but it was ultimately bad news for Scotland who now sit bottom of the RBS Six Nations table.
Saturday's game at Murrayfield was always thought of to be a wooden spoon decider, but now Italy hold a slight advantage with two points already on the board and an edge on points difference which could prove crucial.
Ulster winger Danielli admits he was cheering on Italy last week, not because of his links with the country, which he says are not as strong as his surname suggests, but because of them being underdogs.
"We were all watching the game and I was cheering them on, even though that means we're now bottom of the table, which is certainly not where we want to be," said Danielli.
"It's good for the game, it's good for Italian rugby and it's good for the tournament that they did win. All credit to them and they fully deserved it."
Danielli's mother has investigated the Italian connection, but it was not as grand as some people may have made out.
"It was an 18th century Italian painter called Charles - he was probably a painter and decorator more than a grand artist," he added. "That's as far as we got."
After beating France, Italy now go to Murrayfield on a huge high - and they will be extra confident playing at the ground where they earned their only previous away win in the Six Nations.
Italy also have a good record against the Scots, and a fourth win in six matches on Saturday would ensure they finished above their opponents.
Danielli, however, is confident Scotland can spoil the Azzurri's party, saying his side have not played as badly as four straight defeats suggests.
Andy Robinson's men pushed England all the way at Twickenham last week, and Danielli says performances have been good even if results haven't, and they will need a good one to bring Italy back down to earth.
"They're going to be full of confidence and we just need to try and stop that," the 31-year-old added. "Anyone can beat anyone now on any given day; Italy beating sides will not be considered the upset it used to be.
"Likewise, people had written us off against England. You say 'what if' and 'if only', but we were close enough to getting a win down there and as far as we're concerned it wouldn't have been a massive shock.
"There's been quite a lot of chat that it was a step up against England, the performance was good and it was a step in the right direction - but we still lost.
"You only have a true feeling of happiness in terms of rugby when you've won and that's what we're aiming for this weekend."