Mallett in tribute to winners

Italy coach praises players after famous win

Last updated: 1st March 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Mallett in tribute to winners

Mallett: Proud

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Italy coach Nick Mallett paid tribute to his players after they ground out a 16-12 victory over Scotland in Rome.

The triumph was their first in the RBS Six Nations since beating the Scots almost two years ago, coming by virtue of a try through substitute Pablo Canavosio.

Mirco Bergamasco kicked Italy's other points to give Mallett a belated follow up victory to the 23-20 triumph in 2008.

"I am extremely proud and satisfied," said Mallett. "We have done a great job today.

"I am proud of all my players, not just the ones that started. Everyone gave their contribution.

Great

"Italy has won seven games in the Six Nations. Every single win we have is fantastic. We've come quite close many times but this is a completely different feeling because this time we managed to hold on for a win.

"This is great for the players and great for the squad."

Mallett was particularly impressed by his team's defensive work.

"Our defence has been fantastic," he said. "To have not conceded a try against Scotland is a great achievement. We are very happy that we managed to hold them.

"They twice came close but my team showed great character."

Scotland coach Andy Robinson was left to bemoan his side's lack of ruthless streak as they failed to take advantage of their territorial advantage.

"There were a number of opportunities that we created," said Robinson, who has now lost all three Six Nations matches in charge. "Our accuracy was good at times but not to get the final pass.

"We've had the ball 22 times inside their 22. Credit to the Italian defence, and credit to the way that they scrambled, and also the way they slowed our ball down."

Ruthless

In stark contrast, Italy took their one genuine tryscoring opportunity, Pablo Canavosio the home hero as he crashed over under the posts.

"That's the ruthless nature of this game that we've got to get right for ourselves and that's what's costing us at the moment," Robinson added.

Scotland could have led even earlier had referee David Pearson allowed a Sean Lamont try from a quickly-taken penalty to stand.

He pulled the play back, seemingly to yellow card Italy flanker Josh Sole, but the forward escaped with a warning and Parks missed the resultant kick at goal.

"I'm sure that another referee would have given that as a sinbin," Robinson said.

"You're not sure what you're going to get in those situations and that's one of the big issues that I have about the game.

"He has a reason why he didn't give it. You'd need to speak to him. But I thought it was clear cut."

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