Italy beat Scotland 22-19 in Six Nations clash at Murrayfield
Last Updated: 28/02/15 5:36pm
A penalty try in the 80th minute gave Italy a dramatic 22-19 win over Scotland in their Six Nations clash at Murrayfield.
Italy were trailing 19-15 and facing their third defeat of the competition when Irish referee George Clancy awarded them their third try of the game after the backpedalling Scotland pack pulled down a threatening maul close to the home line.
That put Sergio Parisse's side 20-19 ahead and, for good measure, replacement stand-off Tommaso Allan added the conversion to confirm a third defeat out of three for Scotland, the country he represented at age group level.
Scotland got off to a flying start as Greig Laidlaw landed a penalty after flanker Simone Favaro was punished for coming in at the side of a ruck with just 17 seconds on the clock.
That was bad enough for Italy but things got worse after fly-half half Kelly Haimona’s pass was intercepted by centre Mark Bennett, who raced clear to score under the posts.
Laidlaw added the conversion, stretching the Scottish lead to 10-0 but Italy swiftly halved the gap as they won a lineout straight from the restart and drove 30 metres to the line, with lock Josh Furno scoring.
Haimona pushed the conversion attempt wide but after Laidlaw nailed another penalty for Scotland, Haimona ended a run of five successive place-kicking misses in the competition with a penalty success from 35m in the 18th minute.
A third Laidlaw penalty made it 16-8 to the home side in the 27th minute but Italy cut the gap to 16-15 three minutes before half time after a bizarre passage of play.
Haimona struck a penalty against the right-hand post and in the scramble to gather the loose ball, Giovanbattista Venditti managed to dot it down next to the left post for a try confirmed after referee George Clancy consulted the Television Match Official.
Haimona added the conversion but five minutes into the second half he made way for Allan.
Scotland might have gained some breathing space on the scoreboard in the 62nd minute but the pass with which veteran winger Sean Lamont fed a 'scoring' pass to full-back Stuart Hogg was clearly forward. Still, Scotland claimed the first points of the second half five minutes later, Laidlaw landing a fourth penalty.
With 90 seconds to play, though, the Scots were reduced to 14 men after replacement lock Ben Toolis was yellow carded on his debut for collapsing an Italian maul.
Then, with 28 seconds to go, the steamrollering Italian pack forced the penalty try that clinched a dramatic victory.