Scotland had to fear in Florence before they recovered to a 28-17 win over Italy in their Fall Cup opener.
Gregor Townsend’s team has won five consecutive victories for just the second time in the professional era but within an hour that looks seriously threatened.
The home side has lost 27 consecutive matches at Six Nations but it looks like they could be set to kick off this one-off tournament with a shocking win after Matteo Minozzi’s superb effort ended the performance. excellent in the first half.
Paolo Garbisi contributed twelve points but things were exhausted after the break and Scotland – who scored their opening goal in the afternoon via Duhan van der Merwe – were able to see victory with further scores. from Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings and George Turner.
Duncan Weir, a childhood Rangers fan, made his debut in four years for the national team at the backdrop of the Blues’ famous 2008 UEFA Cup win over Fiorentina as he replaced injured players Finn Russell and Adam Hastings.
The tiny No10 is just as deadly as his soccer hero Nacho Novo as he contributes eight points with his boot – though he has been denied a dream attempt at his return to the Townsend squad by one pass forward.
Scotland’s long-awaited Six Nations victory in Wales two weeks ago built on the brutality and domination of the No. 8 front but their legion struggled in Tuscany for the first 40 minutes. when Italy’s pragmatic approach left the visitors stuck in their own half.
Garbisi’s two early free-kicks were meager rewards for the Azzurri’s prestige in the first 20 minutes. Scotland were forced to receive a free-kick and a penalty from the opening two quarrels before being shifted back to a reverse gear in the third half as they were pushed back ten yards back by aggressive Italian strikers. .
That was probably explained by the sight of the Rory Sutherland player limping from an injury shortly thereafter but it was clear Townsend’s team would not get the afternoon as comfortable as they expected. Scotland finally gained a foothold in opposition territory when Stuart Hogg twice declined the posts to pin Italy back in the corner.