Report: Italy U20 17-13 Scotland Women U20

Report: Italy U20 17-13 Scotland Women U20

An impressive Scotland Women U20 side were left frustrated by the fine margins that cost them in their Six Nations Women's Summer Series match against Italy, where they fell to a 17-13 defeat in Parma.

Italy scored the first try just over three minutes into the match. A penalty for Scotland not rolling away in the ruck was kicked to the right corner, and when it looked like the resulting maul had gone down Vitorria Zanette emerged with the ball and cantered over. Martina Busana added the extras from just right of the posts. [7-0, 4 mins]

Scotland were on the board in the 12th minute, as Italy were penalised on the 22 right in front of the posts and the option to go for goal was called. Lucy MacRae stepped up, and made no mistake. [7-3, 12 mins]

Just three minutes later Italy were over the line again, and in almost identical fashion as Zanette crossed from a maul this time on the left wing, but this time the Scotland forwards stayed in the fight and managed to hold her up to save the try.

Scotland took the lead in the 26th minute through some excellent work down the left. After a ruck steal in midfield following an Italian tap and go penalty, Nicole Flynn fired an inch-perfect pass to Hannah Walker in space on the flank. She charged forwards towards full back Rubina Emma Rossi, and an expertly timed return pass to Flynn put the outside centre clear to run it in. MacRae made it two from two from the boot. [7-10, 26 mins]

But the hosts were back in front just eight minutes later. Going for a tap and go penalty from five metres out, it took just two phases for Italy to work the ball left to substitute Pellizzon, who crashed over to put her side back in front. Busana’s conversion drifted wide to leave only two points in it. [12-10, 34 mins]

From 40 metres out, in front of the posts, MacRae was given the opportunity to put Scotland back in front almost immediately as Italy were penalised for not releasing just after the restart. The inside centre gave it an excellent lash, dissecting the posts and putting Scotland one point ahead. [12-13, 36 mins]

Scotland were nearly in again on the left on the stroke of half time through Walker, but an excellent cover tackle from two Italian defenders bundled the winger in to touch to end the half.

Half time: Italy U20 12-13 Scotland U20

Scotland were dominant for the opening 10 minutes of the second half, but on several occasions handling errors held them back. They were nearly made to pay dearly in the 59th minute as Rossi sliced through a ruck-side gap and charged into the 22, but an excellent tackle from Gemma Bell, the last defender, kept Scotland in front.

The Italians forward again, and soon did get their third try. The ball was worked out left to Greta Copat, who stepped back inside through a small gap and was strong enough to reach the line, changing the lead for the 5th time. Busana’s missed conversion meant Scotland were within an unconverted try. [17-13, 62 mins]

The chances came again for Scotland within two minutes of Copat’s score, but first a penalty kick that missed touch and then a knock-on at the back of a maul 30 seconds later meant Italy were let off.

Another excellent opportunity went begging in the 66th minute. From a lineout on the left of Italy’s 22, Scotland took the ball off the top and quickly got the ball across to Sky Phimister on the right wing in space. The winger was brought down short, and at the breakdown Italy won the jackal penalty and cleared their lines.

The game ended in the most frantic of fashions. With Italy throwing into a lineout on halfway, Scotland stole the ball back and built the phases. Italy intercepted and tried to go the length, but an excellent cover tackle and jackal from Walker gave Scotland the ball back. A kick over the top was dropped by Pellizzon and Phimister pounced, kicking the ball ahead three times and racing to touch it down. But her final kick was inches too long, and travelled dead to end the match and give Italy the win.

Full time: Italy 17-13 Scotland

Italy: Rubina Emma Rossi, Elisa Cecati, Sofia Catellani, Giada Corradini, Martina Busana; Sara Mannini, Nicole Mastrangelo; Antonella Maione, Silvia Fent CAPTAIN, Vittoria Zanette, Alessia Della Sala, Francesca Andreoli, Luna Sacchi, Margherita Tonellotto, Elena Errichiello

Replacements: Chiara Cheli, Angelica Cittadini, Alice Fortuna, Elettra Costantini, Greta Copat, Alia Antonietta Bitonci, Aregash Pellizzon, Mihaela Pirpiliu

Scotland: Lucia Scott, Sky Phimister, Nicole Flynn, Lucy MacRae, Hannah Walker CO-CAPTAIN; Ceitidh Ainsworth, Leia Brebner-Holden; Poppy Fletcher CO-CAPTAIN, Aila Ronald, Eilidh Fleming, Holland Bogan, Natasha Logan, Merryn Gunderson, Lauryn Walter, Megan Hyland

Replacements: Karis Craig (for Ronald, 72 mins), Chloe Brown (for Fletcher, 40 mins), Molly Pollman (for Fleming, 40 mins), Talei Tawake (for Logan, 72 mins), Gemma Bell (for Gunderson, 50 mins), Rebekah Douglas (for Brebner-Holden, 40 mins), Hannah Ramsay (for Ainsworth, 55 mins), Nicole Marlow (for Flynn, 32 mins)

Referee: Shane Gaughan

Player of the Match: Margherita Tonellotto (Italy)

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