Scotland A 13 – 7 Italy A
Captain Gordon Ross completed his century of points for Scotland A to help the team to a 13-7 win over Italy A at McDiarmid Park. But, while the home side appeared to be on course for a comfortable victory in the first period in Perth, the second half saw the Italians almost hit back. Scotland A 13 – 7 Italy A Captain Gordon Ross completed his century of points for Scotland A to help the team to a 13-7 win over Italy A at McDiarmid Park. The Castres stand-off had already scored a sixth-minute penalty before his conversion of a Simon Danielli try claimed his century. Ross has now joined Duncan Hodge, who has scored 152 points for Scotland A, as a centurion for the team. But, while the home side appeared to be on course for a comfortable victory in the first period in Perth, the second half saw the Italians almost hit back. Scotland produced some good early play with both Fergus Thomson and Danielli attempting to find space with some strong running. But, in the sixth minute, Ross opened the scoring with a 30-metre penalty after Italy centre Enrico Patrizio failed to release the ball. Scotland increased their lead three minutes later when Danielli burst down the right flank to claim a try. Ross then scored his 100th point for Scotland A with the subsequent conversion to make 10-0 to the home side. The stand-off missed an opportunity to add to his tally when another lengthy penalty drifted wide in the 23rd minute. However, a far more straightforward chance was to follow, allowing Ross to hit home another penalty in front of the posts to take the score to 13-0. Italian kicker Andrea Marcato was less successful as his first two penalty attempts failed to find the target. Italy centre Matteo Barbini enjoyed greater success though when he touched down in the 32nd minute and Mercato converted to make the scoreline 13-7 at half time. Half-time: Scotland A 13 – 7 Italy A Scotland opened the second period well but Ross saw his 44th-minute penalty strike the post. That miss seemed to galvanise Italy A as they upped the ante to create some serious pressure on the Scottish backline. But Rob Chrystie was on hand with a fine clearance when the visitors were at their most threatening during that sustained spell of pressure. And Marcato again missed a chance to claw back the six-point deficit with another skewed penalty in the 56th minute. Italy substitute Luciano Orquera took over the kicking duties following his switch for Marcato but with little effect when his 77th-minute penalty floated wide. Danielli attempted to break through the Italian rearguard with a darting run in the closing stages but his path was eventually blocked. Colin Gregor produced a fine blocking tackle to prevent Italy prop Fabio Staibano breaking through in the last minute.