Scotland halted a 5 match losing streak at home with a commanding victory over the Italians, at Murrayfield.
Italy, who had never won their first two Six Nations matches, had a surprise victory at home against France last week, and must have felt confident that they could play the same attacking game.
Certainly both sides started brightly and within ten minutes, Italy had their first chance to go ahead with a penalty, but Luciano Orquera hit the posts – the start of a bad day for last week’s hero.
15 minutes in, Scotland took a narrow lead with a penalty, put away comfortably by Greig Laidlaw.
With just over 10 minutes to go, an Italian miss saw Matt Scott race away from a Ryan Grant pass only to be brought down just short of the line by Tobie Botes.
Just two minutes later, Tim Visser gets away to get the first try of the match, ably converted by Laidlaw.
Just at the close of the first half, a careless Scottish penalty gave Orquera a chance to make up for his earlier kick, getting Italy on the board.
Scotland wasted no time in getting off the mark in the second half, and Matt Scott was rewarded this time with a try, converted by Laidlaw.
Within a matter of minutes, Scotland stormed forward again thanks to a an Orquera mistake dropping straight into Stuart Hogg’s hands and a flat sprint for the line, again converted by Laidlaw.
With ten minutes to go, Sean Lamont scored his ninth international try, with a simple pick-up from the ruck and straight under the posts, again with a conversion from Laidlaw.
Italy managed to claim back a try in the 75th minute, Sergio Parisse passing to Alessandro Zanni, and Orquera converting.
Scotland play host again in the next round, against Ireland on Sunday 24th February.
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