Scotland's hopes of achieving their first win in this season's Under-20 Six Nations Championship were shattered last night at the Stadio Omero Tognon in Pordenone.
Italy, playing powerful and intelligent rugby, ran in four tries to record their biggest margin of victory over the Scots at this age level. "We simply didn't play well," said Sean Lineen, the Scotland under-20 head coach. "All four Italian tries came from our possession. We didn't control the game and we fell off too many tackles.
"Italy were bigger, better and faster and they had some very good players, but we made it too easy for them. They had a very good platform up front and their stand-off was an extremely good performer. And they played with a lot of passion. The Italians were very clinical when we made mistakes."
Loading article content
Italy made the perfect start to the match, pressurising the Scots from the whistle and scoring after just two minutes with a try by full-back Alexander Torlai and the conversion by stand-off Philip Buscema.
A penalty goal by Melrose stand-off Ben Chalmers brought Scotland back into the game but that was quickly cancelled out by a similar effort from Buscema. But tries from Maicol Azzolini and Torlai - both converted by Buscema in the space of ten minutes - gave Italy an imposing 24-3 lead at the interval.
The Scots battled after the break, with two tries by captain Tommy Spinks, but their cause was weakened when back-row Magnus Bradbury was sin-binned. A penalty by Buscama and then a try by replacement centre Matteo Gasparini gave Italy their record victory.