Scotland vs Italy – Report – Six Nations Championship 2023 – 18 Mar, 2023 – ESPN

Midfielder Blair Kinghorn made the most of his rare start by scoring a hat-trick of tries as Scotland beat Italy 26–14 on bonus points in their Six Nations final on Saturday.

Kinghorn replaced an injured Finn Russell in the starting XV and took his chance to win the match, although the Scots generally lacked creativity and ingenuity as winger Doohan van der Merwe also crossed in to score a goal.

Italy defended heroically at times and scored their only try through defender Tommaso Allan. Five points behind, they sat on Scotland’s try line for the last few minutes, but the home team pulled away from their 22 points to complete the win.

Scotland will be second in the top three of the six nations of the past 10 years, unless England wins a big bonus points victory in Ireland later on Saturday.

Italy finished last in the table, having lost all five matches, although their performances have improved significantly this season.

“Italy deserved more in this tournament and they put a lot of pressure on us,” said Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie.

“[Kinghorn] really good, he was great throughout the tournament when he came off the bench and brought good pace to our game.

“Before Six Nations, I said I wanted five good performances. I think we gave four and a half.”

Error rates on both sides would be uncomfortably high for the coaching teams but added to the drama in the last 15 minutes as Italy remained in the competition and inches away from a famous victory before the home side took the lead and recorded the points.

Van der Merwe scored the first try with a superb finish in the corner as he jumped to the line and managed to land while in the air, his body almost completely on the ball but off the pitch.

The home team’s eagerness to drop penalties paid off after numerous false starts when Kinghorn erred in Italy’s defense and crossed in, but Scotland’s inaccuracy kept Italy in the game as the home side led 12–6 at half-time.

Kinghorn added another goal early in the second half when he blew through two tackles to make the point, but Italy were pulled back into contention when Allan crossed in the corner and converted a penalty.

While the visitors were confident they would score a second try and take the win with seconds to go, Scotland made a mistake near their own line and shortened the length of the field for Kinghorn to end his outstanding day.

“We were in it until the last minute, congratulations to Scotland on the win,” Italy captain Michele Lamaro said. “These were individual mistakes, but we can work on it, it is in our power.

“We are putting pressure on teams and creating opportunities, now we have to use skills at a higher level to capitalize on this. We have shown our rugby and our personality and we are proud of it, but we need to improve to start winning. at this level.”


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