Italy 17 Scotland 28 RECAP: Bonus point win for Gregor Townsend's men in Autumn Nations Cup opener
Scotland open their Autumn Nations Cup campaign against Italy this afternoon.
The match is due to take place at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence with 12.45pm kick-off and is broadcast live on Amazon Prime.
Buoyed by their finish to this year’s elongated Six Nations, the Scots will be looking to continue in a similar vein of form over the coming weeks.
Gregor Townsend’s side earned many plaudits for the way they overcame Italy, France and Wales following defeats to Ireland and England earlier in the tournament.
After the visit to Italy, they will face France then Fiji at Murrayfield over the following two weekends before the final round of fixtures to determine the final placings on December 5-6.
But before all that Townsend’s troops have Italy firmly in their sights.
You can follow the action as it happens in our live blog below.
Italy 17 Scotland 28: FT
Last updated: Saturday, 14 November, 2020, 13:49
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- Autumn Nations Cup opening match
Hello and welcome to The Scotsman’s live matchnight coverage of Scotland’s opening Autumn Nations Cup match in Florence.
Gregor Townsend’s men are in high spirits after finishing the Six Nations with a flourish at the end of last month and will be looking to get the tournament off to a winning start.
Duncan Weir will make his first start for Scotland in over four years in one of four changes to the starting XV from last month’s win over Wales. Full team HERE
15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Jacopo Trulla, 13 Marco Zanon, 12 Carlo Canna, 11 Mattia Bellini, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Marcello Violi; 1 Danilo Fischetti, 2 Luca Bigi (captain), 3 Giosue Zilocchi, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 5 Niccolo Cannone, 6 Sebastian Negri, 7 Braam Steyn, 8 Jake Polledri.
Substititues: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Simone Ferrari, Pietro Ceccarelli, Johan Meyer, Maxime Mbanda, Stephen Varney, Tommaso Allan, Federico Mori.
The conditions are perfect for the rugby that we aspire to play. We know Italy are a very ambitious team. They bring a lot of passion and physicality and beat South Africa here a few years ago so it’s a big challenge today.
Stuart Hogg leads the Scots onto the pitch as kick-off approaches in Florence. After the national football side’s historic win in Serbia on Thursday, the captain says it’s now the rugby side’s turn to inspire the nation
Stuart Hogg gets us underway as he sends kick-off ball into the Italy half and an immediate knock-on by a Scottish hand gives Italy an early scrum on their 22.
The early exchanges have been a kicking contest before Scotland concede a penalty, which Italy put to touch deep in the attacking half, giving them a chance to set up their first attack of the game.
7: Italy 3 Scotland 0
Scotland concede a penalty as Italy build an attack giving Garbisi a chance to open the hosts account which he duly does, kicking straight between the posts for a 3-0 lead
A Darcy Graham tackle forces a spillage in the Italy defence and the ball spins to within a few yards of the try-line but Italy regain possession and, helped by a penalty conceded by Sutherland in the scrum, the hosts clear the ball back into the Scotland half.
Scotland forced into a change as Jamie Ritchie goes off for a head injury assessment replaced by Nick Haining. Italy have made the better start and are playing smart rugby.
Italy destroy the Scottish eight in the scrum to gain several yards into the attacking half. A big statement from the Italian pack against a Scottish scrum that has performed well in recent months.
Bad news for Scotland as Rory Sutherland - one of the form players in 2020 - is carried off the pitch with an injury, replaced by Oli Kebble.
18: Italy 6 Scotland 0
Garbisi kicks home another sweetly struck penalty as Italy stretch their lead. Commentators reckon this is the most aggressive performance from Italy in a number of years. Scotland need to try and turn the tide because the hosts have the ascendency at the moment.
The visitors get their first meaningful platform in the game as Hogg kicks a penalty into the corner rather than going for the posts. The Italians infringe again and Hogg again kicks, this time closer to the try-line.
23: TRY! Italy 6 - Scotland 7
Scotland build the phases and Ally Price lifts his head and plays the perfectly timed pass for Van Der Merwe to break through the Italian defence for a touch-down between the posts. Weir adds the extra to give Scotland the lead.