The Autumn nations cup got underway yesterday, with Ireland brushing aside Wales 32 – 9 in the opening game of the tournament and Group A.
Today, the first game of Group B gets started. Italy are looking for redemption after an appalling Six Nations tournament when they take on Scotland who continue improving under Gregor Townsend. Reece Heaton will take you through the actions as it happens.
Todays teams that both managers have selected!
Scotland: Darcy Graham, Stuart Hogg (C), Duhan Van Der Merwe, Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Duncan Weir, Ali Price, Hamish Watson, Blade Thomson, Jamie Ritchie, Jonny Gray, Scott Cummings, Zander Fagerson, Stuart McInally, Rory Sutherland
Replacements: George Turner, Oli Kebble, WP Nel, Sam Skinner, Nick Haining, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, James Lang, Blair Kinghorn
Italy: Jacopop Trulla, Matteo Minozzi, Mattia Bellini, Marco Zanon, Carlo Canna, Paolo Garbisi, Marcello Violi, Bramm Steyn, Jake Polledri, Sebastian Negri, Niccolo Cannone, Marco Lazzaroni, Giosue Zilocchi, Luca Bigi (C), Danilo Fischetti
Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Simone Ferrari, Pietro Ceccarelli, Johan Meyer, Maxime Mbanda, Stephen Varney, Tommaso Allan, Federico Mori
Some key player stats to take in during the battle.
Warm ups are underway in Florence!
5 minutes to go!
The teams are out at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, who will make an early standing point to the tournament? Kick-off is now imminent.
The teams take a minute silence.
KICK-OFF – National anthems done and Stuart Hogg for Scotland gets the game started in Florence, let’s see how bad the teams want it this afternoon…
3′ – Both teams have made a good start and are having a fair bit of the ball, still awaiting for someone to make an early threat to the opposition…
6′ OFFSIDE – Brilliant play from Italy who build up to the forwards which leads to Scotland’s Cummings trying to receive the ball back in an offside position.
Italy now have a penalty 35 metres out, can they take an early advantage here?
7′ PENALTY – Italy 3 – 0 Scotland – Calm and composed from Garbisi!
12′ – Italy playing it extremely calm at the minute, they’re not rushing their attacking play and are launching dangerous balls to the wingers, Italy in the driving seat twelve minutes in.
14-16′ REPLACEMENTS – Two changes for the visitors who have suffered an injury setback.
17‘ Scotland are getting frustrated and that frustration isn’t paying off as Italy have a kick from 35 metres again, will it be the same result as the first one?
18′ PENALTY – Italy 6 – 0 Scotland – Complete dominance from the Italians, Scotland not having the best of starts…
20′ Scotland slowly looking to get themselves back into the game as they keep a fair bit of possession, Fischetti is penalised and Scotland have a chance five metres within the Italy line.
21′ OFFSIDE – A chance for Scotland to capitlilize as Italy captain Bigi is in an offside position, how will the Scots play this?
23′ TRY – Italy 6 – 5 Scotland – Scotland have the first try of the game!
After a slow start, Scotland miraculously score the first try of the game! Replacement Kebble drives forward and finds Price who then feeds it to Van der Merwe who scores the first try of the match, good response from Scotland after a slow start.
24′ CONVERSION – Italy 6 – 7 Scotland – Weir converts in comfortable fashion.
26′ TRY – Italy 11 – 7 Scotland – Extraordinary response from the Italians!
You’ve just got to admire that fantastic forward play from Italy, Scotland’s back line is not in the greatest of positions and Italy make them pay for their mistakes, Minozzi scores the try and gives Italy a four-point advantage for the time being.
27′ POST – Garbisi fails to convert after the try, will this lift Scotland up again?
Here’s a replay of Scotland’s try in which celebrations were short lived.
31′ Weir slips the ball to Van der Merwe who blasts sixty metres up the pitch before being bought down, some good attacking play from the away side.
35′ Nervous from Scotland as captain Hogg boots the ball out of play as the Italians looked to score the try, they are really putting the pressure on the away side.
HALF TIME – Italy 11 – 7 Scotland – A brillaint first half of rugby at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, Italy have the early advantage.
You’ve just got to watch this again, great response from Italy who went 7 – 6 down after Scotland had scored a try.
KICK-OFF – Italy and Garbisi get the game resumed in Florence, will the second half be as entertaining as the first?
41‘ Thomson commits a foul and Italy now have a penalty Kick from 45 metres, can Garbisi convert this again?
42′ PENALTY – Italy 14 – 7 Scotland – Italy set their early mark in the second half!
45′ TRY – Italy 14 – 12 Scotland – And that early mark is bettered by Scotland and Weir!
TMO are reviewing if this try is scored or not, it seems as if the ball was played forward from Johnson to Weir…
45′ NO TRY! – The officials final decision is no try, Scotland look to keep their heads up and restart.
46′ REPLACEMENT – Italy make their first change of the game.
49‘ Confusion from Italy as they stand still and await the referee’s decision for a supposed foul, the referee doesn’t blow his whistle and Scotland go and score a try, TMO review coming up here…
49′ TRY – Italy 14 – 12 Scotland – It stands! Italy will be furious with this!
50′ CONVERSION – Italy 14 – 14 Scotland – All level now as Weir converts!
53′ Graham makes a brilliant run on the right hand side and fends off Italy’s back line which leads to them committing the foul, Scotland looking more likely to take the lead here.
54′ REPLACEMENT – Italy switch things up as they look to regain advantage.
58′ A spell of Italy dominance pays off as Scotland find themselves in an offside position giving Italy a chance to score the penalty.
60′ PENALTY – Italy 17 – 14 Scotland – Garbisi scores the penalty and Italy take the lead once again.
65′ – Italy looking to extend their lead and they win the physical battle in the midfield as they win the penalty after a foul from
65′ REPLACEMENTS – A handful of changes for both sides as they look for fresh legs.
67′ TRY – Italy 17 – 19 Scotland – Advantage to Scotland again!
Brilliant from Cummings as he scores Scotland’s third try of the game, Italy’s backline are all over Scotland’s forwards as they look to win the physical battle and prevent Scotland from scoring the try, they fail to do so and Price manages to feed the ball to Scott Cummings who makes it 19 – 17 to Scotland!
67′ CONVERSION – Italy 17 – 21 Scotland – Ten minutes or so left and Scotland convert to give them a four-point advantage.
67′ REPLACEMENT – Italy are forced into a change with back-row Jake Polledri coming off the pitch in a stretcher, on comes Maxime Mbanda
71′ REPLACEMENT – Scotland change approaching.
71′ Loud cheers from the Scotland players as they win the scrum in the middle of the pitch, let’s see what they can do from this.
72′ REPLACEMENT – Another change for the away side as they look to keep their advantage.
73′ Italy frustration grows even more, after a succession of scrums, Scotland win a penalty in the middle which leads to handbags between Kebble and Cannone.
75′ Great pushing forward from the Scotland front line, they push the backline of Italy further and then attempt to switch play to the right-hand side but Kinghorn can’t catch the ball in time and goes out of play.
76′ TMO are reviewing a Scotland try that was scored by Turner, they are looking for a knock-on…
76′ TRY – Italy 17 – 26 Scotland – That should be it!
The try stands and now Scotland are on the verge of taking all four points and topping Group B in the early stages.
77′ CONVERSION – Italy 17 – 28 Scotland – Victory all but secured.
FULL TIME – Italy 17 – 28 – A thrilling game comes to an end with Scotland coming out on top!
Both teams fought extremely well and Italy will come away with a load of positives as they made it difficult for Scotland at times but came up too short in the end.