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Published: 16:20 | 27/2/16

Scotland too good for Italy

Scots record 36-20 win in Rome

Scotland registered their first win of this season's RBS Six Nations tournament with a deserved 36-20 victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

John Barclay, John Hardie and Tommy Seymour all crossed for the visitors, with skipper Greig Laidlaw adding 21 points with the boot, while Italy replied through tries from Leonardo Ghiraldini and Marco Fuser and ten points from Kelly Haimona.

The result leaves Italy without a win, but lifts Scotland above Ireland in the Six Nations table.

After Haimona had kicked an early penalty for the home side, Scotland responded with two tries in seven minutes from Barclay and Hardie.

Greig Laidlaw landed both conversions from out wide to put the visitors in control at 14-3 after 17 minutes.

Laidlaw landed his first penalty of the afternoon shortly afterwards to stretch the lead further, but Italy hauled themselves back into the game on the half hour mark as Ghiraldini finished off a superb move.

Haimona added the extras from close to the sideline to leave just seven points between the sides at 17-10.

Laidlaw had an opportunity to stretch the Scots' advantage in first-half stoppage time after Italy were pinged for not driving straight, but he was narrowly off target with his attempt from distance.

However, he made no mistake five minutes after the restart from 30 metres to make it 20-10.

But Haimona hit back in kind on 50 minutes after some intense pressure close to the Scots' line yielded a penalty before Laidlaw split the posts once again for the visitors.

The scrum-half's fourth penalty of the game made it double scores 26-13 just before the hour mark.

But Italy hit back straight away and, after a superb Sergio Parisse break, Scots out-half Finn Russell was yellow-carded for interfering in the ruck when a try seemed certain.

The Italians took immediate advantage as Fuser crashed over and Haimona converted to leave just six points between the sides with 18 minutes to play.

But Laidlaw made it a two-score game after Italy conceded a soft penalty on the restart.

Italy continued to press and the pressure increased when Scotland lost Willem Nel to a yellow card five minutes from the end for an intentional knock-on.

But they responded superbly and a fine cross-field passing move allowed winger Seymour to cross two minutes from time to seal victory for the Scots.

Laidlaw added the extras to put something of a gloss on the final scoreline at 36-20.

By: Kieran O'Daly

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