Six Nations: Townsend 'delighted' with Scotland win in Italy

By Sports Desk March 12, 2022

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said he was "delighted" with his team's hard-fought Six Nations win against Italy in Rome on Saturday.

Chris Harris scored a first-half double as Scotland beat the Azzurri 33-22 in an entertaining encounter at the Stadio Olimpico, recovering from back-to-back defeats at the hands of Wales and France.

The victory not only secured the Cuttitta Trophy but also moved Scotland above Wales into fourth place as the visitors ran in five tries in Italy.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland after the game, Townsend said he was happy with the win, but also reserved praise for Kieran Crowley's team, who scored 22 points for the first time since also doing so against France in 2020's tournament.

"We're delighted with the win, it's been a tough venue for Scottish teams for a number of years," said Townsend.

"I felt we built the victory in the first half and the players played really well up to around the 50-minute mark. After that, we weren't as good. I have to say that's the best I've seen Italy play over the last couple of seasons.

"Maybe we expected them to crack but you have to be accurate and keep the intensity up against all opposition if you want a complete performance. That's a frustration but all credit to Italy, they were the better team in the last quarter of the game.

"It's hard when Italy come at you. I've been there as a player and a coach when we've allowed Italy to get into the game. We didn't do that today. We managed the game really well and executed at times. We just need to do that for 80 minutes."

Scotland have now won each of their past seven matches against Italy in the Six Nations, with six of those seven victories coming by 10 or more points.

Sam Johnson scored the opening try for Scotland before Harris crossed twice, with Darcy Graham and Stuart Hogg getting one each after the break.

Callum Braley grabbed his first international try for Italy in the first half, and Ange Capuozzo also scored a double on debut.

Italy's Michele Lamaro bemoaned costly errors from his team, saying after the loss: "It's tough, we have to learn from this.

"Today, Scotland knew how to put pressure on at the breakdown. In that area, they have got players who are very capable and we really struggled all game. Against Wales, it will probably be a similar situation. We will have to work hard on it this week."

Italy have lost their past 36 games in the Six Nations, the longest losing run by any nation in the competition's This was their narrowest loss in the Six Nations since losing by 11 against France in 2019.

Scotland beat 40 defenders in the win, just the sixth time any side has beaten 40 or more in a Six Nations game and just the second time any nation has managed it away from home, after France who beat 55 in Italy in 2017.

Related items

  • Barcelona complete signing of Kessie following Milan departure Barcelona complete signing of Kessie following Milan departure

    Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Franck Kessie on a free transfer following the end of his spell with Milan.

    The midfielder has agreed a four-year deal with the Blaugrana, which was made official on Monday following months of speculation.

    Kessie spent five seasons at San Siro, the first two of those on loan, and helped Milan to their first Scudetto triumph in 11 years in his final campaign with the club.

    He played in 31 of Milan's 38 Serie A matches and scored six goals from midfield, a tally only bettered by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (eight), Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud (both 11).

    However, fresh terms could not be agreed between the Rossoneri and Kessie, meaning the Ivory Coast international became a free agent on July 1.

    Barca were always considered the strong favourites to land the 25-year-old, whose Camp Nou contract contains a €500million release clause.

     

    Kessie will compete with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi and Frenkie de Jong for a midfield spot, though the latter is expected to join Manchester United.

    In all, Kessie played 174 Serie A games for Milan since initially joining from Atalanta in June 2017, with Napoli's Piotr Zielinski (179) the only midfielder to feature more times.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Barcelona complete signing of Kessie following Milan departure BREAKING NEWS: Barcelona complete signing of Kessie following Milan departure

    Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Franck Kessie on a free transfer following the end of his spell with Milan.

    The midfielder has agreed a four-year deal with the Blaugrana, which was made official on Monday following months of speculation.

    Kessie spent five seasons at San Siro, the first two of those on loan, and helped Milan to their first Scudetto triumph in 11 years in his final campaign with the club.

  • Phillips excited to work under 'one of the finest in the world' Guardiola after Man City move Phillips excited to work under 'one of the finest in the world' Guardiola after Man City move
    Kalvin Phillips is "incredibly excited" by the prospect of working under Pep Guardiola after completing his move to "world-class club" Manchester City on Monday.   The England midfielder joined from Leeds United on a six-year deal at the Etihad Stadium and is the Premier League champions' third signing of the window after Erling Haaland and Stefan Ortega.   Phillips had been with his home club since the age of 14 but the opportunity to work with one of the game's greatest coaches was an opportunity that was too good to pass up.   "City have again proved to be the best team in the country with an amazing squad and a manager in Pep Guardiola who is rightly considered to be the finest in the world," Phillips told the club's website.   "To be able to play under Pep and learn from him and his coaching staff as well as be part of a such a fantastic squad is a prospect that I am incredibly excited about.    "City are a world-class club with world-class staff and facilities and it’s a dream come true to have joined the club.    "Now I can't wait to get started and to look to try and help the team to go on and achieve more success."

    The departure of the midfielder brings to a close a 12-year association with Leeds, whom he came through the academy system with, and helped steer back to the Premier League in the 2019-2020 campaign.

    Phillips addressed the club and its supporters in a lengthy statement on social media shortly after the confirmation of his transfer, thanking them all and reserving additional praise for former boss Marcelo Bielsa.

    The Argentine, who guided Leeds back to the top-flight before he was relieved of duties earlier this year, is widely credited with turning the midfielder into one of the sharpest talents in the English game.

    "I would like to express how much of a privilege it has been to play for this amazing club," Phillips stated. "Since making my debut at 17, it has been a journey any Leeds lad could wish for.

    "When I was young, I went to see my first ever Leeds game at Elland Road and from that moment, I knew that my dream was to put on that white shirt and walk out on that pitch.

    "I'd like to thank everyone involved at the club for making Leeds one of the best clubs on earth. Every manager I have played under for showing trust in me and teaching me all I know.

    "I cannot mention Leeds without mentioning one special person - Marcelo. [You are] the best manager I have ever come across.

    "He was a man that gave the club life, he gave the players, and everyone involved in the club belief that we were good enough to return to the Premier League."

    Phillips' arrival at the Etihad Stadium came on the same day that Gabriel Jesus completed a £45million switch to Arsenal.

    Leeds also confirmed on Monday that 18-year-old midfielder Darko Gyabi has joined the club from City for an undisclosed fee in a separate deal to the one involving Phillips.

    The youngster played 10 times for City's Under-23 side last season and has been capped 12 times by England at youth level.

    Gyabi becomes Leeds' fourth signing of the window, following the arrivals of Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen and Marc Roca.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.