On the lawn of Murrayfield in the lair of Edinburgh, Scotland, Franco Smith’s XV fails to survive the eleventh ‘wooden spoon’ of its history, the sixth in a row: the Highlanders have actually pitched for 52–10, Azurri in 32nd. Condemning the frequent knockouts in tournaments, a figure that the technical and managerial staff should reflect when looking to the immediate future.
Still, it is the Azurri who start their head down and at 6′, in strength, they break the British Maginot line with Captain Biggie. Garbisi puts him in the transition phase and is served 0-7. Scotland pays with the same coin and scores with a cherry in the 10th minute, but without Hoeg receiving additional points.
The Scottish captain redeemed himself in the 13th minute, converting the goal right from van der Merwe, who receives praise and then ridicules without worry. Italy struggle in defense and, at 19, after being put down by Garbisi, they find themselves with the man at the bottom for a yellow card for an illegal tackle by Mori. Scotland seizes the opportunity and makes a three of a kind with Graham (Hogg doesn’t convert) at age 21.
Azzurri tries to break out of the British hold, but, at 28′, it is over Jones to fly towards the white line. The home opening hits the AC for 24-10 leading the match to interval. At the start of the second half, Scotland widened the gap by hitting the big target with Cherry, who uses Maul’s work to get his brace. The hog hits the post and it’s late night for Italy, as 11 a.m. ‘Negri turns yellow for repeated fouls.
Townsend turns the entire front line and the music doesn’t change, as Steele is celebrating 14′ and Hogg rushes into football with precision. Moral: 38-10 for the Highlanders, who find themselves on 20′ with double superiority for the card, third against Italy, with Ioane trimmed for a tackle on Hogg.
An acknowledgment that, amid one change and another, Lamaro also risks suffering, an Italy practically defunct still slashed by Johnson and van der Merwe. Hogg knows his stuff and the final 52-10 seems like a hard lesson for Italy, the umpteenth of the Six Nations that have rejected the Azurri without appeal, awaiting their international growth and maturity.
“Now I have to shut up a bit, I am very disappointed. There have been moments in this Six Nations that we have done very well in attack and defense, but others where we have done worse: today, for example, I missed nine. Gaya tackles and it’s too much.”
Italragby coach Franco Smith commented on the tough defeat at home to Scotland, which saw Azzurri reach last place at Six Nations 2021.
“We are saddened by this loss and from Monday we will think about how to plan for the future – the 48-year-old South African coach added at a press conference – I see a group whose attitude is right, boys are disappointed, mentally The teams suffered: we made even small mistakes in discipline, we saw that the group was young and experience cannot be bought but can only be acquired by playing”.
“There are various problems, we must work closely with the franchises to enhance the technical part and inculcate a winning mindset: 80 percent is done with heart and head, we must learn to be cynical and make the most of opportunities. Level up. You can’t hide anything, if everything doesn’t work out here, the whole world will notice it,” concludes Smith.
“Being competitive in all aspects can get you closer to scoring and winning games – saw national team captain Luca Biggie – Unfortunately at the moment we are not competitive and this is a hard lesson to swallow for the group, which must remain united We have to be tough on ourselves for this Six Nations results: none of us will drop an inch, this tournament was an experience we would bring to our franchises and then find ourselves with the blue jersey in June.
“Today the aspects of the game, discipline first of all, were decisive for the result: the integrity of the group remained unchanged, we always met on Monday to learn from mistakes and rebuild with energy, always winning with the intention of being on the field. And disappointed, but the group’s reaction after five losses was unbelievable: it was the toughest Six Nations for us. learn.”
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