Rugby Union: Shepherd avoids the negative after Scots' Treviso tremor

Italy 25 Scotland 21
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Italy 25 Scotland 21

Rowen Shepherd insisted there would be no lengthy inquests into the state of rugby north of the border, despite another demoralising defeat against Italy in Treviso on Saturday. The Scotland and Caledonia full- back was in defiant mood after Rob Wainwright's men had fought off a second-half onslaught before slipping to defeat against a rampant Italian side.

After Scotland's humiliations against Australia and South Africa before Christmas, victory was imperative against a side looking to have their Six Nations passport rubber-stamped next month. However, Shepherd insisted that there was no question of wallowing in defeat.

"We have got to try to take something out of this match," he said. "Considering they had the ball for the majority of the second half, to only lose by four points is something, I guess.

"There is no point in hammering at it, otherwise the whole morale of Scottish rugby will just go down and down, and that is not going to help anyone."

With the team manager Arthur Hastie pointedly laying the blame at the feet of senior players, the Treviso experience could signal the end of some international careers. But captain Wainwright believes there is no need for panic measures.

"I have always said that if we have consistency of selection, then we have a chance of building up a side which can do well," Wainwright said.

"We have a number of players who are inexperienced and we want to stick with these players. I don't necessarily believe there are another 15 players who can do any better. But I do know there are 15 players who were out there who know they can do a lot better and I would hope to see that in two weeks' time against Ireland in the Five Nations."

Italy: Tries Vaccari. Conversion Dominguez. Penalties Dominguez 6. Scotland: Tries Shepherd, Tait. Conversion Shepherd. Penalties Shepherd 3.

ITALY: C Pilat; P Vaccari, C Stoica, L Martin, M Cuttita; D Dominguez, A Troncon; G De Carli, C Orlandi, A Castellani, G Croci, V Cristofoletto, M Giovanelli, A Sgorlon (O Arancio, 79), Julian Gardner.

SCOTLAND: R Shepherd; T Stanger, A Tait, C Chalmers, C Joyner; G Townsend, G Armstrong; D Hilton, G Bulloch, M Stewart, D Weir, S Murray, S Holmes, A Roxburgh, R Wainwright.

Referee: D Davies (Wales).

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