Rugby Union: Vaccari dents Scot's pride

Italy 25 Scotland 21
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The Independent Online
A DRAMATIC late try from the Italy wing Paolo Vaccari condemned Scotland to a fourth consecutive defeat after a desperate defensive display looked to have earned them an unlikely victory at the Stadio di Monigo in Treviso yesterday.

With three minutes left and Scotland clinging on to a 21-15 lead, Italy's second-half onslaught finally paid off as Vaccari pounced. The conversion from the stand-off, Diego Dominguez, put the home side in front for the first time and gave them another triumph after beating Ireland in Bologna last month.

Following record defeats by Australia and South Africa, the full-back Rowen Shepherd got Scotland off to a perfect start when he slotted a penalty in only the second minute. Then, after Dominguez levelled with his first penalty, Shepherd grabbed the opening try after charging down the full- back Corrado Pilat's chip and galloping 80 metres, holding off Vaccari to score.

A second penalty from Dominguez signalled a a sustained spell of Italian pressure before a long attempted mis-pass was intercepted by the British Lions centre Alan Tait, who accelerated away to score under the posts. Shepherd's conversion and another penalty to one from Dominguez put Scotland in charge at the interval, 18-9.

After the restart Dominguez reduced the deficit with his fourth penalty after 47 minutes before an incisive break from Tait resulted in a penalty which Shepherd converted to make it 21-12. Dominguez brought it back to six points difference and from then on it was all Italy.

The defeat was hard on Scotland's captain, Rob Wainwright who said: "I asked for two things from the players - passion and control. With the exception of two players, Gary Armstrong and Simon Holmes, I didn't think the passion was there."

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, M Sgorlon (O Arancio 79), J Gardner.

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

Referee: D Davies (Wales).