Italy v Scotland player ratings

Man-for-man marking from the Six Nations match at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome

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The Independent Online

Following the contest between Italy and Scotland we take a look at how the individual players performed.


Andrew Lo Cicero: Crucial component of the dominant pack who forced the Scottish into silly errors and dominated the scrum. 6

Fabio Ongaro: Came in for missing captain Leonardo Ghiraldini and had a decent game. Another decent scrummager, though was fairly sketchy with the line-out darts. 6  

Martin Castrogiovanni: The official man-of-the-match looked tired when he limped off the field towards the end. The heartbeat of the Italian side may be coming to the end after another campaign with little to cheer. Does he have another comeback left in him? 7  

Quentin Geldenhuys: Put in a decent shift in a game which was about as hard work to watch as it was to play in. However is a fairly immobile presence in the loose. Solid in the line-out. 5  

Marco Bortolami: Another who laboured hard without ever making a huge impact around the park, but disrupted the usually solid Scottish lineout to good effect. 7  

Alessandro Zanni: His sin binning was indicative of a scrappy, barely functioning game. Managed to nullify Scotland’s vaunted ball carriers well however. 5  

Robert Barbieri:   Canadian born flanker was less involved than in previous weeks, and struggled to make much ground with ball-in-hand. Suffered from stubbornly running down Scottish alleys. Made little impact. 5  

Sergio Parisse: Unsurprisingly the best player on the pitch. Just looks a class apart. Deserved to win the game against the abject Scots, and can at least take solace from avoiding a wooden spoon. 7  

Edoardo Gori: Italy’s half back woes have been well documented, but Gori is a functional scrum half. Passed  the ball fairly well considering his fly half consistently sat 20 yards behind him. 5  

Kris Burton: Kicked a very good drop goal and found his range from hand in the second half. But – seriously – the guy must have a phobia of the gain line such is his distaste of approaching it. Sits so deep he’s practically in a hole. And the one time he actually approached the Scottish defence line on a flat attack, he set up Venditti for the Italian’s try. Bizarre. 4  

Mirco Bergamasco: Can feel fortunate his awful penalty kicking didn’t prove crucial. Not his fault he’s the best of a bad lot, and actually did fairly well when possession eventually came his way. 6

Gonzalo Canale: Catch, run, crash into opposition – this is the Canale method. The guy makes one-dimensional centres look positively versatile. Not helped by his fly-half’s positioning however. 4  

Tommaso Benvenuti: Disappointing campaign considering Benvenuti has a bit more skill than he’s shown in this Six Nations. Has the potential to show flair but would be helpful if Italy had any kind of clue how to build incisive attacking phases. 4  

Giovanbattista Venditti: Nice try, darting around the stretched Scottish defence to dot down, and having grabbed two in his debut Six Nations, can feel fairly happy. 5  

Andrea Masi: Feeling persists Masi isn’t really a full-back, but did provide one or two of the game few moments of quality, with a couple of decent counter attacks. Put under very little pressure by Scotland though. 5  

Pick of the replacements – Monoa Vosawai : Fijian born flanker managed to wake up the watching public with some eye-catching ball carries and powerful running. Stood out in agame which had gone from really bad to painfully awful. 6



Allan Jacobsen: Out scrummed for most of the game, with Scotland only getting into the set piece towards the end. Offered nothing around the park. 4

Ross Ford:   Line-out throwing was surprisingly dreadful, considering how solid it’s been all tournament. Captain was indicative of a team who simply didn’t appear to want to be there until the 68th minute. 4

Geoff Cross:   Anonymous around the park and out-scrummed. Scotland visibly perked up when he was replaced by Euan Murray. 4

Richie Gray:   Has been Scotland’s outstanding performer all tournament, but even he appeared to be infected with the apathy which led the Scots to turn in a woeful performance. Tried to rally the side but to no effect. 5

Jim Hamilton: Harshly sin binned but involved in some calamitous line-out mix-up’s. Physically dominated by Italians. 4

John Barclay: Couldn’t get his hand on the ball as Italians effectively dominated the breakdown for most of the game. Offered very little. 4

Ross Rennie:   Poorest performance of his Six Nations. Guilty of some bad errors in handling and discipline and couldn’t get a foothold in the breakdown. 4

David Denton:   Exciting player but totally outplayed by Parisse. Disjointed efforts at ball carrying was in keeping with the scrappy efforts of his teammates. 4

Mike Blair: Has a decent pass from the base but barely had a chance to use it as Italy dominated possession. Has to take portion of blame for Scotland creating absolutely nothing against a poor Italian side. 4

Greig Laidlaw: Had some good moments in this tournament but his decision making and defensive frailty raises serious questions over his long-term suitability as Scotland’s fly half. 4  

Sean Lamont: Totally anonymous. The Scots usually kicked whatever ball came their way, but didn’t go looking for work either. 4

Graeme Morrison: One of the only visible Scottish back on show. Through in numerous tackles against the ball hogging Italians, and almost got away for a break away try after a good hit on Burton. But was mired in a truly awful game of rugby. 5

Nick De Luca:   Got sin-binned for a very silly attempt to kick the ball from Gori’s hands and then came back on, only to see Hamilton to depart. The referee may have undermined Scotland’s comeback efforts, but likewise De Luca et al did very little to open up a fragile Italian defence. 4

Max Evans: Moved out to wing but it was more likely his hands would suddenly fall off than have the opportunity to catch and run with a rugby ball. 4

Stuart Hogg: Defended decently, and wasn’t hugely tested by the repetitive huff-and-puff of the Italian attack. And, late on, made a darting run through broken field which finally gave Scottish fans something to cheer. An attacking spark which was totally absent from the rest of a diabolical 80 minutes. 5 

Pick of the replacements – Euan Murray : Andy Robinson appears keen to give Geoff Cross a run as Murray does not play on Sunday’s for religious observance reasons. But he’s Scotland’s best prop by a huge distance. So has to start whenever he can. 6


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