Robinson in soup as Italy avoid spoon
Italy 13 Scotland 6
Sunday 18 March 2012
Scotland suffered the ignominy of a Six Nations whitewash after Italy inflicted their seventh successive defeat. In what could be the final game for their head coach, Andy Robinson, Scotland had Nick De Luca and Jim Hamilton sent to the sin-bin. Mirco Bergamasco kicked a penalty and Giovanbattista Venditti scored a converted try in De Luca's absence. Kristopher Burton then dropped a goal after 77 minutes.
The Italy flanker Alessandro Zanni was also shown a yellow card but Scotland's only points in an incoherent performance came through two Greig Laidlaw penalties.
Robinson has overseen two wins in 15 Six Nations matches. He said: "I'm still contracted until 2015. I'm going away to reflect on the Six Nations and reflect on the future, in terms of the positivity that we have, the players we have and the way forward – and putting a plan together for the way forward. We'll be doing a debrief of the Six Nations and then I'll be meeting [SRU chief executive] Mark Dodson to go through that. There is not a set time scale. There's a lot to take in in terms of what's happened. It's about looking at the future.
"Now's not the time to be discussing that, with the feelings that everybody has. The time to be discussing that we'll be in the next couple of weeks."
Robinson made two changes following the defeat in Ireland, the second after another injury in the warm-up. De Luca, a late withdrawalin Dublin, returned at centre but the loosehead Allan Jacobsen suffered an injury moments before kick-off. Glasgow's Jon Welsh made his debut against Martin Castrogiovanni.
Italy opened with purpose, forcing errors and penalties. Bergamasco kicked a penalty after Hamilton strayed offside. The Italy wing missed a more straightforward attempt after David Denton was isolated breaking off a scrum and the penalty was marched 10 metres by the referee, Alain Rolland, for dissent. Laidlaw kicked a penalty for Scotland. However, De Luca was shown a yellow card for kicking the ball out of Edoardo Gori's hands.
Early in the second half Italy spread the ball and Venditti went through a Stuart Hogg tackle to score. Burton converted. Hamilton was then sent to the sin-bin for an indiscretion at the line-out. Kellock was pulled down by Zanni at a line-out, allowing Laidlaw to cut the deficit to four with 20 minutes left. Zanni was then shown yellow for going off his feet at a ruck.
Burton, however, kicked Italy seven points ahead with three minutes left. Scotland therefore required a converted try, but again they lost possession. They may soon lose their coach.
Italy: A Masi (AironI); G Venditti (Aironi), T Benvenuti (Treviso), G Canale (Clermont Auvergne), M Bergamasco (Racing Métro); K Burton (Treviso), E Gori (Aironi); A Lo Cicero (Racing Métro), F Ongaro (Aironi), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester), Q Geldenhuys (Treviso), M Bortolami (Aironi), A Zanni (Treviso), S Parisse (Stade Français, capt), R Barbieri (Treviso). Replacements: L Cittadini (Treviso) for Lo Cicero, 52; T D'Apice (Aironi) for Ongaro, 57; M Vosawai (Treviso) for Barbieri, 57; T Botes (Treviso) for Gori, 67; G Toniolatti (Aironi) for Canale, 69; S Favaro (Aironi) for Zanni, 73; J Furno (Aironi) for Geldenhuys, 75.
Scotland: S Hogg (Glasgow); M Evans (Castres), N De Luca (Edinburgh), G Morrison (Glasgow), S Lamont (Scarlets); G Laidlaw, M Blair (both Edinburgh); J Welsh (Glasgow), R Ford (capt), G Cross (both Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow), J Hamilton (Gloucester), J Barclay (Glasgow), D Denton, R Rennie (both Edinburgh). Replacements: E Murray (Newcastle) for Cross, 49; A Kellock (Glasgow) for Gray, 55; R Vernon (Sale) for Barclay, 68); R Jackson (Glasgow) for Laidlaw, 68.
Referee: A Rolland (Ireland).
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