Six Nations: Scotland vs Italy on Saturday, February 9th

07/02/2013 no comments »
Six Nations: Scotland vs Italy on Saturday, February 9th

Scotland will host a strong-looking Italy side at Murrayfield on Saturday 9th February in the second round of matches in the RBS Six Nations rugby union tournament and will be looking to achieve a better performance than in their opening match against England.

The Scots did not get the start they had hoped for in the first round, enduring a 38-18 defeat to an impressive England side at Twickenham last Saturday. Despite the loss, the side showed certain signs of promise in the explosive back three of Sean Maitland, Tim Visser and Stuart Hogg, with Maitland and Hogg both scoring tries. However, the forward line tended to be very slow and they will need to work harder in order to improve the balance of the squad. Italy, on the other hand, saw out an exciting 23-18 win against favourites France, blowing the tournament wide open. The Azzurri were determined to show the visitors to the Stadio Olimpico that they were more than just another of the teams France usually walks over, having only won 2 out of their 34 encounters against them before the match. They were inspired by Captain Sergio Parisse, who scored the first try, and also by a man of the match performance from fly-half Lucian Orquera, who made two conversions, a penalty and a drop goal for the Italians.

Italy have won four out of the last six matches against Scotland and it is expected that they will notch another win on Saturday. Scotland will make two changes ahead of the tie, with flanker Rob Harley replacing Alasdair Strokosch, who suffered eye socket damage in the defeat to England. In the other change, Ross Ford returns as hooker in place of Dougie Hall, due to Hall picking up a knee injury in the previous match. Italy are expected to stick with a similar line-up to the one against France, after their impressive performance against Les Bleus.

So, will Scotland find ways to improve and secure their first win of the Six Nations or will Italy expand on their brilliant start and overall form against their opposition and make it two wins out of two – only time will tell!

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