Gabby Logan presents live coverage of the final weekend of the 2017 Six Nations as Scotland take on Italy at Murrayfield. Commentary is by Andrew Cotter and Chris Paterson.
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behind the Italian jumper and played him in the air, which is why that
fence occurred. Language, apologies. What's happening? Nigel and myself
saw, it's a penalty. Pascal Gauzere just saying penalty. Everyone keep
calm. And carry on. Gilchrist had a good first half. He
had fallen out of favour, wasn't even going to get picked of
Edinburgh a few weeks ago, but he has carried well, defended well. He
was going to be Vern Cotter's captain a couple of years ago, then
he broke his arm, so he has been cursed a little bit. Toulon were
making noises last year. And again, Italy with this line-out and a
chance to start the second half well. Rock-solid to the middle
again, Biaggi takes it down, and now towards the try line, Scotland
desperately trying to defend, but they can't. Goes to ground, Italy
two metres short. The forwards might carry themselves. And you can hear
the Italian supporters towards the line, and just short. Italy
desperately searching for something to lift them in the start of the
second half, still just short, and carried in by Chistolini. Still they
throw themselves at the Scottish line-out. Biagi. Gori flings it out
wide, a chance for the backs, and the try for Italy is coming? Oh, he
can't get it down, Esposito held up. They might still have the penalty
advantage, but how did Italy Butcher that try scoring opportunity? What a
tackle by Stuart Hogg. That almost sums up Italy so far, it was all
forward power, but when it had to be a try, they didn't have the pace and
accuracy in the past. Fair play to Stuart Hogg for holding it up. And
he cradles the ball like a newborn child! Look at this. Esposito, dear
oh dear. The workrate of Stuart Hogg to get to that tackle. It wasn't all
Esposito's fault, he was given the ball at a poor angle. He has got a
tough job Alberto, we know that, but I have to say, if you go back to the
first ball, it was going so quickly, and when it went down, I thought a
penalty try might be awarded, because we have seen it a lot
recently, if you get momentum, you can see the end, a big loopy pass,
and again, a good winner will finish that, but that was a good defence
from Scotland to stop it. That is incredulity. England have taken a
replacement, Dupre is is an. -- Du Preez is on. So, who will get the
card for Scotland? The captain is being called forward. And it is John
Barclay who is off for ten minutes, so Scotland are really up against it
at the start of this second-half. While we are watching the replay is,
Pascal Gauzere said to John Barclay, the next infringement will be a
card. It is the cumulative effect of a number of penalties. Scotland is
now really have to dig deep to defend this. You don't often see
this setup, they know they have an advantage, it would appear. John
Barclay is tackling the man when it is a maul, and you can't do that.
I'm sure Scotland's didn't believe that they had this game won at
half-time, but it has been a sluggish start to the second half. I
was thinking to myself that if they get the first score of the second
half, the game would be won. This will be a tough ten minutes, if
Italy can get the try here, it really will be game on, with
Scotland's captain of the ten minutes. This is taking the game
back to 20 years ago, seeing the maul set up from the penalty. Great
tactic from Italy. Luke McLean is going to send it into touch.
I don't think Ryan Wilson recovered from that injury he got early on, I
think he was carrying the whole time. If you have someone like Du
Preez, he is impacting the game. If Italy are going to come back into
this game, they have to score now, and penalty again, Scotland taking
out the man in the air. And Marco Fuser has little wonder, only
sideways and a little chip, the advantage is there. McLean gathered
anyway for Italy. And they come back for that advantage, and Scotland are
conceding a penalty after penalty. Gilchrist again, not allowed to play
the man, the jumper in the air, and granted wrapping his arms around the
Italian jumper and dragging him to ground. That is two penalties in the
last five metres for the same offence, if you try at the first
time and don't get away with it, you can't do it again, you just have to
wait until the player gets down, and then you can play him. There is the
contact, that is a clear penalty, you must learn from that and not
give away a soft one here. Same again, taken down by Biagi this
time. They finally have something, Italy, they are marching towards
that line, he is back on his feet and still going, just inches short
of the line. Gori looks, and the forwards will pick and go. Steyn is
there. Set back once more for Italy. Scotland again in the defensive
position of the try line. Gori is going to have it wide once more, and
then Parisse, Scotland trying to hold them up through Scott. Gori
again gives it out, and once more underneath the posts. Then wide it
goes, the looping pass, and Esposito this time send it in, and he cannot
score! The work of the Scottish forwards is phenomenal. You are now
seeing what a team Scotland are, working hard for each other, getting
up off the floor, to defend that close to the line is sensational.
You can hear what the crowd think of that, and you can also see the
bluntness of the Italian attack. Sometimes it is not the try scoring
but gets the crowd up, it is the defensive effort as well. Huge
effort, as Andy said, from the forwards. You can see it goes out
wide again, as positive will think he is in for another one, and you
could write a book on how not to score a try here from Italy. The two
men just waiting inside for that ball as well, and then Padovani, and
Hogg celebrates the resistance of that try as much as scoring his own.
Changes being made now. I see Italy are bringing an van Schalkwyk. And
Francesco Minto is an, he is a back row, so you can see him coming on,
the Zebre player. So, Scotland still a man down, their
cap Tim is off for another six and a half minutes. I'm sure Reid will be
delighted on that influence coming through his left leg(!) the right
decision from Dunbar. Pascal Gauzere asks for stability.
And down it goes, and the pick-up and go by Du Preez, and just a yard
or two bought. Scotland would like a few more yards, Hamish Watson tries
to borrow his way out. But now the kickers wait.
Hogg's big boot. That is deep inside the area, almost up to the ten
metres line. The scrum stability that they got there, allowing Hogg
to be able to put the kick as far as he did. Ali Price going off in
favour of Henry Pyrgos. He has come in and answered a lot of questions.
There is an alternative to Greg Laidlaw, Ali Price is the future,
and once Greg comes back, I'm sure there will be competition for a year
or so, Ali Price should be able to hold his head up very well, he has
had a good championship. Taken down by brown stain
-- taken down by Steyn for Italy. Scotland struggling, this is picked
up by Esposito, and Esposito to Fagerson.
Scotland are still a man down, Barclay off for another for half
minutes. And Italy making good ground again. Canna almost ghosted
his way through. Cornell du Preez nearly gave it through. The chip
forward is fine says the referee, it was in play and then out it goes,
that worked quite nicely for Tim Visser. Watching here, Dunbar
getting back to his feet so quickly, being able to strip it. Canna has
been injured in the end of that. This is the end of it to Tim Visser,
the touch judge has got to take him down.
Again, he has taken his opportunities well, Tim Visser,
since the injury to Sean Maitland. Sean Maitland can't get back into
the side because Visser has been so strong. This week, Scotland have got
into the game, he has been carrying hard and working hard off his wing.
They were exactly right to get him in the game and he looks really
confident. Allan Dell coming on for Scotland. The leading try scorer at
Twickenham last week. Gordon Reid has helped the Scottish scrum over
the course of the Six Nations. It has been a roller-coaster for the
scrum. They were in a terrible position against Ireland, and then
France's struggle has got better. The tries that Italy cannot score,
that was one that was a couple of poor passes, good defence again from
Stuart Hogg. Just a catalogue of errors. You can see how much that
could inspire the defending side when you hold them out. A real boost
for Hogg Buswell, who if he has one part of his game that is sometimes
criticised, that is his defence. And Scotland still with that line up at
the end, Hamish Watson powers on, bouncing off bigger men. The 14 men
of Scotland attack, and a penalty advantage. Benvenuti was offside.
This sums up Italy's season, they have been really close to the line,
they have put pressure, they have had the territory, they can't score.
And the first opportunity they get in their own half, they give a silly
penalty away. Look at the action areas in the second half, nothing in
the Italian 22. A good kick now could change that. Tommy Seymour
came in with the defence. I have not even seen him, we haven't mentioned
him yet, and what a kick that was. That was a great kick, as Tim
Swinson comes into the second row for Grant Gilchrist, Scotland will
have a five metre line-out. Italy waiting for it already, here is
Gilchrist. Well done, Grant Gilchrist, to come back in and play
as well as he did, credit to him. A step into Richie Gray. Here is
Scotland's first opportunity, no scoring in the first 17 minutes
after the break, two minutes of the sin-bin of John Barclay remaining.
Jonny Gray takes it down, and Scotland now trying to get forward.
Going nowhere, soap Pyrgos looks at other options. It goes to Swinson,
fresh on the field. And the pass was loose and the spill is there, and
Italy now fancying a counter. As Scotland were so accurate and the
first half, and to turn the ball over like that was disappointing.
Violi, the replacement scrum-half, send it on.
Fagerson again does well from a standing start. And Russell gives it
height. Seymour bearing down on this one, Venditti as well. A fine
challenge, says the referee, going for the ball. So, the Italian
forwards, now through Dreesen van Schalkwyk, and Russell waiting for
this. He steps his way around the giant Venditti with ease, and then
gives it to Seymour. Venditti trying to pretend to get himself out of the
way. Cornell du Preez. And Russell on to Watson.
Scotland into the Italian half once again. And Scotland attacking with a
bit more purpose now. After the next breakdown, Barclay will be on. Scott
tries to step around his man. Russell just delays and then chips,
and it hobbles into touch with his last bounce, and Scott Barclay will
be back on. They showed a lot of character there, they managed well
without him. Scotland have much more variety in the attack. Runners and
different angles, different length of passes in. I can't see who the
Italian man down on the far side is, receiving treatment into the final
quarter of this match. It has been the lowest of low scoring third
quarters, zero points. That is George Biagi. I was born in the same
hospital as him. Does he say the same? A few days apart!
I think this last quarter is very important for Scotland. The progress
they have made, if they can finish that bonus point, they can get two
tries in the last 20 minutes, I think that would finish the Six
Nations in the right note, because if it just peters out, it would be a
shame, because I think they deserve better, Vern Cotter deserves better
than that in this last 20 minutes. There he is, beneath the stern and
gruff exterior lies an equally stern and gruff interior! But he will be
happy with the first half. John Humphrys in front, heading off to
join the team at Glasgow, and Dave Rennie is the new coach in Glasgow.
The former Chiefs coach. Parisse takes it down comfortably enough.
That is a very recent touch line-up from Violi. Seeing the two tries in
the first half, many fancy that Scotland would start to, as other
sides have against Italy, cut loose in the second half. They haven't had
the field position, this is the first attacking opportunity they
have really had. They have made a number of changes, so the
replacements coming on, they have to find their time. The line-out patted
back by Cornell du Preez, and it goes on to Dunbar. Good ground made.
Claire Barclay feeds it to Russell, a little chip for Hogg, how will it
bounce? Tim Visser bearing down on it, and is it a try? Visser
celebrates. We will examine it, but Tim Visser feels he has scored. But
the decision will go to Marius Jonker. I think you go by the
reaction of players, and he thinks he has got this. That is the key
question, any reason that they cannot award the try? Has some
offence taken place? I think we know the ball has been touched down.
Whose hands did it come that? The crowd watching that, but you need to
see a little bit earlier. Russell, definitely his hand is there or
thereabouts as well. Visser got there. Behind the kicker. That is a
smart kick from Stuart Hogg to turn the defence as he does. Try time. It
does look like it went to it. The key point here is, who knocks this
back? That is absolutely fine, to me. That's a try. It will be a try
for Visser. WHISTLE
CHEERING How deflating is that her Italy?
They had all that fresh after 15 minutes, they couldn't score,
Scotland get up the other end and score. Pascal Gauzere said try, and
Tim Visser has another one, and Scotland have a third. It is
becoming a theme, it used to be a thing that they couldn't do, finish
opportunities, but so little of the play in the second half, but they
have the try, and Russell with the conversion attempt.
And again, he hits his mark, and Scotland 22-0 Italy with 18 minutes
to go, and now they will go hunting for the fourth try. This has been
Italy's problem throughout the whole Six Nations. They have had
opportunities, they have not been able to score. You can see this
great chip from Stuart Hogg, and great support work from Visser. When
they get into their own half they concede so cheaply. Italy making
changes now. On comes Panico for Lovotti.
And is there another change as well? Lucas Browne -- Sperandio coming on
for the back line. And in the bright sunshine now at Murrayfield, it is
sent to touch. Little explosions of noise, and then
it falls silent at Murrayfield again. Sperandio has come on for
Canna, who has had a dreadful afternoon.
Sperandio out on the wing, so they have shuffled another player into
fly half, Italy. It might be McLean. There he is now.
It was. So, it is sad to see Italy playing like this as well, because
they have had a wretched time in this Six Nations, and so much
chatter against them. They have a new coaching team that have come in,
just putting systems in place, trying to bring through young
players. It is a young -ish Italian side on the field, the fitness is
not good enough and they have to work harder on their skills, and
that is going to take time. Conor O'Shea has a really good coaching
team with him. He will be frustrated with what happened in that first 15
minutes of the second half, that they didn't score. You have seen
enough from Italy, there is enough there, they just have to back
themselves for the whole 80 minutes. So, ready to go again, looking for
that bonus point try. Three tries against Ireland, three against
England, a couple against France. But they would expect in the final
16 minutes another try against Italy.
As Andy was saying, we don't want the game to Peter out, and there is
a wave going around Murrayfield, always a sign that the crowd is
getting a little... Not bored of proceedings, but they want more from
the Scotland side. Do you like Texaco and waves or not? It is a
difficult one. -- Mexican waves. Everyone is enjoying themselves, no
doubt about that. But they do want another try from Scotland. The
Scottish scrum moving forward, and Italy in a bit of disarray now.
Going back to the atmosphere here in Murrayfield, all three games
Soledad, a good atmosphere around the place, and an expectation now
that Scotland are going to play and they are going to score tries, and
that has been proven again today. 14 tries so far in the Six Nations, and
that is a fantastic return, because it isn't that long ago that Scotland
didn't know where the try was going to come from. Fraser Brown will come
on for Ross Ford, and Simon Berghan is going to come on at tight head.
He will come on for Fagerson. 107 caps for Ross Ford now. And how
hard has Fagerson worked? If he keeps going, he could easily get to
107 caps. He has worked so hard, not just today but in the whole Six
Nations, and he is being given a rest here today. Tight head is our
scarce on the ground, good tight head is, in Scotland. Cornell du
Preez is the link. Hamish Watson always does so well. And Scotland
once more menacing the 22 Italy. Russell, the pass for Anbar, and
Dunbar now barging his way up through Esposito. Scotland getting a
bit of confidence. Pyrgos, and then Jonny Gray. Scotland making good
ground now. Flat pass, says the referee, fine. Once more, Scotland
to within five metres, and Tim Swinson is there. Still Scottish
ball, Italy get an opportunity to set the defence. Out wide it goes, a
little juggle, and Dunbar has to come from a bit further behind,
gives the kick forward, and penalty is given for that collar high hit.
There is a vibrancy about the attack, everyone is tuned into what
they are trying to do, there is options all the time, good pace and
running. Alex Dunbar has had a good game today, that is a high tackle by
Biagi, it is accidental, but it is a penalty. Scotland are really
desperate just get that fourth try, and I think will get it falls blue
there is a real bounce about their carry, they have been carrying
through the Italian defence, which has given them the speed of ball.
So, Fraser Brown, newly on the field to this five metre line-out, and
Jonny Gray takes it, then the Italian defence hits in hard, and
rocks Scotland back. So now from about ten metres they will try to
come again. Pyrgos is waiting, and he feeds
Jonny Gray onto Hamish Watson. Watson held by McLean.
Cornell du Preez takes it, and it goes on down, they were not
expecting it. Lovely passage of play from Scotland. A wasted opportunity,
and now Italy, McLean just shovels it on, but then it is spilled. They
are still playing that advantage, so scrum to Italy. Hamish Watson has
had a really good match today, and the Six Nations, he has really shone
out. Look at that pass on there, not expecting it. Simon Berghan's
knock-on, the Brazilian born player. Family from sterling.
Going back to Zander Fagerson, everybody is desperate with the
injury, but it's given a young play an opportunity and it's great to see
how Fagerson has grown through the tournament. The dark days of Paris
and Ireland, six scrum penalties, he's come a long way and they've
collectively, long way. All players go through that. It's giving the
young player and opportunity to see how he grows. He made a few mistakes
in the first game, but see how he's learned. He's smart and he's really
good around the field. The work he puts in, the tackles he puts in, his
post-tackle work. He is exceptional and he will get better and better.
Looking at losing streaks in this championship going back to the Five
Nations. Italy would be on 12 if they lost this one. But look at
France in the 1910s and 1920s. Seven in a row. When people say Italy
should be relegated, France were dreadful for a couple of decades
when they first entered the championship. Different days
entirely, but I'm always a bit wary when people say they diminish the
championship. I'm not an advocate of that. But I do advocate giving an
opportunity to somebody like Georgia. Whoever is bottom of the
Six Nations, a play-off against whoever is top of the second tier.
Scotland with ten minutes to find their bonus point try. Rolling up
towards the 22. Biagi thinking about tumbling over.
Swinson got a hold of him. Barclay takes it in again. Hogg had to be
quick. Scott keeps player live by coming infield. -- keeps play alive.
Carried by Alan Bell. Swinson therefore Scotland and they are
making ground now. Nobody there. Picked up by Russell. He tries to
hand off one tackle and goes to ground. Eight phases and 15 metres
from the Italian try line. Direct approach from the forwards.
One small lifting the crowd noise. -- once more.
Fraser Brown tries to free himself, but held by Minto. 14 phases. Eight
metres from the line. Patient but slow play from Scotland now.
A good hit by Luke McLean. Scotland looking for the breakthrough.
Venditti gave Dunbar plenty of attention. A try for Tommy Seymour!
Four for Scotland, bonus point for Scotland and Murrayfield erupts
again. That's a brilliant team try. Patient build up play. They just
waited for the extra numbers in attack and then they have the skills
and the execution to go over for what looked like a simple try, but a
lot of hard work went into that. Fantastic drive. That sums up the
improvement Vern Cotter has made. The balance they've had, the ability
to use the forwards and then to strike out wide as they did there
with a great pass from the De to see more. They understand what they are
doing and the play from the half-backs was exceptional. Padovani
had no chance as Hogg committed him. Seymour, 16 tries in 36 caps. A
bonus point try for Vern Cotter's Scotland. 27 points for Scotland and
zero for Italy. A sorry day at Murrayfield for the Italians.
Another one sales through. 29 points to Scotland and they are finishing
on a high at Murrayfield in the sunshine. When all that was
happening, Matt Scott went off injured. Duncan Weir has come on.
More disruption in the backline for Scotland, but when you are 29-0 up,
you can cope. Italy have brought on Federico Ruzza for his debut, a very
talented young lock or back row player. A little knock-on at the
restart. There is Duncan Weir. Duncan will run at ten, Finn at 12?
Dunbar at 13? Russell to 12. Dunbar 13. This is an important set for
Scotland. Important defensive set. If there's a big present they can to
Vern Cotter, it's to give away no points in this match. 61 points last
week, zero this week. That's what you call a reaction. That's what
Matt Taylor would have been looking for. You might save the Italian
attack is not quite as sharp as that of England! Penalty to Italy.
We are all mulling over man of the match. Your thoughts on the Vern
Cotter era as it draws to a close. He's leaving Scotland and a much
better placed than he inherited so he's done a great job. The stadium
is full, there is vibrancy about the place, Scotland are playing
attacking rugby. There is a good age demographic. Normally a coach leaves
at the end of a tenure, but he's leaving on a high and he deserves
great credit. He's a quality man, quality rugby man who understands
the key values of the game and that's what he's brought to
Scotland. Scotland will be keen to avoid an Italian score. Italy look
for the driving maul again. Great defence from Scotland in the
maul. What I like about Vern Cotter is his relationship and partnership
with his captain. The work is done with Greig Laidlaw. Greig Laidlaw
has been able to translate the vision into their performances on
the field. He's marshalled the team very well on the field and that
coach captain relationship has been exceptional. We saw the smile across
the face of Vern Cotter and a cheerful Greig Laidlaw as he's shown
on the big screen. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE.
He'll be back. Three minutes to go. Henry Pyrgos
waiting to feed. Scotland, even from deep inside their own 22, looking
for a bit more... Scotland will leap into second place in the table after
this and may well finish there. They could still finish fourth. I'm
quickly doing some maths, which is not my strong point.
Duncan Weir with a decent thump away. More than decent. Very, very
good kick from the stocky figure of Duncan Weir. Man of the match?
There's been a lot of good performances for Scotland. Watson
has done what he's done, Gray. For his control and the way he's
controlled things for Scotland, he's scored a try, kicked almost
impeccably, he's deserving. Finn Russell is my Six Nations man of the
match. Met with a claim inside Murrayfield.
Always the glamour boys! Ghiraldini hits his mark. Heading towards the
final minute of this match. Italy again making some good ground in the
maul. Parisse leads the breakaway. Ruzza
with his hands on the ball, the youngster. Italy looking for
something from this match. Federico Ruzza, 22 years old. Pfister with
plenty of time, but he watches it into touch. -- Visser. The match
will finish near Scotland's try line. A good decision if you're
leading 29-0, but not if you're chasing. Italy have a long way to
go. By and large are very, very good performance for Scotland. At times
they've had to absorb a lot of pressure, but they've been clinical
when they've needed to be. They've had about five chances and taken
four tries and that tells you everything about the potency of
their attack and their decision-making. A good performance
for Scotland. He leads the Scottish Nationalists I'd in the talented
hands of Gregor Townsend, and a good place as well. -- he leads the
Scottish national side. Italy a bit deeper and then a
knock-on. That will be it. A fitting but sad end to the championship for
Italy. Scotland, three home games, three victories. Three wins in this
championship for the first time in over ten years. Second place in the
table for now. Fifth place in the world racking is. Vern Cotter takes
his lead and progress has been made. The Scotland fans and players will
say that's a bit more like it. Last week 's performance against England
was the moralising and depressing after the progress that had been
made, but Scotland finish with 147 points, beaten their all-time
record, which was set last season. Tangible progress. Second in the
table. A fitting way for Scotland to say goodbye to Vern Cotter and the
legacy he is clearly left. Absolutely. The tries they scored,
the calmness they showed in difficult conditions in the first
half and coming away with a bonus point. Most importantly for the
defence coach, Matt Taylor, after conceding 61 points last weekend,
they kept the Italy scoreboard at zero. The crowd appreciated that
attritional ten minutes when Scotland had to defend, summed up by
that Stuart Hogg moment which was just pure strength from Scotland.
John Barclay was yellow carded for persistent infringements. At that
point Scotland were up 15-0. If it'll and -- if Italy had scored, it
could have come back to 15-7 and it becomes a different ball game. The
resilience, the work rate, the collective nurse was fantastic.
Let's hear from the man of the match, Finn Russell.
Big smiles. What above form month by the boys today, not only scoring the
tries, but keeping the Italians from scoring. Great performance from the
boys. We knew we had to try to get a bonus point to finish high in the
table. Great to get a fourth try and to keep them to zero helps us for
the points deficit. Another great performance from yourself and a
great try. You are trying to get your hand on Tim Visser's ball as
well. Hopefully he'll get me a drink tonight. In terms of this
performance after last week, how important was it for self to in the
team and to give and got a fitting farewell? We were really
disappointed after last week. We knew how big this game would be.
Vern Cotter's last game and the last time we would be together as a team,
but great to win a bonus point. Congratulations, you are the man of
the match. The last time delay failed to score
in a match was 2004, that does feel the low point of a low spring. --
the last time Italy failed to score. Yes, the second half, the key
moment, failing to score after the yellow card. It is tough, tough day.
So much to take from this, from the reign of Vern Cotter, at the moment
Scotland are second in the table and that bonus point could be the
difference. It is key and they did all they could, it is out of our
hands. Their best performance in years, finishing second, potentially
third, they have done fantastically well. Vern Cotter four play making
his way towards Lee McKenzie, but we do have Johnny Barclay. What an
incredible performance, you can see how much it means to everyone. Yes,
we want to finish on a high especially after last week. We said
three wins would be fantastic, after last week, we did wanted to give the
coaching team a good sendoff. How tough was it to move on from last
It is always a cracker, enjoy it. Goodbye.
Gabby Logan presents live coverage of the final weekend of the 2017 Six Nations as Scotland take on Italy at Murrayfield, in what is Vern Cotter's last match in charge of Scotland after three years at the helm. Commentary is by Andrew Cotter and Chris Paterson.