Scotland Women end 25-year wait for win in Italy as Six Nations progress continues

‘Best of the rest’ tag now in grasp behind runaway duo

Scotland battled hard to win for the first time in Italy since 1999 on Saturday and they are now sitting third in the Guinness Women’s Six Nations table.

At the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma, the sides were level at 7-7 after 40 minutes, but second half tries from centre Emma Orr and full-back Chloe Rollie got them over the line 17-10. It was not pretty at times, but they dug in to bounce back from the thumping loss to England and finishing the ‘best of the rest’ behind the Red Roses and France in the standings is in their hands now, with the last game in Ireland to come next Saturday.

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A third-place finish would earn a WXV 1 place for later this year and secure qualification for Rugby World Cup 2025. Player of the match Lana Skeldon said: “Winning player of the match is something I am delighted with, but it was a team effort all day and we are just so happy to get the win. The forwards that are in front of me do all the hard work when I score a try like that [in the first half], but I was delighted to score again.”

Alyssa D'Inca of Italy scores a first-half try against Scotland. Photo by David Gibson/Fotosport/ShutterstockAlyssa D'Inca of Italy scores a first-half try against Scotland. Photo by David Gibson/Fotosport/Shutterstock
Alyssa D'Inca of Italy scores a first-half try against Scotland. Photo by David Gibson/Fotosport/Shutterstock

Scotland had quite a lot of the early possession, but as the 15-minute mark came and went the score was still 0-0. The Scottish dominance continued, but then with their first real attack of the match the ease at which Italy’s carriers – including second-row Gordana Duca – got through the first line of defence was a concern.

Italy went ahead in the 32nd minute. A solid lineout saw the ball make its way into midfield and back-row Ilaria Arrighetti’s neat pop pass found Alyssa D’Inca charging through and the centre showed good pace to go over for a try. Centre Beatrice Rigoni converted. Scotland levelled things up three minutes later, an excellent lineout drive seeing hooker Skeldon going over for her 16th Test try with stand-off Helen Nelson converting.

The second half started cagily before No 8 Evie Gallagher won a good turnover and Scotland hoped it might spark them into life. However, it was Italy who nearly scored next, Duca blocking a box kick by scrum-half Caity Mattinson only for Rollie to scramble well and avert the danger.

Scotland then changed both props to try and get the upper hand at set piece time and, heading into the last 25 minutes, it was still 7-7. An excellent line break soon after from Orr nearly set up winger Rhona Lloyd on her 50th cap, but the Italian defence regrouped. Scotland then got a crucial second try in the 63rd minute. A neat kick from centre Lisa Thomson caused the Italian defence problems and when winger Aura Muzzo dallied under pressure from Lloyd, Orr was alert to pick up the ball and go over for the unconverted effort.

They had momentum now and, after the team went through a number of phases, Rollie showed great footwork to score her 20th try for Scotland. Nelson could not convert and it was 17-7. A penalty from Rigoni then made it 17-10 with six minutes to go and, with 18 seconds left, a dangerous tackle by Rollie saw her yellow carded. Italy kicked to touch, but then knocked the ball on from the resultant lineout and Scotland had won.



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