venue: Stadio Communale del Plebiscito, Padova
11th July 2003
Full Match Report
Scotland A made it two wins out of two thanks to a 30-10 victory over Italy in Padova on Friday night. Two tries from Douglas Flockhart of Borders, one each by Calum Morrison and Tom Wild, a penalty by Gateshead Thunder's Chris Fletcher and a David Anderson conversion gave the visitors a 4-20 lead at half-time.
After Italy pulled back to 10-20, Glasgow Bulls’ full-back Barry Edgar added two penalties to ease the Scots’ nerves and a last minute try by Jon Fitt and an Edgar goal underlined their superiority in a terrific encounter in the heat.
Fletcher gave Scotland the lead after just three minutes with a 40 metre penalty for an offence in the tackle but four minutes later the home side were ahead, Pantano pouncing on a bouncing kick inexplicably left by several Scottish players and strolling in untouched in the right-hand corner. Mancuso missed the conversion.
Scotland gradually got back on top, Al Stewart wasting a fine attacking chance when his wild pass after a 40 m break went to ground. But on 20 minutes, Doug Flockhart caught a Barry Edgar up and under after a great burst by Caulm Morrison and touched down. Fletcher missed the conversion.
Edgar prevented Pantano from scoring again when he broke the line for the second time and raced away only to be caught by the Scottish full-back. Italy’s powerful pack were pushing then boundaries of fair play with several off the ball indiscretions missed by the referee and although Edgar’s drop goal attempt his the post on the half hour mark, Morrison soon made it 10-4 when he burst through a gap on the left hand side to score. Fletcher missed the kick from the dug-outs side of the ground.
Scotland almost wrapped the game up in the run-up to half-time, scoring two tries in three minutes. First Tom Wild powered over after good work by Ash Carroll, Fletcher and Kov Bahadori. David Anderson took over the kicking duties and duly converted.
Then a fine move from left to right saw four Scotland players – including Scott MacGillivray on his 24th birthday – set up Flockhart to somehow squeeze past the full-back and inside the flag in the corner, a remarkable piece of finishing. Barry Edgar’s conversion attempt went wide to leave Scotland with a 20-4 lead at the break.
That was cut almost immediately as a good drive by the Italian forwards saw them complete their first set of six tackles with the tall curly haired D’Antuono crossing the line with ease.
Mancuso converted from in front of the posts to make it 10-20.
Italy realised the chance to win was there and the tension mounted, with all sorts of misdemeanours occurring. Edgar kicked a penalty for stripping the ball in the tackle and Fletcher was sinbinned for verbal abuse.
Scotland missed a great chance to extend their lead when Al Stewart broke 60 metres, fed Edgar who found Morrison but the arriving Anthony Slatter was indecisive. Italy’s D’Antuono was sinbinned for repeated offences and although they were relieved to break for water on 60 minutes, it was Scotland who scored next through another Edgar penalty.
Bahadori drove his team on, picking up the slack wherever it fell and cover all over the parched grass, Stewart was having a fine game with the boot, Edgar was incisive running from deep and Mark ‘Massive’ Webster lived up to his nickname, taking all that Italy could throw at the slender St Helens lad and responding with tremendous runs in an unflappable display.
Despite winning some of the highly-contested scrums – a pleasure to see in modern rugby league – Italy were unable to create any more chances and Scotland wrapped up victory in the last minute when Jon Fitt, powerful off the bench, drove through two tacklers to score. Edgar’s goal gave Scotland a 30-10 victory.
Scotland A, the best Scottish players outside Super League and National League One, had also beaten Holland, 22-18, on Wednesday, and play Serbia in Belgrade on Sunday.
Stefano Sarghini, Gianluca Pantano, Mirco Candiani, Stefano Riccardi, Maurizio Rizzo, Dainan Mancuso, Freddy Allesi, Nicola D’Amtuono, Orazio D’Arro, Flavio Damiano, Filippo Righetto, Luca Dalan, Matteo Carrara. Subs: Christian Furlan, Alessandro Rocchetti, Simone Allenziero, Giacomo Marrone, Enrico Colo, Marco Constantin, Paolo Bucci.
Barry Edgar, Douglas Flockhart, Mark Webster, Calum Morrison, Paul Clark, Chris Fletcher, Al Stewart, Tom Wild, David Anderson, Ash Carroll, Martin Jakes, Matt Stevens, Kov Bahadori. Subs: Chris Chamberlain, Adam Chambers, Scott MacGillivray, Jon Fitt, Donald Anderson, Andy Gray, Barry McGuffog, Anthony Slatter.