Winger Blair Kinghorn has scored a hat-trick of tries and pivot Finn Russell provided decisive moments of genius as Scotland got their Six Nations campaign off to a winning start with a 33-20 victory over Italy at Murrayfield.
Scotland scored five tries to three for Italy for a deserved win on Saturday, headlined by Kinghorn’s three scores but inspired by Russell’s clever touches, both out of the hand and with the boot.
But Scotland will be concerned after letting a 31-3 lead slip in the final 10 minutes after Simon Berghan was yellow carded and Italy made the most of the one-man advantage to score through Guglielmo Palazzani, Edoardo Padovani and Angelo Esposito, to give some late gloss to their score.
Stuart Hogg scored Scotland’s third try, although television replays cast doubt on its veracity, and substitute Chris Harris went over for their fifth.
Italy opened the scoring from Tommaso Allan‘s penalty but Scotland led 12-3 at halftime, going on to open up a 28-point lead before allowing Italy to come back late on a clear but icy-cold afternoon.
“We are happy with the middle part of the game but we have a couple of things to work on. I see that as a positive though,” Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw said.