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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Ryan Byrne/INPHO Kinghorn crosses for his second try.
# flying scotsmen
Kinghorn claims hat-trick in classy Scotland bonus point win over Italy
Only a late trio of Italy tries took any gloss off a fine Scottish performance.

Scotland 33

Italy 20

A BRACE FROM Blair Kinghorn helped Scotland to a winning Six Nations start in Murrayfield as they overran Italy with a five try-win.

Gregor Townsend’s men, who host Ireland in Edinburgh next weekend, showed their flair to build a 12-3 half-time lead and had the bonus point wrapped up inside 53 minutes. But they will go into next week concerned at the concession of three late tries to narrow the scoreline.

Italy had no time to rest on their three-point lead after Tomasso Allan’s opening penalty as Scotland forced a 12th minute red zone turnover, which Finn Russell brilliantly turned into a breakthrough try for Kinghorn with a pin-point cross-field kick on the run.

Guinness Six Nations / YouTube

A smart set-piece play delivered the second try eight minutes later, Scotland feigned to attack the short side but switched back and used slick catch-pass skill towards the left corner, where Stuart Hogg got the last pass away towards Kinghorn and the wing collected on the bounce and grounded.

Guinness Six Nations / YouTube

The hosts built on their 12-3 half-time lead seven minutes after the thanks to another deft Russell kick, this time a grubber through the line which Hogg successfully hared after and got just enough of his fingertips on the bouncing ball to convince the TMO to award the score.

Ian McKinley Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ian McKinley on as a first-half HIA replacement. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

With five points in the bag it was a matter of how much from there on in for the hosts.

To Italy’s credit, the gap ended up narrower than the 30-point deficit they faced heading into the final quarter.

After Chris Harris’ try, Conor O’Shea’s men managed to stem the tide with a succession of mauls which mounted enough pressure to bring a card for Simon Berghan. The Azzurri powered over first through Guglielmo Palazzani and then rapid fire scores arrived from Edoardo Padovani and Angelo Esposito to put a positive spin on the final scoreline

Scorers

Scotland

Tries: B Kinghorn (3), S Hogg, C Harris

Conversions: G Laidlaw (3/4), F Russell (1/1)

Italy

Tries: G Palazzani, E Padovani, A Esposito

Conversions: T Allan (1/1), I McKinley (0/1), A Esposito (0/1)

Penalties: T Allan (1/1)

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