Robinson leaves nothing to chance for Italian job

ANDY ROBINSON yesterday told his Scotland team they had no excuses for not delivering a “winning performance” against Italy today.

Robinson brought his players to Rome three days before the crunch RBS Six Nations clash at the Stadio Flaminio to ensure there was no possibility of their preparations being disrupted by travel.

“Coming here to win is the main focus. We got here early, so we got the travel taken care of, and there are no excuses about us giving a winning performance,” he said.

Robinson revealed prop Euan Murray had come through a fitness test after picking up a knock playing for Northampton last weekend.

The head coach played down the significance losing Murray may have had, despite Moray Low having been ruled out of the tournament yesterday.

He added: “We’ve got a few niggles; at this stage of the season, you’re going to pick those up.”

Scotland have lost three of their five Six Nations matches at the Stadio Flaminio and have not won away in the tournament since their last victory there four years ago.

Robinson said: “Winning away from home is about going out and taking the game to the opposition, being accurate about being able to do that.

“We want to get our confidence with the way we attack against Italy.

“But also defensively we’ve got to not give penalties away and get our line going forward.”

Italy number eight Alessandro Zanni says the Azzurri are desperate to beat Scotland and claim their first RBS Six Nations triumph in almost two years.

Scotland are the last side to fall against the Italians in the tournament. That result was 23-20 on the final weekend of the 2008 championship.

“This game will mark our last appearance in front of our fans in this edition and we absolutely want to take a good result,” said Zanni.

“It will be a great maturity test for us because we already proved with a great performance against England that we are at the level of the top teams.

“All that was missing in that game was the win and we are tired of losing.”

ITALY: L McLean; A Masi, G Canale, G Garcia, Mirco Bergamasco; C Gower, T Tebaldi; S Perugini, L Ghiraldini (capt), M Castrgiovanni; Q Geldenhuys, M Bortolami; J Sole, Mauro Bergamasco, A Zanni.

Replacements: F Ongaro, M Aguero, CA Del Fava, P Derbyshire, P Canavosio, R Bocchino, K Robertson.

SCOTLAND: H Southwell; S Danielli, M Evans, G Morrison, S Lamont; D Parks, C Cusiter (capt); A Jacobsen, R Ford, E Murray; J Hamilton, A Kellock; K Brown, J Barclay, J Beattie.

Replacements: S Lawson, A Dickinson, N Hines, A Strokosch, M Blair, P Godman, N De Luca.

Referee: Dave Pearson (England).

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