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Italy set unwanted record

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The unwanted record that Italy just set

Italy’s wretched losing streak in the Six Nations stretched to a record-breaking 18 matches as Blair Kinghorn scored a hat-trick in a 33-20 victory for Scotland at Murrayfield.

Without a win in this competition since their triumph in Edinburgh four years ago, Italy have now surpassed France’s run of 17 straight defeats in the Five Nations between 1911 and 1920.

Kinghorn scored two early tries to put his side in control on Saturday and completed his hat-trick – the first by a Scot in the Six Nations – either side of second-half scores for Stuart Hogg and Chris Harris.

The final score in a bonus-point win for the hosts flattered Italy, who crossed three times in the final 10 minutes with Simon Berghan in the sin bin.

Although Italy scored first through a Tommaso Allan penalty, Scotland were clearly superior and moved in front when a glorious cross-field kick from Finn Russell put Kinghorn over in the 11th minute.

Sam Skinner hobbled off in a blow to the hosts, but Kinghorn soon added a second try following a swift move from right to left.

Scrum-half Tito Tebaldi had been a late withdrawal for Italy and they also lost Allan to a head knock as their problems worsened, although the number 10 was able to return before the interval.

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The result was effectively sealed seven minutes into the second half when Tommy Seymour’s break pegged Italy back and Russell produced a neat grubber that Hogg dotted down with the fingertips of his left hand.

Kinghorn showed nice footwork to complete his hat-trick following good work from Jamie Ritchie and Harris added his name to the scoresheet before Italy rallied with the game beyond them. After Berghan had been yellow-carded following a string of infringements, Guglielmo Palazzani, Edoardo Padovani and Angelo Esposito all went over.

PROLIFIC START FOR KINGHORN

Kinghorn now boasts six tries in seven starts for his country. The wing missed the chance to lay on an early score when he was well supported, but soon had a smile on his face after being presented with two routine finishes in the first half. The 22-year-old then produced a stylish step to complete his hat-trick as Scotland surged to victory.

PARISSE MAKES LANDMARK APPEARANCE

While Kinghorn has only been an international for 12 months, the longevity of Italy skipper Sergio Parisse was highlighted on Saturday as he made his 66th Six Nations appearance – setting a new competition record.

KEY OPTA FACT

Scotland have won four successive Six Nations games against Italy. They had never previously managed more than three wins in a row in the competition against one team.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Scotland are set to face a much sterner test of their credentials next Saturday when they welcome Ireland, last year’s Grand Slam winners, to Murrayfield. Italy are at home to Wales, who produced a dramatic comeback to beat France on Friday.

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The unwanted record that Italy just set