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Scots edge out Italy at Murrayfield

Scotland warmed up for the Rugby World Cup with a second win in two EMC Tests by defeating Italy 23-12 at Murrayfield.

Alasdair Dickinson scored his first Test try following Max Evans' mazy run after 10 minutes as Scotland made a promising start, but Italy responded after 24 minutes with a score from Tommaso Benvenuti, converted by Mirco Bergamasco.

Dan Parks, who finished with 13 points, kept Scotland in front with his boot, before Italy scored a second try early in the second half through Fabio Sementazo to cut the deficit. However, Mike Blair touched down and Scotland held on for a victory marred by a knee injury to Nikki Walker, which saw the replacement wing taken off on a stretcher with three minutes remaining.

The victory meant Scotland claimed a 100% record from their two World Cup warm-up matches following the 10-6 win over Ireland a fortnight ago.

That was a ragged performance, with victory achieved through the one move of class as Joe Ansbro scored a late try.

This display was marginally better, but still early-season fare, with two defensive lapses punished by Italy.

There were positives for Scotland ahead of their World Cup Pool B opener against Romania in Invercargill on September 10.

Nick De Luca and Evans performed well in the backs, scrum-half Chris Cusiter came off the bench for his international return following a 17-month absence, and Euan Murray steadied a scrum which had seen Dickinson tormented by Martin Castrogiovanni and Moray Low by Andrea Lo Cicero.

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