Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Mallett: No arrogance after triumph

Head coach Nick Mallett remains realistic despite Italy's RBS 6 Nations win over France last weekend, but he believes the Azzurri are close to finding their place at world rugby's top table.

Italy, long derided as the RBS 6 Nations' whipping boys, claimed a first win over France with their 22-21 triumph in Rome last Saturday and on Saturday play a Scotland team desperate to avoid the wooden spoon after four losses from four games.

"I'm happy people enjoyed the win against France, but we can't be arrogant," said Mallet.

"I'm sure Italy have improved a lot over the last two years and especially in the last six months.

"We only won one game by one point one week ago and no other team conceded eight tries against England as we did. We even lost two games at home.

"We must keep improving. We are 12th in the ranking and I'm sure maybe we can reach seventh or sixth position."

Scotland have lost three of their last four Six Nations meetings with Italy and enter the final match of the tournament seeking to avoid a first wooden spoon since 2007 - when the Azzurri secured their solitary Six Nations away win at Murrayfield.

Mallett is not underestimating Scotland, who lost 22-16 to England at Twickenham last weekend and entered the tournament with five wins in six Tests at the end of 2010.

He added: "I think Scotland are a very, very good side and it just shows how tight this competition is.

"They were the side that came in with arguably the best record. Five wins and one loss against a very good All Blacks side and one draw is a hell of a good record going into this competition."


From Belfast Telegraph