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Italy vs Scotland Prediction: Comeback Kids or in Denial of the Inevitable?

James
March 10, 2022
Modified: March 10, 2022

Week four will relight the torches at the Stadio Olimpico, as this year’s Italy vs Scotland match gets underway. Italy have had a sore campaign in the Six Nations 2022, but they will be looking to turn things around in front of their home crowd. Scotland, on the other hand, despite arguably being Italy’s easiest opponent to face, will not be leaving anything to chance, and will be out to crush the Continentals from the starting whistle. Many are already writing off Italy’s chances. Can the usually last-place nation turn the tide and break their 35-game losing streak in the Six Nations? Let’s look at some of the important influencers, as we go into this clash.

History of the Team’s Encounters

Italy may have joined the Six Nations in 2000, but the first Italy vs Scotland rugby match actually took place four years earlier, in 1996. The first win went to Scotland, with a final results of 29-22 bringing a cheer to the home fans at Murrayfield, but there were a further 32 clashes afterwards that are worth taking a look at. Below, I have outlined the statistics from those matches:

Wins for ItalyWins for ScotlandTied Matches
8250

Scotland are definitely in pole position in this competition, given that they have over three times the number of wins compared to Italy. If I had to go on these results alone, I would not be putting my money on Italy at this stage. Nevertheless, maybe we can find a silver lining for gli Azzurri that will give us a different perspective on the possible outcomes of the game.

New World Rankings

World Rugby has recently recalculated the international standings, so it feels worth seeing how the statistics present the might of the two sides.

RankCountry
1 (-)South Africa
2 (-)New Zealand
3 (↑)France
4 (↓)England
5 (-)Ireland
6 (-)Australia
7 (↑)Wales
8 (↓)Scotland
9 (-)Argentina
10 (-)Japan

Well, we can see from this top-ten list that Scotland are sat in eighth place. The Scottish will be disappointed that they have sunk below Wales in the eyes of the world, but imagine how the Italians feel – not even featuring in the list of the world’s best sides. Six places below, in 14th, Italy look like they are going to have to put in an unprecedented shift in Saturday’s game, if they have any hope of securing success.

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Results from the First Three Weeks

Perhaps mere suggestions of each teams’ strengths seem a little crass and vague, though. In which case, we may be better off looking at recent form, if we are to decipher whom will be our winner.

Italy MatchesScoreWinner
France vs Italy37-10France
Italy vs England0-33England
Ireland vs Italy57-6Ireland
Scotland MatchesScoreWinner
Scotland vs England20-17Scotland
Wales vs Scotland20-17Wales
Scotland vs France17-36France

One win may not seem much in terms of bragging rights in the Six Nations, but compared to the giant zero on Italy’s sheet, Scotland seem relatively like conquering heroes. Can Italy overcome the visitors then? It is looking less and less likely.

The 16th Man and the Benefits of Playing at Home

The Stadio Olimpico will be full of passionate Italy rugby fans on Saturday, but will that make a difference to the final score? I do not think so – not in this game. I believe the two teams are worlds apart, so even with an amicable atmosphere, Italy are still going to come up wanting.

Attacking Options Based on Previous Points Scorers

The most vital component of any rugby game is getting points on the board. You can have the best defence in the world, but if you have no attacking game, the best you could hope for is a draw. Winning means scoring points. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a break-down of how both teams have fared in the attacking department over the course of the Six Nations 2022.

Italy

PlayerPointsPoints Break-down
Paolo Garbisi80 tries, 1 conversion, 2 penalties, 0 drop goals
Tommaso Menoncello51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Edoardo Padovani30 tries, 0 conversions, 1 penalties, 0 drop goals

Scotland

PlayerPointsPoints Break-down
Finn Russell250 tries, 2 conversions, 7 penalties, 0 drop goals
Rory Darge51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Darcy Graham51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Duhan van der Merwe51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Ben White51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Stuart Hogg20 tries, 1 conversion, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals

This is an interesting one to analyse, because whilst Scotland have not produced anything to be marvelled, they look like the All Blacks relative to Italy’s feeble 5.3 points per game average. Worse still, Italy have only managed one try in the competition, against France, and that was back in the first week. The suggestion here is Italy have no tangible ability to find the try line consistently – not against the top teams – which limits their ability to win a match by a decisive margin.

My Overall Italy vs Scotland Match Prediction Winner: The Bells of the Doldrums Will Continue to Toll

From all of the above evidence, I doubt that anybody will disagree with me and think that this Italy vs Scotland match will go the way of the home side. Italy do not have the firepower to convert their passion for the game into rugby success. It is going to be a long road for Italy before they have any chance of breaking their curse and unburdening their losing streak, so this is going to be another walk in the park for the away side. Scotland to decimate the Italians by half time.

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James

Gambling Consultant at Betiton