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Rugby Union: 4-1 Italy claim stunning win at Murrayfield.

Byline: By Graham Woods

ITALY, 4-1 underdogs at Murrayfield yesterday, recorded only their third Six Nations victory, and their first away from home, with a stunning 37-17 trouncing of Scotland.

In an incredible start, Italy scored three tries inside six minutes, the first from a chargeddown kick and the second two from interceptions.

Scotland had started the match as 1.3 favourites on Betfair, but at 21-0 up it was the Azzurri trading at that price.

The Scots forced their way back to 24-10 at half-time and were within a single score at 24-17 on the hour mark, but were hit by two penalties and a 75th-minute try from man of the match Alessandro Troncon.

Italy had been 4-11 at the outset to pick up the wooden spoon, but their win moves them above Scotland on points difference.

Antepost favourites Ireland kept their hopes alive with a 43-13 demolition of England at Croke Park. Although Jonny Wilkinson was passed fit for England, the home side grabbed two tries in the first half for a 23-3 lead and never looked back.

If leaders France overcame Wales in Paris last night, Ireland's hope now must be for an England win over Les Bleus at Twickenham in a fortnight as the big margin of victory has boosted Ireland's points difference considerably.

Gloucester were the big beneficiaries on a weekend in which three of the top four sides in the Premiership lost.

Leicester, no better than 1-7 to beat second-bottom Worcester, were edged out 10-9 in their first defeat at Welford Road for more than two years.

However, Bristol's defeat at Harlequins keeps the Tigers a point clear and they are evens to hold on to top spot.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 25, 2007
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