Scotland have ended their nine-game losing streak in the Six Nations with a hard-fought victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico. Early tries from John Barclay and John Hardie set the visitors on their way before a late try from Tommy Seymour sealed a 36-20 win.
Vern Cotter was given an early headache when David Denton was ruled out ahead of kick off due to a groin strain, worsened when Kelly Haimona struck 40-yard penalty to take an early lead.
But his side scored the first try of the afternoon when Tim Visser, playing in his first game of the tournament after recovering from a hamstring injury, found the opening out wide for Stuart Hogg to run into space. While the Azzurri line was able to stop him on the first attempt, Hogg was able to move the ball onto Barclay who burst through across the try-line before Greig Laidlaw converted.
17 minutes into the contest, Scotland had their second try when Finn Russell danced past three tackles, forcing the ruck that allowed Hardie to break through across the corner. Laidlaw's precision from set plays continued before the hosts roared back when Leonardo Ghiraldini broke through after neat exchanges between Conzalo Garcia and David Odiete.
Laidlaw registered another three points five minutes into the second half and Vern Cotter's side remained resilient in front of growing pressure, with Italy only able to reduce the deficit through a Haimona penalty.
Laidlaw scored his fourth penalty of the afternoon before Russell was sent to the sin bin, allowing Italy to capitalise and force their second try of the game through Marco Fuser. Yet another Laidlaw penalty kept Scotland ahead before the visitors secured a big finish when Hogg freed Seymour with a neat back-handed pass to seal the game.