EDINBURGH - Italy came crashing back to earth just six days after the historic rugby victory over France in their opening Six Nations encounter, going down 34-10 to Scotland yesterday at Murrayfield.
Tries by Tim Visser, Matt Scott, Stuart Hogg and Sean Lamont, countered by a late consolation effort by Alessandro Zanni, helped Scotland rebound well from an opening loss to tournament favourites England.
Although Scotland dominated early possession, Italy should have opened the scoring but Luciano Orquera's penalty came back off the Scottish upright.
The home side went in front on the quarter-hour mark thanks to a Greig Laidlaw penalty and the Scottish pivot made it 6-0 with a second kick on 25 minutes after Italy were penalised for collapsing the maul.
Scott almost crossed the Italian line shortly afterwards, following a terrible mistake by Giovanbattista Venditti but was forced into touch by Tobias Botes.
The try Scottish pressure deserved finally came on 30 minutes when Dutch-born winger Visser stepped inside two Italian defenders to score his fifth international try.
Laidlaw converted but there was still time for Orquera to knock over Italy's first penalty to send Scotland in at half-time holding a comfortable 13-3 lead.
The match was all but over as a contest three minutes after the restart when New Zealand-born winger Sean Maitland set up Scott for Scotland's second try, again converted by Laidlaw.