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Thornton’s Scots remain on course for fifth spot

George Thornton’s Scotland will play Wales in the next round of the Junior World Cup after beating Italy by one-point.
The Scots ranked sixth following the pool stages after registering their second win of the tournament with a 17-16 victory against the Italians.
The lead changed five times in the fixture, but crucially for Thornton, Scotland were ahead on the scoreboard when the final whistle went.
Winger Nairn gave Scotland an early 5-0 lead with an unconverted try in the sixth minute before outside centre Zanon’s converted score gave Italy a 7-5 lead.
Flanker Crosby rumbled over shortly afterwards for Scotland’s second try, with Eastgate converting for a 12-7 lead.
Eastgate missed the chance to extend his side’s advantage while Italy’s kicker Rizzi made it two kicks from two with a penalty that saw the side’s turn around for half-time with Scotland leading 12-10.
That lead disappeared 10 minutes into the second half with Rizzi adding another penalty.
Rizzi was again on target with this third penalty of the game to edge Italy 16-12 in front.
With a quarter of the game to go, time was on Scotland’s side knowing they only needed a try to end the Italian resistance as long as they could keep their opponents out at the other end.
With 15 minutes to go, Scotland scored what turned out to be the decisive score through number eight Dodd.
Replacement kicker Henderson had only been in the pitch four minutes when he lined up the conversion. Sadly for him, it didn’t go through the posts, but crucially, Scotland led by a point.
Scotland defence and discipline kept the Italians at bay. Nerves were tested in the closing stages but those cheering the Scots on were finally rewarded when the final whistle went.
Thornton and his Scotland team-mates have until Tuesday to recover for their Welsh test.

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