Two tries in five second half minutes helped Scotland to a first away win over Italy for 25 years in the penultimate round of the Guinness Women’s Six Nations.  

Emma Orr and Chloe Rollie both crossed inside the final quarter as Scotland pulled clear to record a 17-10 win in Parma.  

The visitors dominated territory and possession for the opening half hour but were inaccurate and let several opportunities to open the scoring slip.  

Bryan Easson's side were made to pay for their inaccuracies when Alyssa D’inca cut through the midfield to open the scoring on the half-hour after a terrific offload from Elisa Giordano. 

If they misfired for the opening half hour, the hosts’ try seemed to awaken the visitors, who hit straight back as Lana Skeldon drove over for her 16th international try. Nelson levelled the game with the conversion.  

An opportunist try from Orr put the visitors in front just after the hour, while Rollie’s score came after sustained pressure. 

Scotland's fullback was shown a late yellow card for a dangerous clear-out, but the visitors held on to record their second win of the campaign. 

Here are five things we learned from a tense encounter at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi. 

Points mean prizes 

Scotland spent much of the opening quarter in Italian territory and turned down two kickable penalties in favour of going to the corner. The first lineout was overthrown, the second not straight.  

It’s admirable that Scotland’s forwards wanted to impose themselves on the contest, but there has to be a time and place – particularly in tight games – for taking three points when they are on offer. 

Helen Nelson has kicked well during the championship and should have been handed the kicking tee to put Scotland in front. 

Set-piece platform 

Scotland’s set-piece has struggled throughout the championship. Terrible weather conditions at Hive Stadium last weekend didn’t help, but Bryan Easson voiced his frustration post-match at being unable to use the scrum or the lineout to find a foothold in the game.  

While the first few lineouts functioned well, aided by the introduction of Eva Donaldson into the side, a crucial throw went astray on quarter of an hour and handed the Azzure a chance to counter.  

It wasn’t just the visitors, though. When Italy had their first chance to score points, they too were pinged for a wayward throw.  

When Scotland did finally sort their lineout, they took full advantage as Skeldon drove over. 

Responding well to trouble at the breakdown 

It was a dominant Scottish performance in the first half hour as Bryan Easson’s side had 60% possession and a huge 70% territory, but they failed to anything of their dominance largely due to Italy’s superiority at the breakdown.  

Scotland conceded three turnovers in the first 30 minutes, while the visitors also shipped three penalties as they failed to adequately resource their rucks and left players isolated.  

When Scotland sorted the breakdown out, they reaped immediate rewards. They turned over Italian ball just after the hour, and Thomson kicked ahead. Another breakdown win allowed Emma Orr to gather the loose ball and score her fourth Test try.  

Importance of the kicking game 

In the early part of the second half, the visitors struggled to impose their kicking game on the Azzure, particularly in the second half. Caity Mattinson put one box-kick out on the full, while another landed comfortably for Aura Muzzo.  

Even when Lisa Thomson launched a kick into the Italian 22, Scotland let the hosts off the hook by infringing at the lineout.  

But Thomson's boot proved decisive - it was from her hack down field that Orr eventually crossed after Rhona Lloyd, on her 50th cap, spoiled Italian possession at the breakdown.

Impact from the bench 

Throughout the campaign, Bryan Easson has lauded the strength in depth Scotland have developed over the past couple of years. It was evident today with excellent impact by those who came off the bench.  

Prop duo Leah Bartlett and Elliann Clark made an immediate impact at the scrum after their introduction early in the second half, while Rachel McLachlan was everywhere after she replaced Alex Stewart.  

In years gone by, Scotland would have felt the absence of their first-choice locks Emma Wassell and Sarah Bonar, but they’ve built depth that means they can cope with injuries and unavailability.  

Italy: ⁠Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi, ⁠Aura Muzzo, ⁠Alyssa D’inca, ⁠Beatrice Rigoni, ⁠Francesca Granzotto, ⁠Veronica Madia, Sofia Stefan; Silvia Turani (Maris 56), Vittoria Vecchini, Sara Seye (Fedrighi 70), Sara Tounesi, Giordana Duca, Ilaria Arrighetti, ⁠Francesca Sgorbini (Locatelli 70), Elisa Giordano (Fedrighi 56) 

Try: D’inca (31) 

Conversion: Rigoni (32) 

Penalty: Rigoni (74) 

Scotland: Chloe Rollie, Rhona Lloyd, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson, Francesca McGhie, Helen Nelson, Caity Mattinson (McDonald 59); Molly Wright (Bartlett 51), Lana Skeldon (Martin 74), Christine Belisle (Clarke 51), Eva Donaldson (McIntosh 70), Louise McMillan, Rachel Malcolm (captain), Alex Stewart (McLachlan 62), Evie Gallagher

Tries: Skeldon (35), Orr (63), Rollie (69) 

Conversion: Nelson (36) 

Yellow card:  Rollie (79)

Referee: Maggie Cogger-Orr (New Zealand) 

Player of the Match: Lana Skeldon