In the final round of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations, Italy and Scotland meet in Rome with both teams looking to end their respective campaigns on a high.
The Stadio Olimpico has played host to a raft of high-octane clashes in the past, hinting that supporters could well be in for another encounter to savour in the Eternal City.
2012 – Italy 13-6 Scotland
Giovanbattista Venditti’s converted try inspired Ireland to their first NatWest 6 Nations win of the 2012 Championship while simultaneously condemning Scotland to the wooden spoon.
A nail-biting encounter saw Italy’s Mirco Bergamasco and the Scots’ Greig Laidlaw slot away penalties at either end of the pitch but just a few minutes into the second period, Venditti blazed his way over the line to grab the only try of the game, Kris Burton adding the extras.
Just before the hour mark, Laidlaw bisected the posts once again to haul the visitors to within four points and the Azzurri would be made to fight tooth and nail from there on out.
However, with four minutes to go, Burton took matters into his own hand and fired a late drop goal to carry his team home.
Jacques Brunel’s Italy achieved the finish to the Championship they wanted while Andy Robinson’s Scotland were left to sift through the bones of a disappointing campaign.
2014 – Italy 20-21 Scotland
In 2014, Italy and Scotland met in another pulsating Stadio Olimpico encounter settled by a drop goal, Duncan Weir this time proving the hero of the hour.
Tommasso Allan’s first-half try had helped the Azzurri to a 13-3 lead at the break but back came the Scots as the pendulum swung in their direction, Alex Dunbar crossing twice in the space of 13 minutes.
A converted try by Josh Furno then flipped the scoreline on its head once more, the hosts leading 20-18 but, in the final minute, Scotland were held up and Weir went for glory.
His kick sailed through the posts to spark wild celebrations from the men in navy blue and supporters in the away end, in what would prove to be Scotland’s only victory of the 2014 Championship.
2016 – Italy 20-36 Scotland
Arriving in Rome in February 2016, Scotland were in desperate need of some respite and a crucial victory over Italy was just the ticket, ending a nine-match losing run in Rugby’s Greatest Championship.
Having tasted defeat on the road in Wales last time out, things went a whole lot better for Vern Cotter’s troops, storming into a 17-3 lead courtesy of tries from John Barclay and John Hardie.
Leonardo Ghiraldini and Marco Fuser scored either side of the break but the Scots eventually pulled away, Laidlaw dispatching five penalties while Tommy Seymour went over late on to round things off.
Scotland’s total of 36 is also the most points they’ve racked up in a NatWest 6 Nations game to date, singling their 2016 triumph out as one to cherish.