Blair Kinghorn became the first Scotland player to notch a hat-trick in a Guinness Six Nations match when his treble earned him man-of-the-match honours in his side’s 33-20 win over Italy.
The 22-year-old – deployed on the left wing despite specialising at full-back with Edinburgh of late – got Scotland off to a flyer, bagging a quickfire first-half double to give the hosts a first-half lead.
And Kinghorn capped a dream outing with a third after the break, his sixth try in seven caps, but the modest Scot was first to praise his teammates in the bonus-point triumph.
“I’m personally delighted with the result,” he said.
“Another capacity crowd at BT Murrayfield is just awesome and we dug in at the end to get the win.
“Wherever I am on the park; I don’t mind. Credit to our boys, they’re awesome, and credit to Italy for sticking out until the end; it was a great Test match.
“I think our accuracy was a lot better in the second-half, we took our chances when they were available and got a couple of tries out of it, which was brilliant.”
Kinghorn opened the scoring for Gregor Townsend’s side when he gathered Finn Russell’s deft cross-kick to the corner for a well-worked score.
And he added a second just minutes later, scooping up a bouncing ball with clean grass ahead of him to again score in the corner and put Scotland in charge.
After a spree of early second-half scores for Townsend’s men, Kinghorn’s turn came again, and he made no mistake when Jamie Ritchie’s break made space in which the 22-year-olds twinkle toes glistened.
It was a performance that Townsend – in spite of his frustration at Italy’s late three-try surge – couldn’t help but praise, his young superstar proving the difference in a big opening win.
“Blair usually plays at full-back; he’s been playing well for his club, but I thought his timing on the ball, his strength and footwork was excellent.”