Scotland earned their first points of the 2009 Six Nations thanks to a convincing 26-6 win over Italy at Murrayfield.
Both sides entered the round-three encounter on the back of successive championship defeats but it was the hosts who put their recent disappointments behind them to leave Italy stranded at the bottom of the standings.
Two early penalties from blood replacement Chris Paterson gave Scotland a 6-0 lead before a surprisingly well-taken drop goal from Italian No8 Sergio Parisee cut the deficit to three points.
A Phil Godman penalty moved Frank Hadden’s men 9-3 ahead just shy of the half-hour-mark before Simon Danielli grabbed the game’s first try five minutes before the break.
The former Bath and now Ulster winger supplied a superb finish to an expertly-worked first phase move that saw Godman switch with inside centre Morrison who immediately fed Danielli 20 metres in from his blindside wing.
Danielli stood up the last defender to race home unopposed for his first international score in five years, with Godman adding the extras to ensure Scotland entered the interval with a comfortable 13-point advantage.
They never looked like surrendering that lead and instead they scored the only try of the second period through replacement flanker Scott Gray to effectively take the game out of Italy’s reach with 25 minutes remaining.
Man-of-the-match Danielli was again involved, although it was the impressive Thom Evans who made the decisive contribution, slicing through the Italian defence before off-loading to Gray just short of the try line.
The win eases the pressure on Hadden but leaves Italy with it all to do if they are to avoid this year’s unwanted Wooden Spoon.