The Edinburgh wing had a field day during this Six Nations opener, as the Scots won 33-20 against Italy
Blair Kinghorn scores hat-trick in Six Nations try-fest
Scotland secured five Six Nations championship points in their 33-20 win over Italy and while there were eight tries to savour and a stirring Italian comeback in the final ten minutes, but it is the hat-trick of tries for wing Blair Kinghorn that will live long in the memory.
The first Kinghorn try was the product of a sumptuous kick from Finn Russell.
Scotland were making the most of good turnover ball and when it reached the fly-half going right to left. Looking up to see if a pass was on, he saw the Italy’s defensive line concertina and with space in front of his big wing. Russell hit a perfectly-weighted kick with the outside of his right boot, on the run.
It sailed into the hands of Kinghorn and he ran it in to the corner for the try. Greig Laidlaw missed the conversion.
Kinghorn would return to the very same spot ten minutes later. From a scrum in the dead centre of the field, Josh Strauss – on as a substitute for Sam Skinner – popped the ball right to Laidlaw. The scrum-half immediately changed back to pass left. Russell gave a pass, took it back and with on-rushing defence, full-back Stuart Hogg instinctively flicked a ball to the wing as a hit came in.
Kinghorn picked the ball skidding off the turf and cantered the few remaining yards to dot down for his second. Laidlaw slotted the two-pointer this time around.
The wing would get his third in the second half but not before Hogg got in on the act. The 15 chased down another well-weighted kick from Russell – this time a grubber from just ten yards out – and the 15 won the race to the ball and got enough downward pressure with one hand to score it.
The Kinghorn triple was completed around 55 minutes. Flanker Jamie Ritchie made ground hitting the ball at pace, and as Laidlaw moved it on, Kinghorn stepped and scythed through a forest of hands to get his third score – the bonus-point try, to boot.
The Scots got another try through substitute Chris Harris, but complacency reigned for the hosts after this point. After a yellow card for Scotland prop Simon Berghan, the Italian came roaring back with three unanswered tries – from Guglielmo Palazzani, Edoardi Padovani and Angelo Esposito.
However the Scots were content to kick the ball out with the score settled at 33-20 and end the contest. Kinghorn was named man of the match.