Ross Vintcent of Italy is challenged by Scotland’s Blair Kinghorn. Getty

Winger Louis Lynagh made himself an instant hero with a try on debut as Italy rallied to beat Scotland 31-29 in a dramatic Six Nations clash on Saturday and put a huge dent in their opponents’ championship hopes.

The son of former Australia great Michael Lynagh, Louis was born in Italy and his try, along with scores from centre Ignacio Brex and replacement scrum-half Stephen Varney, helped Italy come from 22-16 down at halftime and underline their improvement under new coach Gonzalo Quesada.

Scotland were dominant in the opening half hour, scoring tries through props Zander Fagerson and Pierre Schoeman and winger Kyle Steyn, but they made numerous errors and could only manage a late try from lock Sam Skinner in the remainder of the game.

Italy forced that pressure with a heroic display as they claimed a first win over Scotland since 2015, and made up to a degree for their 13-13 draw with France last time out when fly-half Paolo Garbisi missed a kick at the end of the game to win it.

Scotland have 11 points from four Six Nations games, four behind leaders Ireland, who can sew up the title later on Saturday when they play England at Twickenham.

Italy, who claimed a first Six Nations victory since they won in Wales in the final game of the 2022 tournament, are fourth with seven points.

Garbisi had an early penalty chance and, in a carbon copy of his heart-breaking miss against France, almost ran out of time, again before slotting it over with a wry smile on his face.

Again the ball fell off the tee and Scotland players had to be warned not to charge the kick and Garbisi converted with under 10 seconds remaining on the shot clock.

From there Scotland took control and put together 18 phases before Ferguson powered over and Steyn crossed following more adventurous rugby with ball in hand.

Italy needed a response and got it with a superb score.

Scrum-half Martin Page-Relo clipped a perfectly-weighted kick behind the defence and Brex was able to gather and go in under the posts.

Scotland grabbed a third try as a brilliant 50-22 from fly-half Finn Russell set up an attacking lineout and Schoeman powered over.

Russell failed with the conversion, his first miss in this year’s Six Nations, and one that proved crucial in the final result.

A long-range penalty from Page-Relo kept Italy in the contest as Scotland led 22-16 at halftime following a breathless first 40 minutes, but the momentum had swung in their favour.

Garbisi’s superb grubber early in the second half was perfect for Lynagh to gather and score and, roared on by a sell-out crowd at the Stadio Olympico, Italy hit the front when Varney crossed the tryline.

Scotland managed to earn a four-try and losing bonus points thanks to Skinner’s late score.

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