The try provided a simple conversion chance for Greig Laidlaw to clinch a first win for Scotland in the final game of their three-match tour of South Africa. They lost to Samoa and the Springboks.
Italy dominated the match at the scrum, forcing a penalty try from one set-piece to go with an early score from winger Leonardo Sarto.
Scotland ran the ball well in the opening half and scored tries through Matt Scott and Sean Lamont, before snatching victory at the death.
Italy made a fast start and scored the opening try from the kickoff when winger Sarto ghosted through a gap in the Scotland line to touch down 50 seconds into his Test debut.
It was an open start and Scotland’s reply was almost instant, lock Tim Swinson finding generous space in the Italy line and his break allowed Scott to score.
Italy were architects of their own downfall for Scotland’s second try as they had the opportunity to clear a ball chipped toward their line, but Gio Venditti inexplicably tried to run the ball out.
When he coughed it up in the tackle, it provided a simple chance for Lamont to touch down under the posts.
Much had been spoken of how crucial the scrums would be in the match and it was obvious from the start that Italy had the upper hand.
After giving up two scrum penalties in succession 5m from their own line, when Italy provided more pressure at the third attempt, the Scotland pack collapsed and referee Leighton Hodges awarded a penalty try.
The teams traded penalties after that and went into the break locked at 20-20.
The second half became a place-kicking duel, with Italy flyhalf Alberto di Bernardo slotting three attempts at goal to end the match with 19 points and put Italy 29-23 ahead with 80 minutes showing on the clock, but Strockosch collected the ball 15m out and after Italy No. 8 Sergio Parisse had dashed out to try intercept the pass, he broke through a hole in the defensive line to score.
ARGENTINA 29, GEORGIA 18
AFP, BUENOS AIRES
Argentina came back from a 12-9 halftime deficit to beat Georgia in a one-off Test on Saturday.
The win for the Pumas came after they had suffered back-to-back defeats to England — 32-3 and 51-26 — the previous two weekends.
Martin Bustos Moyano kicked 24 points for Argentina, with their only try coming in the closing stages from Thomas Cubelli.
For Georgia, fullback Beka Tsiklauri kicked 15 points from four penalties and a drop, while Lasha Malaguradze completed his side’s scoring with another penalty after 72 minutes.
PACIFIC NATIONS CUP
Nemani Nadolo and Napoliani Nalaga ran in tries as Fiji scored 20 points in the second half yesterday to beat Tonga 34-21 in Tokyo, Japan, and win the Pacific Nations Cup.
Tonga took an 11-0 lead with a try by Fraser Anderson and two penalties by Thomas Palu.
Tries to Sireli Bobo and Nalaga allowed Fiji to erase the deficit and leave the scores level at 14-14 at halftime.
Nadolo and Nalaga crossed after the break to give Fiji the lead for good and a late penalty by Seremaia Baikeinuku in the 74th minute put the result beyond doubt.
A penalty by Palu and a late try by Tonga captain Nili Latu was all the scoring Tonga could manage after the break.
Fiji finished the tournament with 16 points, three ahead of Canada. Tonga were third with 10 points.
Japan beat the US 38-20 in yesterday’s second match in Tokyo to finish fourth.