Aussie-born Parks kicks Scotland to victory

by Staff Writer

Dan Parks staked his claim to win back the Scotland No.10 jersey as they stepped up their World Cup preparations with another solid win, beating Italy 23-12 at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Parks had dropped down the stand-off pecking order behind rookie Ruaridh Jackson, but a fine all-round display and a volley of pinpoint kicks have surely convinced boss Andy Robinson that he should be the main man in midfield in New Zealand next month.

Parks was voted top Scot in the 2007 World Cup - and he showed off his determination to spearhead the challenge again.

While the Cardiff Blues fly-half was underlining his talent, there was agony for Nikki Walker.

With Robinson set to name his World Cup squad on Monday, the Ospreys winger was stretchered off near the end with suspected serious ligament damage and looks certain to be ruled out of contention.

Robinson declared himself "pretty satisfied" with both the Italy victory and the 10-6 win over Ireland two weeks ago.

"Getting the win was the important thing. That fact that we have won both our warm-up matches is a tremendous bonus," Robinson said.

"But we are not the finished article and we know there is still work and hard graft to be done. Italy gave us the physical challenge we were looking for and they played some good rugby."

Italy coach Nick Mallett said: "The result was not the one we were looking for, but there were positives.

"We gave away a couple of soft tries, which was disappointing. However, I was delighted we were able to score a couple of our own."

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