“Seven minutes of craziness” – that’s how Roland de Marigny remembers the blistering start to Italy’s Six Nations match against Scotland in 2007, which provided the platform for their first-ever away win in the competition.
Italy raced into a 21-0 lead to the disbelief of the Murrayfield faithful, thanks to three converted tries from Mauro Bergamasco, Andrea Scanavacca and Kaine Robertson.
For an Italian side that had never experienced victory on the road before in seven years of trying, it was a pinch yourself moment.
“I was good mates with Kaine Robertson and when we were running back after the second, him to the wing and me to full-back, we just turned to each other and said, ‘this is crazy’,'' said de Marigny, Rugby Parma’s current director of rugby.
“Two minutes later, he scored and we were just like ‘wow, what’s going on here’.
“To be honest, it didn’t feel like we’d done anything other than put them under pressure.
“Their strategy was a bit courageous – chip kicking over the top and throwing wild passes to try and get into the wide channels – and it didn’t work.
“It was seven minutes of craziness. It was incredible, we were 21-0 up before anyone had time to catch their breath.
“They did fight back and we had to dig deep but Italy were always strong in the forwards and we used our driving maul and (Alessandro) Troncon was part of that and he scored late on to secure the win (37-17).
“It was a good result and a nice piece of history to be part of.”
A privilege to be involved
Wales were beaten in the next round in Rome as Italy claimed only their fifth win in the competition and a fourth-place finish in that year’s table.
“Pierre Berbizier was our coach and he was an honest and straight-talking guy,” said the 46-year-old.
“He said if England or whoever was on song, we’d be in trouble but if the opposition is a little off the boil and we do our homework and work hard during the week and play to our potential, we were in with a chance, and that’s exactly what happened, we beat Scotland and the week after we beat Wales.”
The 2007 Six Nations was de Marigny’s third and last Championship, his 19-cap international career coming to an end later that year at the Rugby World Cup.
“The Six Nations has so much tradition and culture and it is a real privilege to have been part of it. It is, hands down, the best competition there is,” he said.