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World Men's Curling Championship: Scotland beat Italy after losing to Canada

World Men's Curling Championship: Scotland beat Italy after losing to Canada

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Scotland are aiming for back-to-back world titles

World Men's Curling Championship

place: KSS Sports Complex, Schaffhausen, Switzerland Dates: March 30 – April 7

coverage: Watch selected Scotland matches on the BBC Sport website and app

Scotland bounced back from a disappointing defeat to Canada with a win over Italy in the World Men's Curling Championship.

The defending champions, led by Bruce Mowatt, lost 8-4 in a repeat of last year's final, after opening round victories over South Korea and the United States.

But the Scots quickly shrugged that off to cruise to an 8-3 win at the world's number one ranked rink.

The Italians admitted to a one-sided relationship after only seven endings.

It leaves Scotland in third place in the early round standings in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, behind Canada and unbeaten Sweden.

Olympic silver medalists Mowat, Hammy McMillan, Grant Hardie and Bobby Lamy have a full collection of world medals, with gold last year coming after a second-place finish in 2021 and bronze on their debut in 2018.

Against Brad Gushue's Canada, they trailed 5-1 at the halfway point and the contest was over after nine innings.

It was a different story in the subsequent session as the Scots led 3-0 from the first end. Three blocks were stolen in the fifth inning for a 7-2 lead, with Italian skip Joel Retornaz opting for a handshake shortly after.

“Focusing on equalizing and starting well was key in all four of our matches,” Mowat explained.

“Without the hammer against Joshu, we fell back, so it shows you the importance of a minute-to-minute equaliser.

“I think we have the ability to swing the hammer against other teams, and we are still in a good position.

“Playing the No. 1 seed and the Canadians, who are also highly ranked, is always a very tough day, so getting one win was very important for us to keep the momentum going and three and one after our first win. Four games we're very happy with.”

Scotland will next face New Zealand, with matches against Germany (Tuesday), Japan (Wednesday) and Sweden (Friday) being broadcast live on the BBC Sport website and app.

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