Italy 0-33 England: Visitors get Six Nations campaign back on track

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Breaking news

Italy: (0) 0
England: (21) 33
Tries: Smith, George 2, Daly, Sinckler; Cons: Smith 4

England got their Six Nations campaign back on track as they outclassed Italy to claim a bonus-point win in Rome.

Despite losing their opener in Scotland, Eddie Jones’ side is now second in the table behind unbeaten France after two rounds.

England almost claimed a bonus point before half-time as Marcus Smith crossed and Jamie George scored twice.

Elliot Daly scored the fourth try after the break and Kyle Sinckler added another after a dip in intensity.

England’s old and new shine

England head coach Jones had asked his players to “light up” Rome and they duly delivered as the visitors’ pace overwhelmed their hosts.

With pre-match headlines focussing on ‘new England’, Henry Slade showed the older heads can still contribute as the center released another experienced player Jack Nowell down the left wing.

A series of flat passes from Smith – growing more into his role of England’s starting 10 with every game – saw England pick their way through the Italy defence.

That move ended in a try for Smith but at times England’s attempts to put on a show led to handling errors that would be punished by any other side in such a tight Championship.

Perennial wooden spoon side Italy, however, helped England’s cause as they committed mistakes of their own and conceded eight penalties to the visitors’ three in the first half.

After Nowell was permanently replaced by Daly because of a failed head injury assessment, scrum-half Harry Randall showed what he can offer England.

Randall’s speedy work off a line-out got England on the front foot and after Maro Itoje’s break, returning hooker George dived over the tryline.

Smith showed his all-round prowess – and for the full 80 minutes – as he made sure England’s forward dominance was rewarded with points as well as doing his bit defensively, hauling brawny winger Federico Mori into touch when he was in a position to score.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Italy: Padovani; Mori, Brex, Zanon, Ioane; Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Lucchesi, Ceccarelli; Cannone, Ruzza; Steyn; Lamaro (capt), Halafihi.

Replacements: Faiva, Traore, Pasquali, Sisi, Negri, Pettinelli, Fusco, Marin.

England: Steward; Malins, Marchant, Slade, Nowell; Smith, Randall; Genge, George, Stuart, Ewels, Isiekwe, Itoje, Curry (capt), Dombrandt.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Sinckler, Chessum, Simmonds, Youngs, Ford, Daly

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