The XV de la Rose largely beat Italy (41-18) this Saturday during the second day of the VI Nations Tournament. Despite six tries, England did not necessarily impress at Twickenham against an opponent who was too limited.
The vice-champions of the English world still do not seem to be at their best at the start of 2021. At a time when England is fighting against a variant of the coronavirus, the XV de la Rose is gradually treating his injuries. Deprived of its public this Saturday at Twickenham, the selection led by Eddie Jones signed a big victory (41-18) against Italy on the second day of the VI Nations Tournament.
Six tries and an offensive bonus in the key, England is relaunched in the competition but does not remove all doubts. Despite the magnitude of the score, all was not perfect. Far from there.
A sluggish start from the English
Like Scotland, victorious for the first time in 38 years at Twickenham last week (6-11), Italy has long posed problems for the English at the start of the match. Corrected by XV France (10-50) in Rome, Squadra Azzurra even scored the first try of the meeting after only three minutes of the match thanks to his Australian native Monty Loane.
Not necessarily at their best defensively, England nevertheless managed to take advantage of transalpine errors to get back in front. First a penalty from Owen Farrell to get closer then a test from Jonny Hill following a lot of work from the forwards allowed the XV de la Rose to take the advantage (8-5, 15th).
Watson in shape, May mounted on springs
More solid in the rucks and well helped by an effective scrum, England then found more offensive impetus. And as often, Anthony Watson shone. After a good twenty minutes, the winger of Bath placed a first banderilla to increase the lead of the premises.
A nice prelude before the wonder registered by Jonny May just before half-time. The English left winger flew off to avoid the tackle of his Italian vis-à-vis and then fall back into the in-goal. After checking the video, May’s “jump” allowed his team to return to the locker room with a comfortable lead (20-8, 40th).
Despite the great envy of the Italians after the break, an interception by Anthony Watson put an end to the suspense. At the end of a race of almost 80 meters, the winger signed a nice double and buried the hopes transalpine (27-11, 50th).
England provisionally leading the Tournament
For the rest nothing very transcendent to put to the credit of the XV de la Rose. Eddie Jones may have made several changes to revitalize his group, England ended this match quietly.
Barely entered on his debut in the selection, Jack Willis scored his first international try … before going out on a stretcher visibly hit in the knee. A sad first for the third-row finally replaced by Anthony Watson at the position of number 8 on the scrums.
The Italian test marked by Tomaso Allan will again sow doubt in English minds before Elliot Daly finishes the job (41-18, 68th).
Not really imperial, England provided the essentials with an enhanced victory. Even better, the XV de la Rose has temporarily seized the first place of the classification in this Tournament of the VI Nations while awaiting the match of France in Ireland and the duel Scotland-Wales.