|Italy: (5) 5|
|England: (10) 34|
|Tries: Youngs 2, George, Curry, Slade Pens: Farrell Cons: Farrell 3|
England put themselves in prime place to win the Six Nations with a laboured bonus-point win towards Italy.
Ben Youngs – celebrating his 100th cap – scored the opening attempt, earlier than Kyle Sinckler’s fumble gave Jake Polledri the possibility to hit again.
England got here out with renewed depth after the break and Youngs capitalised along with his second rating.
The guests then discovered their rhythm, with 50-cap Jamie George, Tom Curry and Henry Slade all crossing.
England must wait till France v Ireland is accomplished to study whether or not they have gained a primary Six Nations title since 2017.
Ireland shall be topped champions in the event that they win with a bonus level or by greater than six factors in Paris, whereas France can declare the title with a bonus-point victory and a successful margin of greater than 31.
England stutter in unusual first half
As with a lot sport in latest months, there was an odd air across the Stadio Olimpico as Ben Youngs ran out to have fun his 100th cap in entrance of eerily empty stands, earlier than gamers sang the anthems spaced out alongside the touchline.
It had been seven months since Eddie Jones’ aspect final performed a match and slightly below a yr since their World Cup closing defeat, however England followers have been rapidly reassured by the acquainted sight of their crew inflicting a attempt on Italy within the first 5 minutes.
Owen Farrell darted by way of a niche within the Italian defence and located Youngs on the within to present the centurion a becoming opening attempt, which the captain efficiently transformed.
Further consolation got here as an Italian infringement on the breakdown gave England a penalty and Farrell opted to take a straightforward three factors in entrance of the posts.
But then issues turned the wrong way up. A unfastened ball from Sinckler was claimed by Carlo Canna and he discovered Gloucester quantity eight Jake Polledri, who sprinted clear to dot down within the nook.
The momentum stayed with Italy as lock Jonny Hill’s England debut was marred by a visit to the sin-bin for a excessive deal with on wing Edoardo Padovani.
England repeatedly opted to kick reasonably than run the ball however this solely appeared to work in Italy’s favour as they threatened to attain from a line-out within the nook earlier than Hill returned to assist win a scrum penalty for his aspect.
It appeared as if the guests would possibly go into the dressing room with their heads held excessive however a try-scoring alternative was ended as Polledri got here into their maul on the aspect, resulting in a yellow card for the quantity eight.
More to comply with.
Italy: Minozzi; Padovani, Morisi, Canna, Bellini; Garbisi, Violi; Fischetti, Bigi (capt), Zilocchi, Lazzaroni, Cannone, Negri, Steyn, Polledri.
Replacements: Lucchesi, Ferrari, Ceccarelli, Sisi, Meyer, Mbanda, Palazzani, Mori.
England: Furbank; Watson, Joseph, Slade, May; Farrell (capt), Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Hill, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.
Replacements: Dunn, Genge, Stuart, Ewels, Earl, Robson, Lawrence, Thorley.
Referee: Pascal Gauzere