Italy (10) 15
Tries: Benvenuti, Bellini Con: Allan Pen: Allan
England (17) 46
Tries: Watson 2, Farrell, Simmonds 2, Ford, Nowell Cons: Farrell 4 Pen: Farrell
England opened their six nations in style with a convincing seven try win over a much-improved Italian side that gave as good as they got during a close first half.
Anthony Watson opened the scoring from a planned move in the third minute, Ben Te’o who started his first game since last October, sucking the Italian midfield in with his barnstorming run, before the ball ways feed out to Watson to dive over.
Minutes later it was Watson again who was handed the ball on the half way, before showing excellent balance and speed to fly down the wing and fend off the Italian fullback to score his second. Farrell missing both attempts at goal.
The Auzza fought back with a try of their own midway through the half, Tommaso Benvenuti crashing over and Allan conversion to narrow the gap to 7-10. However, with 15 minutes of the half reminding the English backs found space on the left and Farrell sold and excellent dummy to walk in next to the sticks which he converted before Allan knocked over a penalty on the stoke of half time for the home side to make it 10-17 at the break.
The second half, England notched it up a gear and a try from Six Nations debutant Sam Simmonds but England further ahead before Italy hit back yet again, this time Mattia Bellini finding space in the corner. George Ford, substitute Jack Nowell in addition to Farrell’s two conversations and a penalty saw the visitors increase they lead to 46 points.
But that is as close as the home side got as England took the advantage, George Ford capping of a fine display with his try 12 minutes from the end, while Simmonds and substitute Jack Nowell added further tries to take England’s tally to 15-46.
Next up is Wales at Twickenham who off the back of their 34-7 win over Scotland will be pushing for another upset!
Italy: Minozzi; Benvenuti, Boni, Castello, Bellini; Allan, Violi; Lovotti, Ghiraldini, Ferrari, Zanni, Budd, Negri, Giammarioli, Parisse.
Replacements: Hayward for Castello (73), Canna for Allan (73), Gori for Violi (63), Quaglio for Lovotti (41), Bigi for Ghiraldini (54), Pasquali for Ferrari (54), Biagi for Budd (61), Mbanada for Giammarioli (50).
England: Brown; Watson, Te'o, Farrell, May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, Hartley, Cole, Launchbury, Itoje, Lawes, Robshaw, Simmonds.
Replacements: Nowell for Brown (61), Joseph for Te'o (59), Care for Youngs (10), Hepburn for Vunipola (73), George for Hartley (54), Williams for Cole (54), Kruis for Lawes (59), Underhill for Robshaw (67).