Febrero 21, 2018

No more Mr Nice Guys for England thanks to Jones

07 Febrero 2018, 11:04 | Gervasio Siguenza

England head coach Eddie Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones

At the same time he must now brace himself for the possibility of spending the rest of the Championship without Ben Youngs, whose nasty-looking knee injury clouded an otherwise beautiful sunny afternoon in the Eternal City.

Wales coach Warren Gatland, another New Zealander, has managed to keep out of such banter.

That's all there is to it, other than to get pumped for England's defence of its Six Nations title in the opening weekend of this year's big rugby tournament. He's a completely humble boy who just gets on with it. Their defensive organisation in the first half, in particular, left plenty to be desired and England did not have to split the atom to create several of their tries. A much tougher task against Wales awaits next week and it will be certainly interesting to see if England can still excel against tougher opposition.

The Exeter Chiefs back-row has enjoyed a phenomenal rise to fame over the last nine months.

England had the power, pace and set-piece to see off Italy in their opening Six Nations clash, in Rome. The great thing about our team is that no one is a certainty.

It all began so positively when Watson cantered in off the slick hands from the back-line, that axis of Ford and Farrell supplying the Bath speedster. We have to have resilience.

'At the end of the game we played some lovely rugby'. However, Eddie Jones was left comparing his No 8, Simmonds, to the man who has been terrorising the Top 14 for two seasons, Victor Vito.

The English quality eventually told, with a flurry of late tries painting a picture the Italians would be proud of.

Tommaso Benvenuti and Mattia Bellini went over for Italy, both following wonderful passes from Tommaso Allan, who converted one and scored a penalty kick.

It was known as 'The Fox', with Italy's defence refusing to compete for the ball after a tackle and, in essence, removing the offside line that allowed scrum-half Eduordo Gori to stand between the half-backs and prevent any clean, quick ball.

Six Nations debutant Sam Simmonds also scored two tries, in the second half, while George Ford and Jack Nowell got ont he scoreboard for England late on as Italy collapsed.

On, then, to the action: a more reliable guide to form than coaches, whether they're speaking in Australian riddles or Kiwi monosyllables.

Italy were given time to catch their breath during a lengthy delay as Youngs was treated before being carted off with a knee injury, but they were caught cold when the rapid Watson darted away for a second score. When Italy committed England players to the tight-exchanges, space opened up out-wide which Conor O'Shea's side exploited.

Italy had lost its past 12 Six Nations matches and all 23 of its previous contests against England.

And if you're away from home and don't have a decent wifi connection - you might want to avoid watching an entire match on your smartphone.

'Defensively we made a couple of errors and they were able to capitalise on them but they're something we can work on and fix.

Speaking after the game, Owen Farrell said he was pleased with how his side started their campaign.

This performance - for 60 minutes at least - will have gone a short way to hold off the Georgian movement snapping at the Italian heels to replace them in the annual competition.

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