Febrero 19, 2018

Rugby: Watson and Simmonds star as England down Italy

07 Febrero 2018, 04:42 | Gervasio Siguenza

Wolf Run Mike Tindall is keen for Eddie Jones to let his players play in position

Mike Tindall

One concern will be a potential tournament-ending injury to scrum-half Ben Youngs, who was forced from the field after 20 minutes as his knee swivelled against him when passing from the base of a ruck.

The pacy back-row scored a second-half double and also provided an assist in a superb all-round display in Rome, where Anthony Watson (two), Owen Farrell, George Ford and Jack Nowell also went over.

Owen Farrell missed the first two conversions but he racked up England's third try - only his sixth try in 54 international matches - and added the extras on that occasion as well as on his next three attempts.

The scrum-half's loss did nothing to knock England out of their stride at the Stadio Olimpico as they picked off their opponents at will.

Eddie Jones feels England have unearthed a "great discovery" in the shape of Sam Simmonds after his outstanding Six Nations debut in a 46-15 drubbing of Italy.

Number eight Sam Simmonds and wing Anthony Watson crossed twice each in a seven-try rout of Italy, and Jones was delighted by their contributions. Failed to hold first high ball, was turned over when held up in possession and conceded a couple of penalties. This is intended as a favourable comparison: England look to be becoming as efficiently cynical near their own line as the All Blacks have been for some time.

Italy made a game of it before tiring late on, England taking advantage by scoring three tries in the last 13 minutes. Boni threatened to break free after Farrell telegraphed an interception, but the centre was shackled and it was back to the business of tries. "But we are making it. I think at least what people saw out there was a team being competitive, playing proper rugby with a lot more to come".

Watson's electric pace down the right proved too much for the Italians again on 12 minutes as England were quick to brush off the disappointment of the Youngs blow.

Italy refused to let England get away, however, and Bellini touched down in the left corner in the 58th minute following another wonderful pass from Allan.

Simmons' presence does mean that England lose some of the ball carrying power that Vunipola and Hughes bring, but Borthwick believes that England can adapt the way they play their forwards game to utilise other carriers such as Mako Vunipola, Courtney Lawes and the hulking Joe Launchbury, who will no doubt get through another workload that defies belief.

"We want consistency [from referees] and our maul defence was penalised when theirs wasn't". This is an opportunity on Sunday to ratchet the gears up. "Life's full of contradictions isn't it".

"We played some excellent rugby and contributed to an entertaining game, but I'm proud and annoyed", he said.

England have now won all 24 of its matches against Italy.

There was still time for the sort of fast finish which has become England's trademark.

Size matters, but then there is Sam Simmonds.

However, Italy captain Sergio Parisse says they will 'fight in every single match' and are building to 'something special' - and it will certainly take something special to beat England, with some bookies giving the home side lowly 12/1 odds.

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