|Italy : (5) 5|
|Give it a try: Interview|
|England: (10) 34|
|Give it a try: Yangs 2, George, Curry, Slade Hands Cone of Farrell: Farrell 3|
England took first place and won the Six Nations with a difficult bonus point against Italy.
Ben Yangs, celebrating his 100th birthday. Hut celebrated, scored his first attempt before Kyle Sinclair gave Jake Polladrey a chance to strike back.
England came out with renewed strength after the break and Yangs made the best of his second goal.
Visitors then found their rhythm as Jamie George, Tom Curry and Henry Slade crossed for 50 cups.
England will have to wait until the end of the match between France and Ireland to find out if they have won the first six-nation title since 2017.
Ireland is crowned champion if it wins in Paris with one bonus point or more than six points.
If Ireland wins by six points, the title will be determined by the efforts made.
England and Ireland have both made 14 attempts so far and if Ireland does not improve their overall score and the two teams finish with the same point difference, the title will be shared among them.
France may qualify for the title with a bonus point difference of 31 points or more.
England stutters in the strange first half of
As with many other sports in recent months, the air around Olimpico Stadium was strange when Ben Yangs went out to celebrate his 100th birthday in front of the strangely empty bleachers. A cap to celebrate before the players sing hymns along the sensory line.
Seven months have passed since Eddie Jones’ last match and just under a year since his defeat in the World Cup final, but the English fans were soon reassured by the familiar sight of their team trying to beat Italy in the first five minutes.
Owen Farrell drilled a hole in the Italian defense and found himself in the Yangs to let the centurion try to discover that the captain had successfully converted.
Ben Yangs doubles his score when he wins his 100th cap in England.
Further consolation came when the Italian breakthrough gave the British a penalty kick and Farrell decided to shine the light on three points in front of the posts.
But then everything changed. Carlo Cann got the wrong ball from Sinclair and found Gloucester’s Jake Polledri, number eight, sprinting around the corner.
The impulse remained in Italy, as Johnny Hill’s debut in England was ruined by a trip to the basket of sins for a high grip on Edoardo Padovani’s wing.
England repeatedly preferred to shoot the ball instead of starting it, but that only seemed to work in Italy’s favor as they threatened to score a goal from the corner line before Hill came back to take a penalty from the scrum for his team.
The visitors seemed to be able to enter the locker room with their heads held high, but the attempt to regain control ended when Pollery wrote their prayer on the page, resulting in a yellow card for the number eight.
English peak update after half-time
In the second half England was much sharper and was almost immediately rewarded with Yang’s attempt.
Half the battle sent a dummy pass from the base of the crab and bypassed Danilo Fischetti’s props, jumped over the gap and crossed the trunk line.
It was Maro Itoje who led the second half, and after Waspen’s full break Matteo Minozzi left the field with a bloody nose after a frontal collision with Johnny May, the castle demanded the ball from the back line to set up George’s attempt against the mole.
England made three of the four attempts needed to earn the bonus point crucial to the title heap, but their momentum declined immediately.
Henry Slade won the Premiership and Champions Cup against Exeter in early October.
Immediately after Ollie Torley’s winged debut at Gloucester, the Curry centre took on the role of midfielder in a fight with the Yangs when he fell down.
The striker took the ball from the base of the backpack to run over the sideline in the dugout and scored a goal, but Farrell missed a conversion and a two-point chance that could still determine England’s title ambitions.
The English captain, who played his first game since September because of the ban on high balls, paid his debt when Ben Earl continued his mean shot and twisted the ball to the ground and sent it to Slade for a goal.
However, he missed the second conversion and the opportunity to put more pressure on the scoreboards of Ireland and France, leaving England nervously waiting.
Man of the game: Ben Yang’s
Youngs got stuck on 99 capes after beating the Six Nations in March, and showed a game he had written, scoring two well-deserved attempts.
We knew we’d come to the end – what they said
An Englishman in a game of Yang: We always thought it would be a tiring process, in the first half we did a little too much, we camped on our own line for a long time. We couldn’t get out, and maybe we couldn’t get out with the yellow card [for Johnny Hill].
But at least we knew that if we persevered, we’d eventually get there, and that was the most important thing we did.
Former Englishman Matt Dawson.
I think England is going to win the championship. But we have to think about it, because France will really have to follow what it can open up to Ireland.
Italy : Minozzi; Padovani, Morisi, Cannes, Bellini, Garbisi, Violly, Fichetti, Bigi (captain), Zilocchi, Lazzaroni, Cannone, Negri, Stein, Polledri.
Replacements : Mori for Padovani (21), Ferrari for Fichetti (41), Palazzani for Minozzi (46), Lucchezi for Bigi (60), Checcarelli for Zilocchi (60), Cece for Cannone (60), Mbanda for Negri (72), Meyer for Lazzaroni (77).
Shin-bin: Researcher (37)
England: Furbank; Watson, Joseph, Slade, May; Farrell (Cap), Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Hill, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.
Replacements : Earl for Underhill (53), Torley for Watson (53), Genghay for Mr. Wunipol (58), Stewart for Sinclair (62), Lawrence for Joseph (67), Evels for Hill (67), Robson for the Yangs (72), Dunn for George (78).
Shin-bin: Hills (21)
The arbitrator: Pascal Dude
England put themselves in prime position to win the Six Nations with a laboured bonus-point win against Italy.
Ben Youngs – celebrating his 100th cap – scored the opening try, before Kyle Sinckler’s fumble gave Jake Polledri the chance to hit back.
England came out with renewed intensity after the break and Youngs capitalised with his second score.
The visitors then found their rhythm, with 50-cap Jamie George, Tom Curry and Henry Slade all crossing.
England will have to wait until France v Ireland is completed to learn whether they have won a first Six Nations title since 2017.
Ireland will be crowned champions if they win with a bonus point or by more than six points in Paris.
If Ireland win by six points, the title is decided on tries scored.
At the moment both England and Ireland have scored 14 tries and if Ireland do not increase their total and both teams end up on the same points difference, the title will be shared.
France can claim the title with a bonus-point victory and a winning margin of 31 points or more.
England stutter in strange first half
As with so much sport in recent months, there was a strange air around the Stadio Olimpico as Ben Youngs ran out to celebrate his 100th cap in front of eerily empty stands, before players sang the anthems spaced out along the touchline.
It had been seven months since Eddie Jones’ side last played a match and just under a year since their World Cup final defeat, but England fans were quickly reassured by the familiar sight of their team inflicting a try on Italy in the first five minutes.
Owen Farrell darted through a gap in the Italian defence and found Youngs on the inside to give the centurion a fitting opening try, which the captain successfully converted.
Ben Youngs scored twice as he earned his 100th cap for England
Further comfort came as an Italian infringement at the breakdown gave England a penalty and Farrell opted to take an easy three points in front of the posts.
But then things turned upside down. A loose ball from Sinckler was claimed by Carlo Canna and he found Gloucester’s Jake Polledri, the number eight sprinting clear to dot down in the corner.
The momentum stayed with Italy as lock Jonny Hill’s England debut was marred by a trip to the sin-bin for a high tackle on wing Edoardo Padovani.
England repeatedly opted to kick rather than run the ball but this only seemed to work in Italy’s favour as they threatened to score from a line-out in the corner before Hill returned to help win a scrum penalty for his side.
It looked as if the visitors might go into the dressing room with their heads held high but a try-scoring opportunity was ended as Polledri came into their maul at the side, leading to a yellow card for the number eight.
Renewed England surge ahead after the break
England came out looking much sharper in the second half and were almost immediately rewarded by Youngs’ try.
The scrum-half sent a dummy pass from the base of a ruck and stepped round prop Danilo Fischetti, sprinting through the gap and across the tryline.
It was Maro Itoje who led the second-half charge and, after Wasps full-back Matteo Minozzi left the field with a bleeding nose after clashing heads with Jonny May, the lock claimed the ball in a line-out to set up George’s try in a maul.
England had three of the four tries needed for the bonus point that is crucial to their title hopes but their momentum stalled momentarily.
Henry Slade won the Premiership and Champions Cup with Exeter earlier in October
Just after Gloucester wing Ollie Thorley came on for his debut, flanker Curry took on the role of scrum-half with Youngs on the floor at the breakdown.
The forward picked up the ball from the base of the ruck to run down the touchline on the blind-side and score, but Farrell missed the conversion and the chance at two points which could yet prove crucial in England’s title bid.
The England captain – playing in his first match since September because of a ban for a high tackle – redeemed himself as his grubber kick was chased by Ben Earl, who twisted on the floor and popped the ball up for Slade to score.
However, he did miss a second conversion and the chance to put more scoreboard pressure on Ireland and France, leaving England with a nervous wait ahead.
Man of the match: Ben Youngs
Youngs had been stuck on 99 caps since the Six Nations’ suspension in March, and he delivered a composed performance, scoring two well-deserved tries.
‘We knew we’d get there in the end’ – what they said
England’s man of the match Youngs: “We always thought it was going to be a grinding down process.”We got a bit out-enthused in the first half, we camped on our own line for a long time. We couldn’t quite get out and maybe with that yellow card [for Jonny Hill], we couldn’t shake that off.
“But whatever it may be, we knew that if we stuck to it we’d get there in the end and that was the most important thing that we did.”
Former England scrum-half Matt Dawson
I think England are set to win the Championship. France will probably just about have enough to beat Ireland.You do have to think about the mindset though, because France are really going to have to chase it, which might open it up for Ireland.
Italy: Minozzi; Padovani, Morisi, Canna, Bellini; Garbisi, Violi; Fischetti, Bigi (capt), Zilocchi, Lazzaroni, Cannone, Negri, Steyn, Polledri.
Replacements: Mori for Padovani (21), Ferrari for Fischetti (41), Palazzani for Minozzi (46), Lucchesi for Bigi (60), Ceccarelli for Zilocchi (60), Sisi for Cannone (60), Mbanda for Negri (72), Meyer for Lazzaroni (77).
Sin-bin: Polledri (37)
England: Furbank; Watson, Joseph, Slade, May; Farrell (capt), Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Hill, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.
Replacements: Earl for Underhill (53), Thorley for Watson (53), Genge for M Vunipola (58), Stuart for Sinckler (62), Lawrence for Joseph (67), Ewels for Hill (67), Robson for Youngs (72), Dunn for George (78).
Sin-bin: Hill (21)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere