Italy: (5) 5
Strive: Polledri
England: (10) 34
Tries: Youngs 2, George, Curry, Slade Pens: Farrell Cons: Farrell 3

England’s bonus-point victory towards Italy proved to be sufficient to win the Six Nations title after France beat Eire in Saturday’s last fixture.

Ben Youngs – celebrating his a hundredth cap – scored the opening attempt, earlier than Jake Polledri hit again for Italy.

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 had a nervous wait till after France’s recreation towards Eire earlier than their first Six Nations title since 2017 was confirmed.

Each side might have gained the title however ultimately Les Bleus’ profitable margin was not sufficient for them to be topped champions.

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 rejoice his a hundredth 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 last defeat, however England followers have been rapidly reassured by the acquainted sight of their staff inflicting a attempt on Italy within the first 5 minutes.

Owen Farrell darted via a niche within the Italian defence and located Youngs on the within to provide the centurion a becoming opening attempt, which the captain efficiently transformed.

Ben Youngs scores a try
Ben Youngs scored twice as he earned his a hundredth cap for England

Additional consolation got here as an Italian infringement on the breakdown gave England a penalty and Farrell opted to take a simple three factors in entrance of the posts.

However then issues turned the wrong way up. A free ball from Sinckler was claimed by Carlo Canna and he discovered Gloucester’s Jake Polledri, the quantity eight sprinting 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 quite 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 regarded as if the guests may 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.

Renewed England surge forward after the break

England got here out wanting a lot sharper within the second half and have been nearly instantly rewarded by Youngs’ attempt.

The scrum-half despatched a dummy cross from the bottom of a ruck and stepped spherical prop Danilo Fischetti, sprinting via the hole and throughout the tryline.

It was Maro Itoje who led the second-half cost and, after Wasps full-back Matteo Minozzi left the sector with a bleeding nostril after clashing heads with Jonny Could, the lock claimed the ball in a line-out to arrange George’s attempt in a maul.

England had three of the 4 tries wanted for the bonus level that was essential to their title hopes however their momentum stalled momentarily.

England's Henry Slade scores a try
Henry Slade gained the Premiership and Champions Cup with Exeter earlier in October

Simply after Gloucester wing Ollie Thorley got here on for his debut, flanker Curry took on the position of scrum-half with Youngs on the ground on the breakdown.

The ahead picked up the ball from the bottom of the ruck to run down the touchline on the blind-side and rating, however Farrell missed the conversion.

The England captain – enjoying in his first match since September due to a ban for a excessive deal with – redeemed himself as his grubber-kick was chased by Ben Earl, who twisted on the ground and popped the ball up for Slade to attain.

Nonetheless, he did miss a second conversion and the prospect to place extra scoreboard strain on Eire and France, though this didn’t matter ultimately.

Man of the match: Ben Youngs

Ben Youngs runs with the ball
Youngs had been caught on 99 caps for the reason that Six Nations’ suspension in March, and he delivered a composed efficiency, scoring two well-deserved tries.

‘We knew we might get there ultimately’ – what they mentioned

England’s man of the match Youngs: “We at all times thought it was going to be a grinding down course of.

“We received a bit out-enthused within the first half, we camped on our personal line for a very long time. We could not fairly get out and possibly with that yellow card [for Jonny Hill], we could not shake that off.

“However no matter it might be, we knew that if we caught to it we might get there ultimately and that was a very powerful factor that we did.”


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, Could; 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

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