Spirited Italy Eventually Outclassed By England In Six Nations Opener

Perfect start.

Holders England have gotten their 2018 Six Nations campaign off to the perfect start this afternoon, with a 46-15 try-bonus win over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico.

Two tries each from Sam Simmonds and Anthony Watson, along with a try each from Owen Farrell, George Ford and Jack Nowell, ensured a comfortable win in the end. But the scoreline perhaps didn’t reflect what we saw on the pitch.

Three of England’s tries came in the last 12 minutes as Italian bodies started to tire. Conor O’Shea’s men played some excellent rugby in the first 60, and scored two excellent tries.

For Jones and his England team, their hopes of an unprecedented third title in-a-row are very much alive. But next week’s opponents Wales will have noticed some holes to exploit ahead of their clash at Twickenham.

England were caught out wide for both of Italy’s tries, with Jonny May’s positioning left particularly wanting for Tommsso Benvenutti’s try early in the first-half.

Head coach Eddie Jones will also be worried about the fitness of Ben Young, who looks to have picked up a serious injury early in the first-half. The Leicester nine was stretchered off, with his screams heard around the stadium.