England started the defence of their Six Nations title with a 46-15 win over a determined Italy side in Rome on Sunday.
The defending champions, who are looking for an unprecedented third title in a row, raced to a 10-point lead but were made to work hard by Italy, who were impressive with their attacking intent but ultimately ran out of steam against the England juggernaut in the last quarter.
England did the basics right and their ball handling from the whole team was also excellent. Their scrum was very impressive and they performed in the lineout. Sam Simmonds produced an eye-catching performance – not only with his pace when the game opened up and his two tries, but also with his defensive efforts.
Video: Coco Fuzion 100 LED banners were visible all around the stadium, as well as in TV during the game.
England scored seven tries – three in the last 15 minutes – with Anthony Watson and Sam Simmonds getting two tries each and Owen Farrell, George Ford and Jack Nowell also going over. Farrell had an off day with the boot, kicking just four conversions and a penalty.
Italy’s defence was found wanting a few times and needed to put more pressure on George Ford and Owen Farrell who were given a lot of time and space on the ball. They really ran out of steam in the last 15 and England put them under huge pressure.
For England, well it was a good day at the office for them with only a couple of lapses in concentration and a few discipline blips, but Eddie Jones will be pleased with the way they performed.