Looking to swiftly recover from a first home Calcutta Cup defeat by Scotland since 1983 in round one, Eddie Jones’ men ran in six tries during an impressive 41-18 triumph in south-west London.
Anthony Watson bagged a brace and Jonny May scored a superb aerial effort, while Elliot Daly, Jonny Hill and Jack Willis also registered tries, but the latter was then stretchered off with a nasty knee injury on his Six Nations debut.
Italy gave a spirited display after their opening weekend thrashing by France, but their six-year wait for a victory in this competition continues despite efforts from Monty Ioane and Tommaso Allan.
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Jones on England’s performance
“We were a bit slow in the game. I wasn’t too perturbed [by Italy’s early try]. I thought it had a positive effect on us.”
He added: “We’ve got to get better set-piece dominance. We haven’t been able to exert enough consistent pressure through the scrum or our lineout. They’d be the two areas.”
Jones on Willis injury
On Sebastian Negri’s tackle on Willis, Jones added: “I always leave those things to the referee. The referee has to make a decision on whether that’s right or not.”
Eddie Jones on Willis injury
“We’re all concerned. He’s on crutches, he’ll be examined tomorrow but obviously it didn’t look good. We’ll just wait and see. He’s got some sort of knee injury and he’s been back in the dressing room with us.”
Owen Farrell to ITV Sport
“I thought we attacked the game.
“Obviously, they had an advantage to move the ball and ended up scoring a try which was probably a bit of over-eagerness but then, from that, I thought our intent was brilliant.
“We moved the ball, we got in behind them. Probably not everything went our way but we stuck at it and that’s the way that the game ended up going our way.”
Owen Farrell to ITV Sport
“We’re probably back to being us.
“It’s not the perfect performance or the best performance we’ve ever had but in terms of the feeling, the energy, the intent – that felt back to us.
“Some honest conversations that we had with ourselves during the week and the excitement to get out onto the training pitch to put things right.
“And the way that we built up showed in the way that we played.”
Kyle Sinckler to ITV Sport
“I think it was a step in the right direction. Our intent was a lot better today, especially up front.
“We probably didn’t get the rewards we wanted but in terms of intent – and showing how much it means for us playing for our country – I think it was a step in the right direction and we’re looking forward to the next game.
“We were obviously very frustrated with the performance last week and we knew we had to step up and play the England way and the way we want to dominate up front – which we did at times today.
“But we know there’s still more to give. The game’s done, we move onto the next one.”
On the tough challenge their opponents posed, he added: “Credit to Italy. They were tough. They never gave up. We knew they were going to do that.
“Up front they were strong, their forwards carried hard and their backs had good energy, but credit to out boys. We stuck in there and got the win.”
England got their Six Nations ambitions back on track with a deserved 41-18 victory over Italy at Twickenham.
A week on from being completely outplayed by Scotland, the hosts always had the edge bar shipping the opening try within minutes of the start.
Despite the scoreline – England’s biggest since the World Cup, the performance was still not perfect and one wonders how they might fare against stronger opposition for the remainder of the Six Nations.
But six tries was just reward for a far more expansive game plan and a back three who came to life after being virtually silenced by the Scots to all find themselves over the try line.
The one sour note was a nasty injury to Jack Willis just moments after coming off the bench for his first Six Nations appearance and scoring with almost his first touch before being stretchered off in virtually the next passage of play.
80 mins: England can’t finish with a flourish and Italy run out of time to push for their own impressive ending to an entertaining contest.
78 mins: Ford spins for the line, but he is held up brilliantly by a determined Federico Ruzza.
England will have a scrum five metres from the line…