Strong second half in Italy moves England to top of Six Nations table

Eddie Jones men scored five tries in Rome, with Jonathan Joseph notching a hat-trick.

Italy 9

England 40

EDDIE JONES’ ENGLAND made it two wins from two games in the Six Nations as a strong second-half performance helped them to a convincing 40-9 win against Italy.

Jonathan Joseph celebrates his try with teammates Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

The English were narrowly ahead at the break after a determined Italian effort in the opening 40 minutes, but a hat-trick from outside centre Jonathan Joseph helped them to pull clear thereafter.

George Ford scored a first-half try to help England into an 11-9 lead, while inside centre Owen Farrell also dotted down for the fifth and final try.

The likes of Danny Care – who delightfully set up one of Joseph’s scores with a sublime grubber kick – debutant Maro Itoje, Jack Clifford and Joe Launchbury added impetus off the England bench.

While the first half had seen England stutter at times against the firm Italian resistance, they showed encouraging signs of quality after the interval in what was just Jones’ second game in charge.

England move to the top of the Six Nations table after two rounds, their superior points difference taking them above France, who also have two wins so far.

Italy scorers:

Penalties: Carlo Canna [3 from 3]

England scorers:

Tries: George Ford, Jonathan Joseph [3], Owen Farrell

Conversions: Owen Farrell [3 from 5]

Penalties: Owen Farrell [1 from 1], George Ford [2 from 2]

ITALY: Luke McLean; Leonardo Sarto, Michele Campagnaro, Gonzalo Garcia, Mattia Bellini; Carlo Canna, Edoardo Gori; Andrew Lovotti, Ornel Gega, Lorenzo Cittadini; George Biagi, Marco Fuser; Francesco Minto, Alessandro Zanni, Sergio Parisse.

Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Matteo Zanusso, Martin Castrogiovanni, Valerio Bernabo, Braam Steyn, Guglielmo Palazzani, Edoardo Padovani, Andrea Pratichetti.

ENGLAND: Mike Brown; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley (capt.), Dan Cole; Courtney Lawes, George Kruis; Chris Robshaw, James Haskell, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Paul Hill, Joe Launchbury, Maro Itoje, Jack Clifford, Danny Care, Alex Goode.

Referee: Glen Jackson.

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