England Player Ratings v Italy

England Player Ratings v Italy

England moved top of the Six Nations table following a bonus-point 34-5 win over Italy to give them hope of winning the title.

While Eddie Jones' men claimed a 29 point win, his side's performance was far from emphatic. It took England 67 minutes to secure the bonus point, in a match they were expected to produce a cricket score.

The Italians were resilient throughout and hit back soon after Ben Youngs' first try in the 5th minute with Jake Polledri surging to an impressive score following an error from Kyle Sinckler. The Azzurri stayed within touching distance until half time with England coming out far better in the second with tries in the 41st, 51st, 67th and 72nd minutes.

Ireland now know that a six-point victory with at least one try over France will see them win the title. With Jones' men failing to put up a massive scoreline but remaining in the race for the title, here are our player ratings. 

15. George Furbank - 4

Had few involvements throughout the game and was founded out on defence too. One nice touch finder around the half hour mark was the highlight of his game. 


14. Anthony Watson - 4
Saw very little ball and slipped a number of tackles. Taken off after 53 minutes.
13. Jonathan Joseph - 5
Also saw very little ball in the first half and was yanked off after 67 minutes. Did his job on defence before making way for Ollie Lawrence to make his debut. 
12. Henry Slade - 7
England's second-best back against Italy. Slade didn't make too much of the first half but he did well with his support lines which eventually led to a try in the second.
He defended well and grew into the game as it went on. 
11. Jonny May - 6.5
A few kicks just didn't sit up for May but he continued to chase well, compete in the air well and covered the backfield superbly. 
He made over 50 running metres - more than Watson and Furbank combined. 
10. Owen Farrell - 6
Probably not as commanding as he would have liked. Farrell set up Ben Youngs nicely for his first try and kicked well out of hand but England did not dominate quite as much as they would have liked. 
Two missed shots at goal may also comeback to haunt him.
9. Ben Youngs - 8
Enjoyed the perfect start to his 100th game as he ran a good line inside Owen Farrell to score under the sticks. He followed that up with another fine try early in the second half. 
His passing was slick but overdid the box kicking and slipped a tackle on Polledri. 
1. Mako Vunipola - 6
Put Farrell into the gap with a good pass to set up the first try. He scrummaged well enough and made all of his attempted tackles.
2. Jamie George - 7
Solid set piece work from the 50 cap international. He hit his jumper with all of his throws and came up with a try from a rolling maul. 
3. Kyle Sinckler - 4
A forgettable game from Sinckler in Rome. He didn't assert himself too much at scrum time with England winning just the early penalty at the set-piece. He made two tackles but missed two as well while his error led to Jake Polledri's try. 
4. Maro Itoje - 7
Put in some hefty hits on defence while producing some robust carries and was his usual pesky self in the rucks. 
5. Jonny Hill - 6.5
The quickest England debutant to receive a yellow card, Hill returned to the pitch to put in a fine shift on his debut. The Exeter lock grabbed his first lineout with authority, he continued to perform at the lineout while getting through a mountain of work at the breakdown. 
6. Tom Curry - 7
Got through a ton of work on the deck while he also was a nightmare for Paolo Garbisi. He charged down one of the flyhalf's kicks and almost scored before dotting down for the fourth try.
7. Sam Underhill - 5
Spent a large portion of his night getting patched up. Landed some heavy blows on Italian ball carriers before he was replaced by Ben Earl permanently in the 54th minute.
8. Billy Vunipola - 7
Carried plenty for England and when he did he made metres. Over 70 metres from his 12 carries while he also racked up 7 tackles and a turnover. 
A really solid return to test rugby.

16. Tom Dunn - n/a
Made his debut in the final minute
17. Ellis Genge  - 5
Threw his weight around for 23 minutes and was solid in the scrum.
18. Will Stuart - 6
Made some good metres on attack and cemented the scrum late on.
19. Charlie Ewels - 5
Picked up from where Hill left off.
20. Ben Earl - 7
Solid 33 minutes, made all six of his attempted tackles, won a turnover and assisted a try.
21. Dan Robson - n/a
Just 10 minutes off the bench.
22. Ollie Lawrence - n/a
Two strong carries and made his single attempted tackle. 
Got just 14 minutes off the bench.
23. Ollie Thorley - 6 
Made some good metres with his three touches of the ball. 

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