England v Italy: Initial Reaction

England thrashed Italy at Twickenham today by 59 points to 13, in an impressive, comprehensive performance.

Chris Ashton was the try-scoring hero once again, crossing no fewer than four times, but Mark Cueto got the biggest cheer of the day as he scored his first try in 19 Tests. He’ll no longer be the butt of jokes at Pennyhill Park.

We’ll be bringing you our opinions, player ratings and reaction in due course, but in the meantime, let us know what you think.

Who stood out for you? Does this look like a Championship-winning team? Have a listen to the post-match interviews below and give us your thoughts.

Four-try hero Chris Ashton:

Fly-half Toby Flood:

Danny Care:

8 thoughts on “England v Italy: Initial Reaction

  1. Showed some great attacking flare. Funnily enough saw almost nothing of Foden and lots of Haskell, who had a good game. Lots of silly errors and turnovers that are slightly worrying going forward. I guess it’s just hard to tell how much was England being great and how much was Italy being poor. Will have to wait and see how France do tomorrow.

  2. Pretty pleased with the performance overall. It’s so good to see a clear strategy from England, and it’s obvious that every single player knows what it is.

    I thought Haskell was excellent today, Corbisiero had a brilliant debut against the Italian front row, Flood superb again (where are all these line breaks coming from?!) and Ashton is just a pleasure to watch.

  3. Just brilliant. I loved every minute of that match. Ashton with his ridiculous swan dives – he even made Johnno laugh!

  4. Only saw the last five minutes, as I was out coaching some disinterested kids!
    I’m sure Johnno will continue to laugh at Ashton’s swallow dives until he drops one for a winning try, when he’ll be hauled over the coals and then dropped!
    Great to see a team enjoying themselves while playing well.

  5. Another good performance and not loads to be critical of. I agree with Ben that there were some silly errors, but I think these were generally from the fact that we saw the space was there and tried things we wouldn’t normally try – especially against France.

    At the end the rolling maul looked a bit poor and then we went and conceded a try from one – the tactic we once made our own! The flipside of that though, was that it’s encouraging to see England looking really annoyed at themselves for conceding a try, even after scoring 8 of their own. That’s the sort of attitude that’s been missing.

    The only slight I have now is that we had not much of a test yesterday, followed by a two week break before probably the hardest game of the tournament. The continuity of selection we’ve finally got now though, will help.

    Enjoy your boring weekend next week guys!

  6. The midfield did a bit better this week.

    While they’re never going to set the world alight, maybe they don’t need to. Maybe we save that for Foden, Ashton, Youngs and co.

    I’ve been thinking and no team in world sport has a starting line up of complete stars. It wouldn’t work. Every team needs those players that don’t razzle and dazzle, but do the basics well and allow those around them to shine.

    Would Ashton see the ball as much as he does and be able to score 4 tries if we had Ma’a Nonu in our midfield?

    However then i think back to Tindall’s pass against Wales and think…. can he even do the basics well? But he seems to be a good leader and his defense is sound.

    If someone else puts their hand up – brilliant. But i can now see how stability and solidity etc in the midfield has its benefits.

    Thoughts welcomed.

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