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Twickenham - 10 February, 2007
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By Julian Shea

Jason Robinson
Robinson scored England's try just before half-time

England (14) 20
Try: Robinson
Pens: Wilkinson (5)

Italy (0) 7
Try: Scanavacca
Cons: Scanavacca

England made heavy weather of beating Italy to earn an unconvincing second Six Nations win of the season.

Until Jason Robinson's try just before half-time, all England had to show for their early pressure was three Jonny Wilkinson penalties.

Italy were much the better side after the break, with Andrea Scanavacca claiming a deserved try.

England claimed the game's final score through Wilkinson but Italy ended a lacklustre match on the front foot.

Two early Wilkinson penalties, the first of which broke the individual scoring record for the Five or Six Nations, were the only highlights of a curiously low-key opening quarter.

Neither goal-line was seriously threatened as Nick Easter and Harry Ellis did their best to encourage positivity from England, but Italy seemed happy to sit back and soak it up.

Wilkinson made it three after Kane Robertson failed to release the ball when tackled, before the game's faltering momentum was further disrupted when Italy's Denis Dallan was stretchered off with a serious-looking ankle injury.

606: DEBATE
PB

As half-time beckoned without an England try, Mike Tindall was hauled down just short of the line following a good backline move involving Ellis and Wilkinson, and the sustained pressure finally saw Italy's defence crack.

With the visitors on the ropes, Marco Bortolami was sin-binned for a professional foul and almost instantly England worked the ball over to the left-hand side for Robinson to dive over in trademark style and score.

After the restart Italy were much the stronger team as they stood up to England's forward threat, and the uninspired home side had to rely on Wilkinson's boot to keep the scoreboard busy.

Around the hour mark, Scanavacca's knock-on cost Italy their best scoring chance but minutes later he made amends, touching down under the posts after good approach work by Josh Sole.

A fifth Wilkinson penalty settled any late nerves, but England's overall performance had done precious little to raise the heart rate.


England: Balshaw; Lewsey, Tindall, Farrell, Robinson; Wilkinson, Ellis; Freshwater, Chuter, Vickery (capt), Deacon, Grewcock, Easter, Lund, Corry.
Replacements: Mears, White, Palmer, Rees, Perry, Flood, Tait.

Italy: De Marigny; Robertson, Canale, Mirco Bergamasco, Dallan; Scanavacca, Troncon; Lo Cicero, Festuccia, Castrogiovanni, Dellape, Bortolami (capt), Sole, Zaffiri, Parisse.
Replacements: Ongaro, Perugini, Bernabo, Mandelli, Griffen, Pez, Pratichetti.



SEE ALSO
England have work to do - Ashton
10 Feb 07 |  English
Injured Moody out of Six Nations
08 Feb 07 |  English
Veteran Troncon recalled by Italy
08 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Morgan replaces injured Balshaw
02 Feb 07 |  English
Easter stunned by England call-up
06 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Easter and Balshaw in for England
05 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
England 42-20 Scotland
03 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Italy 3-39 France
03 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations team guides
02 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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