England beats Italy 18-11 and is on course for the Grand Slam!

11/03/2013 no comments »
England beats Italy 18-11 and is on course for the Grand Slam!

England overcomes an impressive Italian attack to remain on course to win their first Grand Slam since 2003. England ran out 18-11 winners despite their worst performance in this year’s 6 nations.

It was Toby Flood’s 100% penalty kick record that took England over the line, but it was Italy who played the more impressive attacking rugby and produced the only try of the game from Luke McLean in the early minutes of the second half. The England side looked disorganized in attack wasting numerous opportunities going forward. The deadlock was broken when England got a nudge within the opening 2 minutes and Flood fired over from a long range effort and the English almost scored the first try of the match when Mike Brown charged down Andrea Masi’s attempted clearance but fell short of the touch down as the ball bounced dead. On the 15 minute mark, Flood converted another penalty effort caused for sealing off making it 6-0 and Italy replied through Luciano Orguera cutting the deficit to 6-3. England’s most promising play after Flood broke through an opening and Chris Ashton was stopped just short of the posts. The 48th minute saw Italy change the game when Alessandro Zani collected a poor box kick and Orguera darted a cross-kick that was collected by Luke McLean and falling over the line. England came under severe pressure in the final 10 minutes of the match when Italy constantly attacked the England line, but the determination and discipline was present as they held on and took the victory.

It all paves the way for Cardiff on the 16th March, when the final game involves Wales doing everything in their power to prevent England taking home the Gram Slam title.

Line-up:

England: 15 A Goode, 15 C Ashton, 13 M Tuilagi, 12 B Barritt, 11 M Brown, 10 T Flood, 9 D Care, 8 T Wood, 7 C Robshaw, 6 J Haskell, 5 G Parling, 4 J Launchbury, 3 D Cole, 2 T Youngs, 1 M Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 D Hartley, 17 D Wilson, 18 J Marler, 19 C Lawes, 20 T Croft, 21 B Youngs, 22 F Burns, 23 B Twelvetrees.

Italy: 15 A Masi, 14 G Venditti, 13 G Canale, 12 G Garcia, 11 L McLean, 10 L Orquera, 9 E Gori, 8 S Parisse, 7 R Barbieri, 6 A Zanni, 5 J Furno, 4 Q Geldenhuys, 3 M Castrogiovanni, 2 L Ghiraldini, 1 A De Marchi.

Replacements: 16 D Giazzon, 17 A Lo Cicero, 18 L Cittadini, 19 A Pavanello, 20 F Minto, 21 S Favaro, 22 T Botes, 23 T Benvenuti.

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