Six Nations Tournament: England escapes Italian trap and begins tournament with victory

A good second period was therefore enough for the English

Six Nations Tournament: England escapes Italian trap and begins tournament with victory

A good second period was therefore enough for the English. Manhandled by an Italian team which has never beaten them in an international match, the players of the XV de la Rose won, Saturday February 3, on the lawn of the Olympic stadium in Rome for their first match in the Six Nations Tournament 2024 (27-24). A small victory, acquired without an offensive bonus, for the English who must confirm their bronze medal acquired during the Rugby World Cup in October.

The XV de la Rose, still led by its coach Steve Borthwick but regenerated with the arrival of several novices at international level, got off to a bad start, conceding a try from Alessandro Garbisi and ten points in the first ten minutes (11th) . At half-time, despite the try of English winger Elliot Daly (20th), that of Tommaso Allan (26th) allowed the Italians to lead by nine points and dream of a third victory in the Tournament since 2014.

Far from having a great day, the English were still able to take the advantage thanks to Alex Mitchell's try (45th) before widening the gap thanks to George Ford's penalties. Without Owen Farrell, the captain of the XV de la Rose during the World Cup, who put his international career on hold, Ford assumed this scoring role with an almost perfect kicking game (85% success against the poles).

A precision ultimately decisive in view of the result because the Italians went to snatch, in the 84th minute, a third try – one more than the English – by winger Monty Ioane. Extra points which allow the Azzurri to snatch the defensive bonus and already have a unit in the ranking in this Tournament. After one match, they have already done as well as in the entire 2023 edition and better than in 2021, 2020 and 2019, when they did not take a single point in five matches.