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Sunday, February 14, 2010

England see off a determined challenge from Italy

England see off a determined challenge from Italy

England held off a spirited effort from Italy to narrowly win their Six Nations encounter 17-12 at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome earlier today.

It looked as though a huge upset would be on the cards as Italy threw everything they had at England in the last 20 minutes of the match, getting to within two points of victory.

Despite coming away with the win in the end, it was the Italians who will take more from the match, as they lifted their performance from last weeks game against the Irish in Dublin.

England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson had an uncharacteristically bad day at the office, missing a few straight forward kicks at goal and failing to control a backline that lacked direction.

He did however kick the dropgoal that extended England's lead, following on from the earlier try, the only one of the match, scored by Matthew Tait.

Despite the less than impressive performance, captain Steve Borthwick brushed the inevitable criticisms aside as he said a lot of positives could be taken from the match.

"We said from the outset that we wanted to win every match, and we have won the first two," said Borthwick.

"Preferably one likes to win by large margins but Italy are a tough side and we said during the week that it would be a tough match.

"I think we played some outstanding rugby. The breaks by Ugo Monye and Delon Armitage down the flanks were fantastic. We can take a lot of positives out of this."

BBC pundit, and former England international, Jeremy Guscott promptly commented on Borthwick's match analysis saying "He's brainwashed. His mind played a different match to his body."


Time: 06:41

Posted at 7:21 pm | 31 comments

Viewing 31 comments

Anonymous February 14, 2010 8:13 pm

3rd!!!! finally!!

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Anonymous February 14, 2010 8:19 pm

Did anybody see Steve Borthwick's card waving near the end of the game trying to get Castro sent off? Disgraceful carry on, even Brian Moore wasn't impressesed

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Farz February 14, 2010 8:26 pm

My Italian heart breaks. Nearly had them there brothers.

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b foden February 14, 2010 8:27 pm

nearlly lost the will to live watching that england were pants for 78 mins and brilliant for 2
just glad i sky + the london irish bath game

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samitarugby February 14, 2010 8:32 pm

Extremely proud to be an italian today, I think it showed why we should still be in this competition. I hope we can see more of this from italy, especially against scotland where we can hopefully pull off a win.

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Anonymous February 14, 2010 8:47 pm

^ I agree with samita, Italy-Scotland will be a nice match, both teams are way above their old standars
and nice comment from Guscott

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Anonymous February 14, 2010 9:55 pm

That was easily the worst 6Nation match i've ever seen...So poor level from both teams that was ridiculous!

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Anonymous February 14, 2010 10:34 pm

I want those 80 minutes back.

Italy's backs aren't great by any stretch but they weren't really looking outclassed. I really don't get how England play so consistantly badly when a number of the players on the pitch perform well for their clubs. Lets be honest last week was an opportunistic try and a bit of pressure against 14 men.

Where the hell is the decent scrum?

Fair play to the Italians though, they had a game plan they stuck to, played a greater amount of interesting rubgy, played a better kicking game (especially considering the media think they don't have a genuine kicker) and put in some decent hits.

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Anonymous February 15, 2010 1:31 am

im not an italian, nor italy supporter, nor might i add an england hater, i did however see the match and really the title 'england see off a determind challenge from italy' is not a title i favour......

i prefer 'england players determined to keep heads up own asses and lucky that italy could not finish them and the game off!!!!'

also to the guy talking about italy scotland match, im unsure about that now....paterson, thom evans, and rory lamont are now out...

hope for thom evans future though he had surgery, which was successful and he can move arm and legs, but its still a slow long road apparently, but its good news he's ok :)

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vinniechan February 15, 2010 7:07 am

Well, on the bright side, compared to two years ago, England were at least getting reasonably usefull balls from the break downs, cut out the ill discipline and the missed first tackles, passing the ball in front of the receiver so he can run onto it.

BUT: England kicked away far too many balls. I didn't realise one team can actually have too many covers for kicking (Wilko, Flutey, Tait, Cueto and Armitage). Out of the back 3, Cueto who played with the most sense ran the most with the ball.

Besides, this England team have no sense of urgency under Borthwick. Seriously, the first time we showed some promise with the ball, we destroyed ourselves.

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vinniechan February 15, 2010 7:13 am

Had the Italians found themselves a regcnised kicker sooner we would have(and should have) been dead. In the last 10 minutes or so, I actually thought they were coming back to beat us.
As Brian Moore put it, in the first half we kicked aimlessly, and Italy got a penalty and scored 3 points for DOING NOTHING!!?? How absurd was that??

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scottb February 15, 2010 10:48 am

I dont see how borthwick suggesting a card is disgraceful, hes the captain ffs, and the italian prob had already been yellowed, if he doesnt do things and speak to the ref people moan and when he does people moan.. having said that his comments at the end were utter shit, having said that again though, look how 'badly' we played in the 2007 world cup and got to the final!

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Anonymous February 15, 2010 10:49 am

Steve is a bit dillusional, Englands tactics seem be based on hoping the Italians would make a mistake from the kicking, not a day I was proud to be English to say the least.

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Maximus February 15, 2010 11:00 am

Considering I'm neither an England nor an Italia supporter it was an interesting match to watch. England have good players but they looked as if they didn't know how to play together and didn't know what to do with the ball! It looked like France a while ago.

I liked the Italian tenacity and the fact that they were organised (far more than the last years when they used to spoil any ruck or game in any possible way).
I am truly happy to see Italia becoming more than a sparring partner and thus justifying its presence in the 6N.
My only wonder is how many players are really Italian in this team (and not coming from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa i've heard, etc.)? Even if we all know that including good 'foreign but of Italian descent so it's ok they can play' players is necessary for a quick improvement.

I am not denying any credit to the Italian performance, they clearly deserved it. I'm just asking the question. For example their 9 (can't remember his name, sorry) is 100% Italian rugby bred and I found him rather good. See? I'm not asking this with the purpose to stir anyone up.

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The Inside Shoulder February 15, 2010 11:04 am

Terrible match, what made it a lot worse was Brian Moore's commentary.

Several 10 minute monologues of moaning - he's like a broken record.

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Louis February 15, 2010 12:06 pm

I can find many faults with the game - kicking for starters, what the hell??? Support runners getting in late, they need to stick with the ball carrier. The italians were physically stronger but sit shouldnt have been so easy for them to turn it over. And paul hodgson.why? I mean, Ben Foden is way way better and can multi-task. The italians were made to look dangerous, and guscott is spot on.

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Anonymous February 15, 2010 12:43 pm

Ugly and slow, it sums up this match pretty well

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Anonymous February 15, 2010 12:51 pm

Borthwick : "I think we played some outstanding rugby"

LOL

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nick February 15, 2010 1:04 pm

italy are just in dream world if they think they'll beat anyone other then scotland in the 6 nations just by kicking penalties all day!

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Anonymous February 15, 2010 2:13 pm

6.46 minutes of highlights!
There were no highlights to this match!

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Danko February 15, 2010 2:49 pm

I was there on the field and the match was more boring than in television. NOTHING happened in 80 minutes...just a quarter of hour of ping pong of the kickers of both sides.

It's not an italian merit that england won by 5 points.It was England fault, Italy killed the game and slowed it constantly and England couldn't show his brilliant play.

I'm italian, and in my team there's a too limited number of italian players.

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ANDREW February 15, 2010 3:37 pm

COME ON GUYS EXCEPT GULDENHUYS AND ROBERTSON, ALL THE OTHERS ARE "ORIUNDI"
MAYBE MONYE IS ENGLISH?

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Anonymous February 15, 2010 3:51 pm

^^^^ ???????????

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Kearney for tests February 15, 2010 6:21 pm

Well Andrew, Castrogiovanni is Argentinean, Sole is a New Zealander, Gower is Australian, McLean is Australian, and the two you mentioned as well. But they're not going to get 15 very good Italians unless they can play in the Magners League, and that deal has been scrapped for some stupid reason.

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Andy February 15, 2010 7:09 pm

Whilst i feel like slating England for being pants all day and nearly making me lose the will to live i feel it would be a little unfair on the Italians. Especially as we still won. They are a tough team and they played to their strengths which isn't pretty but nearly snuck them a victory over a supposedly bigger opposition. So well done Italy keep it up and pull your finger out England or you'll get schooled by the Irish and probably the Scots. Not the French though, we always beat them.

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Anonymous February 15, 2010 9:08 pm

'Terrible match, what made it a lot worse was Brian Moore's commentary."

Let's be honest it could have been Stuart Barnes. At least Moore has a point to make and his commentary is honest.

I don't think it's particularly fair to look at the Italians for nationalising players to benefit the team. What about Flutey? What about Hines? What about the All Blacks? etc.

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Reds February 16, 2010 1:14 am

Negative play by England... somethings never change

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R.T February 16, 2010 10:22 am

Good to see the italians improving. Cant stand the commentary though it gets to the point where watching the game with no sound is better.

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Geraint February 16, 2010 10:56 am

If Italy has some decent backs they'd be far more competitive and would have probably beaten England.

I don't think it'll be too long until we see them winning against someone other than wales and scotland.

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2huks February 17, 2010 9:04 am

It was like watching a club rugby match at its worst! Premeditated dummies? Rugby's a simple game, they surely know how to complicate it.

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Huh!! the 3rd February 18, 2010 11:58 pm

Kearney for tests

I don't think the deal is dead just yet. Its the Scotish clubs who are blocking the move and demanding the 3 million per club. However, last week I think the welsh and Irish persuaded the Scots to lower their demands, and the Italian Federation helped find funds.

I for 1 welcome the Italians into the Magners. I believe some of the Italian players are close to inking deals to move back.

Pretty sure there will be a result soon.

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