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Monday, March 11, 2013

England hang on for win over Italy and Grand Slam opportunity

England were put under serious pressure by a determined Italy side that scored the only try of the game, but couldn't force a late draw. The 18-11 win for England sets them up for a Championship decider against Wales in Cardiff next weekend. 

England were less than convincing as an improved Italian side pushed them all the way, including a frantic last few momoments that had the home side desperately defending their line.

Flyhalf Toby Flood produced a top quality kicking display as he slotted six penalties from six attempts to set up their fourth successive win in this year's tournament.

"It wasn't pretty against Italy and it will be hard to watch the video back. But it was a great thing to happen in that way, so going to Wales we know there’s still a lot to work on," said Ben Youngs.

"There's no arrogance. Had we won by quite a few points, it probably wouldn’t have done us any favours. Sunday wasn't exactly what we wanted but it's the best thing to have a little scare like that and come out on top. It's a little blessing – and slap on the wrist.

Italy got the only try of the game, and stunning score that was summed up brilliantly by flyhalf Luciano Orquera as he put in a pinpoint crosskick for Luke McLean, who finished well.

Time: 5:45
Credit: rbs6nations

Posted at 7:04 pm | 8 comments

Posted in Six Nations 2013

Viewing 8 comments

Nick01 March 12, 2013 5:21 pm

Hail for Italy, no doubt Italy was the "moral" winner of the match

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Lucius March 12, 2013 5:39 pm

Itakly deserved to win... too bad. Anyway it's always good to see England side in panic.

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BenjaJ March 12, 2013 7:05 pm

A great end of match by Italy. But, as always, in the end England wins. Which is, as an non-English, really frustrating. And impressive.

However I think that England deserved at least a yellow card for all these faults when they were under pressure, like when Robshaw was penalised on Venditti break. McCaw would have been proud of him.

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Sankeor March 12, 2013 10:14 pm

It seems the England team does have a guardian angel this year.

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jaded forward March 12, 2013 10:45 pm

Something must be done about non-try-scoring teams beating try scorers. If I wanted to see the the ball kicked I would watch nancyball.

Here's my proposal: For each try scored by a side, one point is added to each score they achieved for the game up to that point, and one point is removed from each non-try score of the opposing side (if they have not scored a try themselves).

So, if the score is 6-6 (on two penalties each), and team 1 scores a converted try, they get 5 for the try, two for the conversion, AND two points for the try bonus (one point for each score they had already put on the board- in this case two penalties. So they go from 6 points to 15. Meanwhile, their boring kick-first opponents go down to 4 points (one point deducted from each non-try score). Two more unanswered tries from team 1 and they would be at 36 points to 0 (because they keep taking points off their opponent by scoring tries). However, if team 2 scores a try, they not only get their 7 points (assuming conversion) and two points (one for each penalty so far), but they get their 6 no-try-deduction points back! 36-15- they're back in the game.

The result? Teams become more try-hungry, close-range kicks at goal are virtually eliminated unless it's the last minute(s) of a 2 point game, and defenses get even more tenacious because of a fear of higher-value opponent tries. Going try-less would basically be an almost guaranteed loss.

Is my method needlessly convoluted? Yup, it sure is. It is never ever getting off the ground. But am I goddamn sick of watching pansies take penalties from 20m in front of the posts instead of running the ball in like a grown man? You better believe it! It's time to take action.

Also, Toby Flood should be cited and banned. He had his arms in the air and was looking for the ref before he hit the ground in that off-ball tackle. No room for that sort of behaviour in the sport. Next time he should roll around on the turf, holding his shin for full soccer effect.

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Facepalm March 13, 2013 8:46 pm

I'm glad you're not in charge of the scoring system.

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BenjaJ March 14, 2013 8:05 pm

The only result will be that the teams will make even more faults to avoid tries.
And I think rugby is already complicated enough.

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FelipeG March 13, 2013 2:18 pm

Italy does play rugby!

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