- England U20 secure record 74-3 win against Italy in Bath
- Andy Short and Elliot Daly grab four tries each in 11-try rout
Photo: Getty Images
England U20 emphatically maintained their 100 per cent record in this season's 6 Nations campaign after running in 11 tries against Italy in a record 74-3 victory at the Recreation Ground, Bath.
London Wasps centre Elliot Daly and Worcester Warriors wing Andy Short ran in four tries apiece with Leicester Tigers fly half George Ford and Newcastle Falcons No. 8 Alex Gray also touching down. The referee also awarded England a penalty try in the final minute.
Ford was in fine form with the boot, with 19 of England’s points coming from his right foot, eight converted tries and one penalty.
England had numbers over on the Italians in as early as the fourth minute after a swift move across field, but Worcester Warriors flanker Matt Kvesic’s pass fell just short of Northampton Saints wing Jamie Elliott.
The missed opportunity was a warning for Italy and in the seventh minute Daly showed a quick turn of pace to cut behind the Italian defence and touch-down. Both sides then exchanged successful penalties shortly after to take the score to 10-3 with 11 minutes on the clock.
Photo: Getty Images
Daly then once again proved too hot to handle for the Italian defence after he turned on the gas to shoot through and put the ball down between the posts. With 20 minutes gone England had their third try of the evening. Good work from captain Gray put Short through to dive over the in the corner.
Minutes later and England added a fourth, Daly completed his hat-trick in not dissimilar fashion to his first two, displaying pace and precision. Before the half hour mark Daly had his fourth try of the evening. England showed good initiative to collect a loose punt up-field and the Wasps man reacted quickest to touch down.
Into the second half and England wasted no time in picking up where they left off. Short grabbed his second try of the night, again heading over in the corner after a great pass from Northampton Saints hooker Mike Haywood.
Photo: Getty Images
George Ford then broke up the Daly, Short try-scoring show by adding a score of his own, touching down between the posts and converting the additional two points to make the score 48-3 with 50 minutes on the clock.
England’s pack was dominant throughout and Gray made it two tries in as many games picking up from the back of the scrum and running over to score. Andy Short completed his hat-trick with 14 minutes left, a fluid passing move freed him up out wide and the Worcester man made no mistake.
Not to be outdone by Daly’s four tries, Short went over for his fourth with five minutes remaining, showing good acceleration to outwit his Italian counterpart. England were then awarded a penalty try in the dying seconds after the scrum once again proved dominant on the Italy try line. Ford converted and brought the game to a close.
Speaking after the match, head coach Rob Hunter said: “I can’t ask for much more than the boys gave me. The key throughout the week was to give a good performance and to be accurate and the lads delivered on both parts. To score that many tries  and to keep your defence intact you need the whole team to perform and they did.
Hunter added: “I’d love to single out one or two of the guys but to do that you need to talk about all of them, because they all played very well. We knew that Italy would be physical – as they have been in the past – but we maintained focus on what we wanted to achieve. We’ve got momentum now and that shouldn’t be overlooked.”
|Player ||Club |
|16 Rob Buchanan on for Mike Haywood (60 mins)
|17 Luke Cowan-Dickie on for Mako Vunipola (65 mins)
|18 Joe Launchbury on for Addison Lockley (50 mins)
|19 Ollie Stedman on for Matt Everard (50 mins)
|20 Dan Robson on for Chris Cook (62 mins)
|21 Guy Armitage on for Elliot Daly (44 mins)
|22 Christian Wade on for Christian Wade (44 mins)