- England Under 20 beat Italy in Rovigo
- We have to enjoy our wins – Hunter
Italy Under 20 7 England Under 20 42
England Under 20 made it three wins from three in this season’s Under 20 Six Nations campaign, beating Italy 42-7 in Rovigo in a performance summed up by Head Coach Rob Hunter as “good, but plenty to work on.”
Tries from Sam Hill, Charlie Walker, Ben Ransom, Josh Bassett and two from Dan Robson secured the win, while Henry Slade and Tommy Bell kicked six points each.
Victory may have come at a cost though as both Anthony Watson and Henry Slade left the field injured.
On a bright afternoon, England made an inauspicious start and took until the 20th minute to assert any real authority.
Photo: Getty Images
A strong English scrum inside the Italian 22 was picked up at the base by scrum half Robson who moved the ball out wide to Exeter Chiefs No. 12 Sam Hill who dived over for his second try in as many games.
Second row Tom Price was then sin-binned in what looked like a case of mistaken identity, but the loss seemed to spur Hunter’s side on. Just a minute after Price was yellow carded England had their second try.
Hill’s centre partner Charlie Walker turned on the gas and his pace left the Italian defence trailing in his wake for the Harlequins man to touch down between the sticks.
England's third came soon after. A strong break down the touchline by full back Ransom teed up Dan Robson to score his first England Under 20 try, and Slade made it three conversions from three from out wide.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for England, and the man advantage eventually told for Italy. A strong scrum near the English try line freed up No. 6 Vittorio Marazzi to touch down, and full back David Michael Odiete added the extras. Matt Kvesic was also sent to the sin-bin for an infringement in the build up.
But despite the man disadvantage, England started the second half with gusto and the sniping Robson soon got his second try of the afternoon. Picking the ball up at just shy of the half way line, Robson spotted a gap and backed his pace all the way to the Italian try line.
Photo: Getty Images
Ransom got England’s fifth after another well worked move. Robson again picked up at the back of a scrum before passing to Tommy Bell who showed good feet before offloading to the oncoming Ransom.
The sixth and final try came from Bedford wing Bassett who got on the end of a Chris Walker pass, Bell’s conversion gave England a 42-7 victory and their eighth straight win in the Under 20 Six Nations.
England Under 20 Head Coach Hunter said: “We’re delighted to get the win. Every time we play Italy it’s a real fight and a scrap, and today was no different. We had two players sent to the sin-bin which didn’t help but we kept going and scored some good tries.
“It was a good performance, but not great, we’ve got plenty to work on – but we have to remember to enjoy our wins, we’ve scored six tries and got ourselves another Test win away from home. We’ve also got some new caps in the side today – Ben Nutley and Nathan Morris – and we have a lot of strength in depth, so there are plenty of positives to take.”
England’s man of the match Dan Robson added: “It was another tough game against a strong Italian team. We spoke before the match about the fact that they’d come at us and they did. We scored some nice team tries and, as always, it’s great to get the win.”
Points: Hill 1T, Walker 1T, Robson 2T, Ransom 1T, Bassett 1T; Slade 3C, Bell 3C
England Under 20 starting XV against Italy
15) Ben Ransom (Saracens)
14) Marland Yarde (London Irish)
13) Charlie Walker (Harlequins)
12) Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs)
11) Anthony Watson (London Irish)
10) Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
9) Dan Robson (Gloucester)
1) Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
2) Scott Spurling (Saracens)
3) Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
4) Tom Price (Leicester Tigers)
5) Dom Barrow (Leeds Carnegie)
6) Matt Kvesic (Worcester Warriors)
7) Chris Walker (Leeds Carnegie) (Capt)
8) Will Skuse (Bath Rugby)
16) Nathan Morris (London Wasp) on for Scott Spurling 50 mins
17) Alec Hepburn (London Wasps) on for Luke Cowan-Dickie 55 mins
18) Nick Auterac (Saracens) on for Kyle Sinckler 60 mins
19) Ben Nutley (Northampton Saints) on for Will Skuse 55 mins
20) Jack Clifford (Harlequins) on for Ben Nutley 72 mins
21) Alex Day (Northampton Saints) on for Dan Robson 55 mins
22) Tommy Bell (Leeds Carnegie) on for Henry Slade 44 mins
23) Josh Bassett (Bedford Blues) on for Anthony Watson 17 mins