England’s promising start under Stuart Lancaster continued with a come-from-behind victory over Italy.
Two tries in quick succession from Giovanbattista Venditti and Tomasso Benvenuti put the home in control, but an inexperienced England team recovered to maintain their record of never having lost to Italy.
Charlie Hodgson and Owen Farrell scored the points to give England a 13-6 win in Scotland and the pair were at it again in Rome. Hodgson scored his second charge-down try in a week and Farrell landed four penalties and a conversion to give England a hard-fought 19-15 victory.
The wintry conditions made for an error-strewn opening and led to a battle of attrition with both sides favouring the kicking game.
Farrell opened the scoring with a 40-metre penalty and doubled England’s lead with a carbon copy ten minutes later. It looked as if England would take a lead into the break with just minutes left on the clock. People looking at the England Scotland rugby online betting will have been keeping a close eye on things.
However, Italy stunned England with a quick double salvo. First, Venditti pounced on a loose ball to score, then Benvenuti intercepted to go under the posts. Kris Burton converted to give the hosts a 12-6 half-time lead.
England were rocking and fell further behind eight minutes into the second half when Burton put over a penalty.
The visitors were thrown a lifeline just minutes later when Hodgson charged down Andrea Masi’s kick to score. Farrell slotted over a difficult conversation to put England within two points.
England found themselves back in front through a Farrell penalty, before the 20-year-old gave his side a four-point cushion with another three-pointer 14 minutes from time.
Italy came back hard but were left to rue two missed Tobias Botes penalties as England recorded a second Six Nations win in successive weeks.