I enjoyed that more than maybe any other game of rugby I’ve ever seen. It didn’t hurt that the final score was 59-13 to England.
Italy played extremely well last week against Ireland and were unlucky not to win. Today, though, they showed none of that quality. They didn’t play badly as such (with the exception of their line outs, which were shockingly bad), they just didn’t play especially well. England on the other hand played flowing, exciting rugby and were rewarded with four tries for new golden boy Chris Ashton, and one each for Mark Cueto, Danny Care, Dan Haskell and captain Mike Tindall. Toby Flood and later Johnny Wilkinson added the rest of England’s points from conversions and a couple of penalties. Ashton in particular played superbly well.
It was an interesting match to watch. It was a running match with little kicking, which is usually better as a spectator. There were also only about three or four scrums in the whole match, and they were all successful. I’ve got so used to seeing scrums being reset over and over because one team pulled it down or failed to bind properly. It was very refreshing to see proper scrums.
I’m looking forward to next week to see if England can keep up this standard of play. For now, though, it’s nearly time for Scotland vs. Wales, which should be a tightly-fought contest.