England crush Italy, Wales destroy Scotland
England scored seven tries in an emphatic 52-11 victory over Italy on Saturday, but their hopes of winning the Six Nations Championship depended on Ireland losing or drawing with France in a later match.
England, looked to be chasing a big score from the start and led 24-6 at half-time after two tries from Mike Brown, named man of the match for the third time in the tournament, and one for Owen Farrell, who again was faultless with eight out of eight kicks at goal.
Jack Nowell, with his first international try, Mako Vunipola and replacement centre Manu Tuilagi, in his first appearance for England in a year, crossed after the break as England looked on course for the huge win they needed to give them a chance of the title even in the case of an Irish victory in Paris.
However, an interception score by Leonardo Sarto after 68 minutes took the wind out of their sails, before captain Chris Robshaw finished on a high by claiming England’s seventh at the death.
“I’m delighted to score seven tries ... and really proud overall of the performance of the boys,” said England coach Stuart Lancaster.
“I think all seven tries we created. I don’t think any of them were down to poor Italian tackling. When we look at them in the analysis I think it’ll be the quality of our attack, our intent to play that shows. Italy defended with great passion even towards the end when the game was gone. They deserve credit.”
Meanwhile, Wales ran riot to beat Scotland 51-3, after leading 27-3 at half-time, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Wales scored seven tries to Liam Williams, George North (2), Jamie Roberts (2), Taulupe Faletau and Rhodri Williams.
Scotland suffered a hammer blow when fullback Stuart Hogg was sent off after 23 minutes after he took out Wales fly half Dan Biggar off the ball.