Six Nations: England's win in Rome not enough for title

Last Updated: 15/03/14 7:23pm

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Mike Brown: England full-back celebrates opening try

Mike Brown: England full-back celebrates opening try

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England ran in seven tries during a 52-11 victory over Italy but were denied the Six Nations title on points difference by Ireland.

The result in Rome was England's fourth straight win after losing their opener to France and featured another fine display from full-back Mike Brown to cap his superb tournament.

But Ireland kicked off later in the day against France in Paris knowing a victory would be enough and, in Brian O'Driscoll's farewell appearance, they overturned a 13-12 half-time deficit to triumph 22-20.

England finished second in the table for the third year in a row.

Golden Brown

Brown set England on their way at the Stadio Olimpico with a 13th-minute try and added another before half-time.

Owen Farrell also crossed in the first half, added all three conversions and a penalty to give England a 24-6 lead at the break, with Italy limited to a pair of Luciano Orquera kicks.

Jack Nowell's first try for England stretched the advantage early in the second half before fit-again Manu Tuilagi entered the fray for his first appearance of the championship.

Tuilagi was able to get one of England's three further tries thanks to a short-range finish.

Mako Vunipola also got on the scoresheet for the first time in an international but, just as it looked like England would surpass a half-century winning margin, Italy scored a interception try through Leonardo Sarto to scupper those hopes.

England skipper Chris Robshaw added the final try as time expired and Farrell landed his seventh conversion to complete a perfect day with the boot and a personal 22-point haul.


A cagey opening saw Italy dominate possession and draw first blood with a long-range penalty from Orquera that was greeted with a mighty roar from the sell-out 80,000 crowd.

Farrell levelled the score with a penalty and England went on the offensive, rapidly spinning the ball left and right as they probed for weaknesses.

A brilliant offload from Luther Burrell pierced Italy's defence with the Northampton centre's pass out of a tackle by Gonzalo Garcia finding Brown who switched on the afterburners and raced over.

Loosehead Vunipola was penalised at a scrum and Orquera obliged with the three points to keep Italy in touch.

Brown was involved in just about every England move and when Burrell powered into space and fed Danny Care they looked on for a second try, but Italy's cover defence was solid.

Burrell and Care were prominent as England attacked again and this time they were able to cross the whitewash, their scrum-half darting across field and sending Farrell in under the posts.

The floodgates were already opening and this time Farrell was the provider as he rode a tackle and expertly slipped a pass to Brown who galloped over.


Italy's problems mounted early in the second half when Marco Bortolami was sin-binned for off-side and soon after their whitewash was breached for a fourth time, Nowell rounding off a backs move at a scrum.

Adding to their woes was the 53rd minute arrival of Tuilagi from the bench, although the decision to bring him on at the expensive of the superb Burrell was odd.

Italy's defence was falling to pieces and they effectively waved England through for their next two tries with Vunipola and Tuilagi strolling over.

It was then the visitors' turn to blunder, however, with wing Sarto picking off an intercept try from Joe Launchbury's pass.

The flow of tries had dried up, but there was still time for one more with captain Robshaw taking Farrell's injury-time pass and coasting over.

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