Six Nations 2015: England 47-17 Italy

By Tom FordyceChief sports writer at Twickenham
Highlights: England 47-17 Italy
England (15) 47
Tries: B Vunipola, Joseph 2, Youngs, Cipriani, Easter Cons: Ford 3, Cipriani Pens: Ford 3
Italy (5) 17
Tries: Parisse, Morisi 2 Con: Allan

England continued their unbeaten start to the Six Nations as they ran in six tries to pull away from a spirited yet limited Italy.

Inspired by two more dazzling tries from 23-year-old Jonathan Joseph, Stuart Lancaster's men overcame another sluggish start to take control and complete their 21st victory in 21 against the Azzurri.

Joseph's first-half try, a brilliant shimmying break covering half the length of the pitch, was the pick of England's scores and he accelerated away to another midway through the second after Billy Vunipola and Ben Youngs had grabbed opportunistic tries of their own from close in.

Fifteen points from the boot of George Ford and further scores from replacements Nick Easter and Danny Cipriani reflected England's increasing dominance.

English 'spirit' delights Joseph

It was Italy's 17th defeat in their last 19 Tests, a sorry record that will not be alleviated by two fine tries from Luca Morisi and another from captain Sergio Parisse.

Another season of toil beckons, while England will go to Ireland in a fortnight knowing that a third win in a row over the men in green will set them up for a genuine crack at the Grand Slam.

This was a far from perfect display - the defence was not the impenetrable wall of a week ago in Cardiff, and at least two tries were thrown away - but it puts England on a run of four consecutive wins ahead of what is likely to be a far tougher challenge.

Italy had stunned Twickenham in the third minute when the storming Parisse took advantage of good work from Morisi to dummy Mike Brown and barrel through in the left-hand corner.

Brown was then knocked out by an inadvertent collision with Andrea Masi, Watson switching to full-back and Joseph to wing with Billy Twelvetrees coming on at inside centre.

England were struggling for fluency, but a 15-point deluge in seven minutes reversed the mood and momentum.

Ford's first penalty was followed by Vunipola's drive into the corner, and then Joseph brought the crowd to its feet with his second piece of try-scoring magic in a week.

Cipriani makes an instant impact

Robshaw stole a turnover, Cole and Ford spread the ball right and Joseph stepped one defender on halfway before slicing into space, dummying a pass out wide and haring through under the posts.

Italy struck next, with Leonardo Sarto gathering his own chip before Morisi ghosted between forwards Dave Attwood and Joe Marler to cut the deficit to 18-10.

Haimona missed the simple conversion and England, stung into action, went straight down the other end to move clear through Youngs' tap penalty and Ford's conversion.

Stuart Lancaster threw on his replacement forwards and Ford put Joseph away for his second.

Cipriani, on for Ford with 18 minutes to go, popped up on May's inside shoulder to grab England's fifth try, and Easter rumbled over from a line-out drive to become the oldest try-scorer in England's history.

At 47-10 and with 10 minutes remaining more points seemed certain to follow, but it was Italy who rounded things off as the lively Morisi scored his second.

Sergio Parisse scores for Italy
Captain Sergio Parisse led from the front for Italy, but his 13th Test try was in vain
Jonathan Joseph
Jonathan Joseph has now scored three tries in two games for England in the 2015 Six Nations
Mike Brown and Andrea Masi
Mike Brown was taken off on a stretcher after colliding with Andrea Masi and had to watch from the stands
Danny Cipriani scores for England
Danny Cipriani's previous Six Nations appearance at Twickenham was against Ireland in 2008

England: Brown; Watson, Joseph, Burrell, May; Ford, B Youngs; Marler, Hartley, Cole, Attwood, Kruis, Haskell, Robshaw, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Twelvetrees for Brown (13), Cipriani for Ford (63), Wigglesworth for B Youngs (67), M Vunipola for Marler (72), T Youngs for Hartley (59), Brookes for Cole (59), Easter for Attwood (51), Croft for Haskell (63).

Italy: McLean; Sarto, Morisi, Masi, Venditti; Haimona, Gori; De Marchi, Ghiraldini, Castrogiovanni, Biagi, Bortolami, Bergamasco, Minto, Parisse.

Replacements: Bisegni for Sarto (72), Allan for Haimona (70), Palazzani for Gori (71), Aguero for De Marchi (59), Manici for Ghiraldini (59), Chistolini for Castrogiovanni (60), Furno for Bortolami (46), Vunisa for Minto (29).

Att: 82,061

Ref: John Lacey (Ireland).

Match stats
6 (1)Scrums won (lost)4 (1)
11 (1)Line-outs won (lost)7 (3)
7Pens conceded10
73 (1)Rucks/mauls won (lost)93 (5)
33Possession kicked20
162 (22)Tackles made (missed)111 (19)
553Metres made327
7Line breaks8
Provided by Accenture