The second week of the Six Nations took place last weekend, and the Azzuri traveled to Twickenham to take on England. England came out on top, which came as no surprise to rugby fans however the Italians gained many admirers this weekend.
Italy vs England – Week 2 Six Nations Review:
The reason being is that their determination showed through, they kept going to the very end, and in part looked a dangerous team. No less than they when they scored the first try of the game and really halted England’s ability to get out of first gear. The facts are however this is Italy’s seventh successive loss in the tournament, conceding almost 200 points in their last four defeats. At countless press conferences after various matches, Sergio Parisse has had to defend his teams play and last weekend was no different.
The positives were that the Italians showed some attacking flair this week, last week against Ireland they looked very one dimensional in attack and didn’t create a lot. England’s defence was poor, let’s not forget that but nothing can be taken away from the Italians with three very well worked tries.
Two of those tries came from a very impressive Luca Morisi, who looks a very competent talent in the centre. Many, including myself thought the Italians could struggle without Michele Campagnaro but this wasn’t the case as Morisi was sublime in parts. Sergio Parisse of course led from the front in the pack, but the England forwards were too strong in the end.
Luke Mclean looked good with the boot, when the Italians played the kicking game they looked their best. Using their line out and pinning England back.
However issues still remain within the Italian camp, especially the number ten jersey. Kelly Haimona currently holds down the shirt, he is one of many in recent years. Haimona was indifferent in the game, it was clear he likes to run with the ball but this caused the Italians problems. However, towards the end of the game he was kicking for territory and this bought the Italians more success in terms of using their line out and putting England under pressure. He was also very indifferent from the tee which caused the Italians to leak a lot of potential points and this needs to be addressed as there are other kicking options within the team which should maybe be used.
It’s not a case of the Italians struggling to win the ball; it’s what they do with it that is the issue. If they can address this with a clear game plan, there is no doubt they will improve. There is now a break this coming weekend and the tournament commences again on the 28th of February. Italy face Scotland at Murrayfield in that game and some would argue it’s their most winnable game, however without the win themselves the Scots will come out fighting.
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