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'Predictable and boring' England win hasn't convinced everyone

By Ian Cameron
Owen Farrell watches on as scrum sets - Press Association

England may have convincingly beat Italy 31-14 to rid Steve Borthwick of his winless tag in the Six Nations, but not everyone was convinced by the display at Twickenham.


Tries from Ollie Cheesum, Jamie George, Jack Willis saw England home in the first half, but the second-half was a different matter. Italy won the second 40, with a late try for London Irish flyer Henry Arundell putting some much-needed top-spin on a pretty flat half of rugby from England.

Not everyone was so impressed with the victory.

Former England hooker and BBC commentator Brian Moore didn’t sound too happy with the performance, posting: “England v Italy – I’m sure the studio will talk about the positives, but losing the 2nd half 14 – 12, having had a man advantage for 10 mins, isn’t one of them.”

Robert Kitson also noted the poor second half, a late Henry Arundell try glossing over what was a patchy 40 minutes for England. “England win by a 17-point margin but lost the second half 14-12. A win is a win, however, as far as Steve Borthwick will be concerned…”

Moore also sarcastically pointed to the success of centre Ollie Lawrence, writing: “Who would have thought that playing a ball-carrying number 12 would work?”

Former Ireland back row Robin Copeland got stuck in, branding England as ‘boring’. “Farrell trying to be exciting and not really succeeding. England a big [sic] predictable and boring. Italy either have no go forward and just getting tackled behind the gain line, or try play exciting rugby without the capacity to execute.”


Andy Goode also noted the lack of excitement in the fixture, suggesting during that game that bringing Marcus Smith on earlier might be a bright idea. “Steve Borthwick talks relentlessly about excitement and exciting the crowd, there’s zero excitement at Twickers Borthers, get Marcus Smith on please.”

Welsh Rugby youtube Squidge Rugby deployed the classic ‘no atmosphere’ joke at Twickenham’s expense, writing: “NASA could save so much money by sending trainee astronauts to Twickenham to experience life somewhere with no atmosphere.”

Wales fan Matthew Davies cheekily mocked Owen Farrell’s performance, writing: “Good to see England back to their exciting best led by the silky skills and delightful running rugby of captain fantastic Owen Farrell. If that doesn’t get the kids queuing up to play the game, I don’t know what will.”

Well, you can please everyone and we’re quite sure Borthwick will be privately relieved to bag his first win in charge.


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Poe 485 days ago

Still like England are in slow motion trying to figure out how to attack.

Brian 486 days ago

The Italians had fired their best shot last weekend at France. This was a tired Italian team that made England look frankly pedestrian.

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