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Farrell hails brave England after Italy win

Farrell hails brave England after Italy win

Farrell hails brave England after Italy win

England captain Owen Farrell paid tribute to his side for knuckling down and securing a crucial bonus-point victory over Italy in Rome in the final round of the Six Nations.

Ben Youngs marked his 100th England cap with a brace of tries in the 34-5 victory at Stadio Olimpico, with Jamie George, Tom Curry and Henry Slade all crossing for Eddie Jones’ side.

The win sets up a mouth-watering end to the competition, with France and Ireland going head-to-head in Paris on Saturday evening, with all three sides still in contention for Championship victory.

It wasn’t a flowing performance from Farrell and his troops, but the five-try win puts them in with a fighting chance of topping the final standings, and the fly-half was proud of his side’s determination to get the job done.

“We started the game well, I thought we went at them,” Farrell said. “But there was a large chunk of the first half where we didn’t manage to get our hands on the ball very much, and didn’t manage to bring our game onto the field at times.

“But that’s what international rugby is like at times. We had a challenge at half time, and we came out and did a job in the second half.”

It was the newly crowned centurion Youngs that made the difference in the early stages in Rome, as he marked his 100th England appearance in the perfect fashion by touching down after just five minutes.

Farrell kicked through a penalty to extend the lead to ten, before Jake Polledri crossed midway through the first half, as the flanker arrowed into the corner to reduce the arrears to five going into the break.

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It was Youngs again who made the difference after the interval, as he left the Italy defence standing from the breakdown with a dummy and a side step past Matteo Minozzi before touching down.

George then latched onto the back of a maul to touch down on his 50th international appearance, before Curry sashayed over in the corner to claim the all-important bonus-point.

Slade added a late fifth to improve England’s points difference in the overall standings, with every score crucial as the Championship looks set to go down to the wire.

It was Youngs who stole the show with his two-try performance in Rome, and Farrell lauded the Leicester Tigers man, who is now only 14 caps behind the all-time England appearance record of Jason Leonard.

“To be the age that he is, still so young and get 100 caps, only the second ever English player to do it, that’s a massive achievement, he should be really proud,” the fly-half said.

“We’ll sit down now and celebrate, there’s a few boys that have got achievements today, so we’ll celebrate that, and we’ll watch the game and see how it goes.

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