They scored a pair of fine tries to open their Six Nations
The Azzurri have never, ever beaten England in the Six Nations. But their ambition a is unquestionable, as we saw Italy cut loose in Rome against the English.
The hosts got the first try in this round one fixture, With Alessandro Garbisi latching onto a Lorenzo Cannone offload that bounced back off the deck, after the No 8 had himself been unleashed by a fine Ignacio Brex pass.
Check out their first score here.
And although England replied with a socre of their own, through Elliot Daly, the Italians were at it again.
See this score for Tommy Allan below, as the Italians work the space and deliver with quick hands. It all comes from a beutiful wrap-around from fly-half Paolo Garbisi.
That second score took the Italians to 17-8 up. England would then march back, but the Azzurri defence did well to stop them breaching the try-line, and although the hosts’ discipline did fray a little, only conceding two penalties soon after will be seen as a bit of a minor triumph. Credit to the organisational skills of this Gonzalo Quesada-led side so far.
Last season, we of course saw Italy cut loose – sometimes from their own half. But to do it a few times against their storied opponents in the first half, certainly rattled some cages.
Can Italy keep it up into the second half in Rome, though? The first half closed out at 17-14 to the hosts.
It would be interesting to know if one man in the crowd enjoyed that, too. Former boss Eddie Jones watched England in Rome, with ex-Italy hooker Fabio Ongaro, who was at one time with Saracens, as was Jones. A penny for his thoughts…