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England win but do not have things their own way against Italy

England made it two wins from two matches in the Women's Six Nations but did not have it all their own way against Italy in Ivrea.

A 33-24 victory at the Stadio Gino Pistoni followed England's 32-0 sweeping aside of Scotland in the opening round of games.

The world champions' latest success came thanks to tries from Lauren Cattell, Katie Mason, Lottie Clapp, Abbie Scott and Bianca Blackburn - but Italy crossed four times too and led early on.

Maria Grazia Cioffi poached a first-minute try for the Italians and Veronica Schiavon converted for an instant 7-0 lead. Cattell converted her own try to bring England level before Mason nudged the visitors ahead with a second try, also converted.

Wing Sofia Stefan cut the gap to two points with Italy's second try, but Clapp went over to give the Red Rose a 19-12 interval lead.

England had to stay focused, particularly when the margin was again trimmed to two points early in the second half after Cioffi scored again.

Scott charged over for a converted try to hand England a 26-17 cushion, which Blackburn stretched further after some incisive play - before Silvia Folli brought Italy closer on the scoreboard late on.

England captain Sarah Hunter said: "All credit to the way Italy played today, they played some great attacking rugby. They've got some physical forwards and some really fast threatening backs."

She added on "Of course we are happy with the win but I think we didn't manage to get full control of the game. We know we are going to have to improve."


From Belfast Telegraph