Six Nations: Italy lose 34th game in a row as England celebrate bonus points win

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Marcus Smith scores for England against Italy in Rome.  The young flyhalf contributed 13 points in a 33-0 victory in five tries.

David Rogers/Getty Images

Marcus Smith scores for England against Italy in Rome. The young flyhalf contributed 13 points in a 33-0 victory in five tries.

Make that 29 consecutive defeats for Italy against England.

And, more embarrassing for the beleaguered Azzurri, 34 straight defeats in the Six Nations.

With young fly-half Marcus Smith showing his growing confidence, England cruised to a 33-0 victory in Rome on Sunday with five tries also earning the visitors a bonus point.

Smith took the step for the first try in the 10th minute before hooker Jamie George went from close range twice before half-time, with England 21-0 ahead at the break.

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England prop Kyle Sinckler scores the fifth and final try.

Gregorio Borgia/AP

England prop Kyle Sinckler scores the fifth and final try.

Elliot Daly raced over a beautifully stolen miss from Smith to pass unchallenged into the left corner five minutes into the second half and substitute prop Kyle Sinckler raced in for fifth in the 73rd.

Smith converted four of the tries to finish with a run of 13 points.

England bounced back successfully – as expected – from their 20-17 loss to Scotland in the first leg, while it was two straight defeats for the Italians, who did not win again matches in the tournament since February 2015.

Italy are no longer within 21 points of England in their last 10 meetings.

“It was a good performance,” England coach Eddie Jones said. “We started the game well, we had a bit of rhythm, we started the second half well and we defended well at the end.

“Italy are a tough team and they keep coming. If we were a bit more orderly with some of our work, some running lines, it could have been a big score. We’re happy about that…they ( Italy) played New Zealand and France and in the first half they were in the game – and they weren’t in the game today.”

England celebrate Kyle Sinckler's try.

Gregorio Borgia/AP

England celebrate Kyle Sinckler’s try.

Ben Youngs came on in the second half to equal Jason Leonard’s record as England’s most capped player with 114 appearances, with Wales visiting Twickenham in the third leg setting him will probably make it possible to cross the course.

After replacing the impressive Harry Randall, Youngs entered a team that was going astray as Italy discovered a new goal of spending long spells camped in opposition territory, but with little final product.

The English, fielding a side with six personnel changes following last week’s Calcutta Cup setback, struggled to reassert themselves and that tarnished victory.

Italy traditionally offer fierce opposition for an hour until they are finally exhausted, but it didn’t take long for England to come off the mark when Max Malins and Smith combined on the left for the fly half to score.

England substitute Elliot Daly is listed on the match sheet.

David Rogers/Getty Images

England substitute Elliot Daly is listed on the match sheet.

Jack Nowell was involved in much of England’s best work but failed a head injury assessment following a tackle and was replaced by Daly.

Big carries from Nick Isiekwe and Maro Itoje pushed the Italian field back and, as the pressure mounted, George crumbled from close range.

England’s maul had been an effective weapon against Scotland, but an attempt to kick it on the half-hour was unsuccessful before Itoje scored a try for offside.

The first half ended with George using his strength to drive through a tackler and reach out to claim his second down, but the damage was done by skillful handling and a piercing run from Freddie Steward.

It was starting to look ominous for Italy as Randall forced his way into space and the hosts’ scrum conceded a penalty. When England again went for the free-kick, Smith launched his elegant long pass for Daly to score the game’s main try.

IN ONE LOOK

IN ROME

England 33 (Jamie George 2, Marcus Smith, Elliot Daly, Kyle Sinckler tries; Smith 4 blocks) Italy 0. HT: 21-0.

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