England unimpressive in 20-7 win over Italy
England made it two wins from two under coach Brian Ashton in a laboured and disjointed 20-7 Six Nations victory over Italy at Twickenham yesterday.
Flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson became the leading scorer in the history of the Five/Six Nations championship but there was little else to inspire the world champions who showed little of their attacking verve from the opening win over Scotland.
Wilkinson's first score, a third-minute penalty, took him past former Wales flyhalf Neil Jenkins to a record 409 points.
With five penalties he finished the match on 421.
Wilkinson's trusted boot spared the threat of a huge shock as Italy, who had shipped an average of 53 points in their last three visits, pushed the hosts back for long periods of the second half.
Italy, who have not won a match in the competition since 2004, gave a much improved performance from their 39-3 rout by France in Rome last week - their much-vaunted forwards digging in for a battle of attrition with the England pack.
England lacked cohesion and were bereft of ideas until Jason Robinson finished a period of pressure late in the first half with the game's opening try.
They were three Wilkinson penalties to the good at that stage but their opening 40 minutes were as unimpressive as their first half against Scotland had been good.
Italy lost winger Denis Dallan to a serious looking ankle injury after 26 minutes following a seemingly innocuous collision with a team-mate.
Pierre Berbizier's side offered little attacking prowess themselves, their main tactic being to launch high balls that full-back Iain Balshaw comfortably dealt with until the Gloucester player's match was ended by a recurrence of a groin injury.
Result: Scotland vs Wales 21-9.
Today: Ireland vs France (16.00).