England rout Italy thanks to Ashton’s fab four

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    Winger Chris Ashton scored four tries as England overwhelmed Italy 59-13 at Twickenham on Saturday to maintain their unbeaten start to the Six Nations rugby championship.

    England, who opened their campaign with victory in Cardiff last weekend, ran in eight tries and were always in control against an Italian side who had come close to scoring an upset over Ireland in their first match.

    England’s other tries came from wing Mark Cueto, captain Mike Tindall, flanker James Haskell and substitute Danny Care.

    Fly-half Toby Flood contributed 13 points from the boot with replacement Jonny Wilkinson adding the rest.

    But it was rugby league convert Ashton who grabbed the headlines, taking his tally to nine tries in nine matches and becoming the first English player to score four tries in one match in the Six Nations.

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    The Crowd Says (74)

    • February 13th 2011 @ 3:33am
      Pothale said | February 13th 2011 @ 3:33am | ! Report

      None of the SH teams could manage this kind of scoreline against Italy.

      England definitely can win the World Cup now.

      • February 13th 2011 @ 5:58am
        katzilla said | February 13th 2011 @ 5:58am | ! Report

        Your not even being subtle about it anymore Pothale,
        Its just blunt trolling.

        • Roar Guru

          February 13th 2011 @ 7:41am
          Poth Ale said | February 13th 2011 @ 7:41am | ! Report

          Trolling Katzilla?

          Say it ain’t so. How did you spot it so easily?

      • February 14th 2011 @ 12:18pm
        Craig Johanson said | February 14th 2011 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

        England will be one of the teams to watch, there’s definately going to be some good match ups and it’s going to be a great year for rugby.

        I was noticing something a bit odd with the English when I caught the match against Italy on a replay.
        After a set piece or break down, they have players who are no-where near the ball running through the opposition line and loitering about in what I thought would be an offside position. The ball has been passed out and gone through the hands along the back line, yet these players are 20m ahead of the ball standing out with the opposition full back.
        In some plays they waited there for the ball carrier to run forward generally to where they were standing at which point they linked up in support or went in to protect the ball.

        Anyone else see this?

    • February 13th 2011 @ 3:40am
      Ben said | February 13th 2011 @ 3:40am | ! Report

      England can’t beat the AB at twickers….they have zero chance in NZ. Its going to be either the BOkS or Wallabies that have a slim chance if causing an upset

    • February 13th 2011 @ 4:02am
      Killerwhale said | February 13th 2011 @ 4:02am | ! Report

      The same SH teams that beat England on there own door step. The Allblacks average more than that against Italy. Nice win though, enjoyed the game. England looking pretty good, time will tell.

    • February 13th 2011 @ 5:31am
      Viscount Crouchback said | February 13th 2011 @ 5:31am | ! Report

      Sorry, Pothale? New Zealand put 80 points on Italy practically every time they play them (with their first team at any rate), and I’d back any of the Sanzar trio to gve the Eye-ties a good spanking on home soil.

      But yes, it’s marvellous to see England looking so dangerous ball-in-hand. Their game is really coming on nicely.

      • Roar Guru

        February 13th 2011 @ 7:40am
        Poth Ale said | February 13th 2011 @ 7:40am | ! Report

        I was trying to be kind to England, VC.

        But you saw through me.


      • February 13th 2011 @ 11:31am
        Ben S said | February 13th 2011 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        ‘I’d back any of the Sanzar trio to gve the Eye-ties a good spanking on home soil.’

        Edit: I’d back NZ and SA to give…

        • February 14th 2011 @ 4:45am
          Parisien said | February 14th 2011 @ 4:45am | ! Report

          I’ve asked you this before. Are you sure you don’t have some kind of beef against Australia, Australians, or the Wallabies? The average score line Wallabies v. Italy, home and away is 35-12.
          So yes, it would be be illogical not to back any of the Sanzar trio not to give Italy a good spanking on home soil. Its just the severity of the spanking that would vary!

          • February 14th 2011 @ 5:00am
            Ben S said | February 14th 2011 @ 5:00am | ! Report

            And I gave you the same answer you gave me when I questioned your consistent England comments.

            Bearing in mind the fact that Australia has long been a tot 3 tanked country, an average scoreline of 35-12 isn’t much to shout home about, and certainly in recent seasons Australia has struggled far more than SA or NZ has in putting Italy to the sword. Far more.

            In the past 5 years Australia hasn’t managed to score more than 34 points against Italy. That is certainly not a spanking in the modern era.

            • February 15th 2011 @ 5:23am
              Parisien said | February 15th 2011 @ 5:23am | ! Report

              I don’t want to start another blog feud thats lasts days, but here you go again. What answer and what consistent England comments?

              I would describe my comments as varied and reasonable. That 35-12 scoreline is home and away, and don’t forget a lot of teams struggle to put Italy away in Italy, especially recently, including England, Australia and the All Blacks. But yes, SA and NZ probably do better than most; I’ll have to check the stats. My point remains valid.

              At any rate I ‘m not sure what point you were trying to make, why you’d even bring up Australia on a thread about England beating Italy. It seems you, OJ, and sadly even Pothale (but mostly Poms and Kiwis) now and then can’t resist having a dig at the Wallabies. And yes, this is an observation that goes back a while now. I don’t understand it. If a team plays well, they deserve praise, and if they play poorly, they deserve criticism. As simple as that really.
              Anyway, back to the rugby!

              • February 15th 2011 @ 6:06am
                Ben S said | February 15th 2011 @ 6:06am | ! Report

                You’re not looking for a ‘feud’ but you’ll pester me, and then finish a few paragraphs with ‘Anyway, back to the rugby!’. People not looking to be provocative generally can resist the urge to behave that way, I would imagine.

                I’ve been through your England comments with you before.

                I’ve spelt out my Italy argument succinctly. My point remains valid, as does yours in your opinion.

                This a site based on humour. I’ve never seen you rushing to involve yourself when the typical anti-English vitriol pours out. A few harmless comments directed in response to a few English comments is hardly the end of the world, and it certainly doesn’t necessitate your involvement.

                You could just not respond to me if I irk you. Frankly, I’d rather you didn’t.

              • Roar Guru

                February 15th 2011 @ 6:27am
                Poth Ale said | February 15th 2011 @ 6:27am | ! Report


                In fairness, if you look back at the posts, it was I who put up the first humorous post – poking fun at England mostly in making a comparison about the size of the scoreline 59-13 against Italy compared to recent scorelines posted by SANZAR teams.

                VC disagreed saying that he’d back any of the SANZAR teams to give Italy a spanking on their home soil.

                You claim that 35-12 is a spanking. However, my original point was precisely about the size of the England scoreline – from which I mockingly drew the conclusion that England would definitely win the World Cup as a result of this.

                I take a dig at most teams – including Ireland – as do 99% of the posters on here.

                So in fact, I think you need to upbraid me for taking a dig at England (again) and join Ben S in your utter condemnation of me for such comments.


              • February 15th 2011 @ 9:57am
                Parisien said | February 15th 2011 @ 9:57am | ! Report

                “You’re not looking for a ‘feud’ but you’ll pester me, and then finish a few paragraphs with ‘Anyway, back to the rugby!’. People not looking to be provocative generally can resist the urge to behave that way, I would imagine.”

                I would have imagined this too!

                “I’ve been through your England comments with you before.”

                Ah well, in that case milord…

                – just as I have been through with you on your Australia comments before.

                Look Ben, I appreciate that people like you keep these threads alive with your regular contributions, and you often have quite interesting observations to make on the actual rugby, I’m just saying you and a few others might want to tone it down on the sideswipes of other teams’ performances. i’ve never understood this need to denigrate other teams’ performances, and despite your innuendo, I have never indulged in it, even if I make it clear who I barrack for. I wouldn’t be so quick to label it as “humour”, as and you point out, it can quickly turn to vitriol.

              • February 15th 2011 @ 10:06am
                Parisien said | February 15th 2011 @ 10:06am | ! Report

                Quite right Pothale! All is ok. And I will not condemn your comments, as the humour, irony and (usually) subtlety are apparent. And talking about rugby “spankings”, I can remember quite a few, and they are no guarantee for WRC success or failure!

              • February 15th 2011 @ 7:52pm
                Ben S said | February 15th 2011 @ 7:52pm | ! Report

                Parisien, why you feel the need to do this only you know, but if I had made any of the two or three comments I have made on this thread re: Australia in a pub whilst chatting to an Australian it would be considered harmless banter. Perhaps that doesn’t come across via the internet, but I don’t see the harm in suggesting that Drew Mitchell or AAC have been known to show boat. That is hardly denigration, nor is the accurate suggestion that Australia haven’t ‘thrashed’ Italy in a good long while, and if you feel the need to question why bring Australia into it, you might want to ask Killerwhale why he brought NZ into the thread, or ask James why he feel the needs to be so sarcastic further down the thread. Personally I don’t care, because it’s all quite harmless. I hardly venture on to many Australian threads, so I’m sure you could better spend your time.

            • February 16th 2011 @ 8:16am
              Parisien said | February 16th 2011 @ 8:16am | ! Report

              Its not just on this thread – the comments go back a couple of years and do show a pattern and I’m not the only one who has taken issue, but yes, its all pretty trivial in the end!

              • February 16th 2011 @ 8:09pm
                Ben S said | February 16th 2011 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

                You’re doing it again: making provocative comments and then attempting to trivialise the comment. A fellow Roarer once noted that you came across as a man trying to provoke an argument in an empty room. You don’t contribute to the rugby threads you just appear to stalk/harass people. I’ve pointed out why what you are doing is selective, but nobody wants to argue with you, so please stop. I’ve asked you respectfully not to attempt to contact me. I’m finding this all very unsettling.

    • February 13th 2011 @ 6:56am
      Jerry said | February 13th 2011 @ 6:56am | ! Report

      How long before Ashton drops the ball or injures himself during a swan dive?

      • February 13th 2011 @ 10:41am
        jameswm said | February 13th 2011 @ 10:41am | ! Report

        or gets belted for celbrating before he scores. The karma police will visit.

        • February 13th 2011 @ 11:29am
          Ben S said | February 13th 2011 @ 11:29am | ! Report

          Drew Mitchell and AAC are way ahead of Ashton in that line.

          • February 13th 2011 @ 1:14pm
            Short-Blind. said | February 13th 2011 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

            You are a Wallaby hating prat aren’t you Ben S. With this drivel and your eye tie comments above. Ashton starts waving his hands about 30 metres out form the line – what a show pony git he is. Mitchell doesn’t swan dive, AAC does but is not a ballerina like Ashton until he crosses the line. Ashton’s time will come. He needs an old school winger to put him in a headlock at the back of a pub and talk some sense to him. Clearly Johnson’s attempts aren’t working and it will cost England at some stage. Let see if England can put 59 on France in Paris next time they are there……then you can gob on.

            • February 14th 2011 @ 7:39am
              Short-Blind. said | February 14th 2011 @ 7:39am | ! Report

              Apologies to Ben S – new kid, no sleep and got wound up but is no excuse for me playing the man. Sorry.

              • February 14th 2011 @ 8:18am
                Ben S said | February 14th 2011 @ 8:18am | ! Report

                Don’t worry about it, SB. Thanks for the apology.

    • February 13th 2011 @ 9:25am
      ohtani's jacket said | February 13th 2011 @ 9:25am | ! Report

      Surely, Ashton will break the record for most tries in a Six Nations, which I believe is eight. Six tries after two games is an impressive tally.

      • February 13th 2011 @ 10:46am
        Marcel Proust said | February 13th 2011 @ 10:46am | ! Report

        Not necessarily. Both Wales and Italy have been playing like cabbage.

      • February 13th 2011 @ 11:30am
        Ben S said | February 13th 2011 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        I thought it was 6, OJ, with Will Greenwood the holder?

        • February 13th 2011 @ 11:51am
          ohtani's jacket said | February 13th 2011 @ 11:51am | ! Report

          I meant Six Nations + Five Nations + Home Nations. I’m not sure what you shorten that too. Cyril Lowe had 8 in 1914 and Ian Smith in 1925.

          • February 13th 2011 @ 11:56am
            Ben S said | February 13th 2011 @ 11:56am | ! Report

            You mean a single tournament inclusive of 5N & 6N etc, OJ? If you say it’s 8 then you’re probably right. I’m familiar with the names Lowe and Smith, but I know that Greenwood held/holds the 6N record of 6, which Ashton now also holds. Pretty impressive after two games.

            • February 13th 2011 @ 12:03pm
              ohtani's jacket said | February 13th 2011 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

              Yeah, that’s what I meant. He also has nine tries from nine tests.

              • February 13th 2011 @ 12:13pm
                Ben S said | February 13th 2011 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

                3 against Australia and 2 against Wales is a good return from a winger’s first 8 Tests, but 4 against Italy is one of those records that will be held against you a la Drew Mitchell.

              • February 13th 2011 @ 12:31pm
                ohtani's jacket said | February 13th 2011 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

                I think it’s exciting for the game. I’m looking forward to what he can do at the World Cup.

              • February 13th 2011 @ 12:38pm
                GavinH said | February 13th 2011 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                i’m getting a bit scared. where have all the nice public school wingers gone. these northern boys can actually play.

                steve diamond said on telly the other night that c. 80% of england internationals are from the north. is that correct?

              • February 13th 2011 @ 12:40pm
                Ben S said | February 13th 2011 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

                He’s a great support runner, but he relies on a) the pack giving quick ball, and b) the midfield off-loading. England won because they snuffed out Italy in the tight. For all the talk of Ashton, this win started with Corbisiero. He and Cole contained the Italian props very impressively. Corbisiero and Tom Wood have come in, to date, and played so well, as has Haskell. That’s good news pre-WC.

              • February 13th 2011 @ 12:45pm
                Ben S said | February 13th 2011 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

                ‘steve diamond said on telly the other night that c. 80% of england internationals are from the north. is that correct?’


              • February 13th 2011 @ 6:53pm
                Viscount Crouchback said | February 13th 2011 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

                I was amazed to hear that stat from Diamond. As Ben says, it surely can’t be accurate.

                But it is interesting to note the number of players in this England team who either hail from the north or who wet their feet in professional rugby at a northern club. I can think of:

                Palmer (Leeds)
                Flood (Newcastle)
                Tindall (comes from Yorkshire)
                Cueto (Sale)
                Ashton (comes from Wigan)
                Foden (Sale)

                Food for thought for those, like me, who find the northern clubs a bit pointless.

              • February 13th 2011 @ 11:09pm
                Colin N said | February 13th 2011 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

                “Food for thought for those, like me, who find the northern clubs a bit pointless.”

                There’s a lot of talent in the north. If the professional clubs went down the drain then a lot of them would be lost. The participation numbers in the amateur clubs is very high and if there aren’t any professional clubs to pick them up then, although some would be taken by the southern teams, most would probably go to rugby league.

              • February 14th 2011 @ 2:39am
                Viscount Crouchback said | February 14th 2011 @ 2:39am | ! Report

                Yep. I agree, Colin. It’s also a good argument for the salary cap, I think.

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