England send out warning shot as they fire on all cylinders

A superb second half performance saw Eddie Jones' men down a brave Italian challenge

England send out warning shot as they fire on all cylinders

Andrew Medichini / AP/Press Association Images

Italy 9

England 40

England sent out a strong statement of intent for this year's championship as a superb second half performance moved them top of the Six Nations table.

After finding themselves on the backfoot for the majority of the first 50 minutes of the game, England ran in four second half tries to add to George Ford's first half touchdown. 

Johnathan Joseph quelled talk about his starting ahead of Wasps' in-form centre Elliot Daly in the 13 jersey by crossing for a hat trick, as England pulled clear of a stiff Italian challenge. 

Italy were the better side in the opening half, with Carlo Canna and Michele Campagnaro impressing in a fired up backline, but for all their endeavor, they trailed by two at the break. 

Canna looked a player that Italy have been sorely missing since the Dominguez era in the 10 channel, and his three penalties kept his side in touch after 40 minutes. 

However, despite their valiant effort, Italy were undone by a comedy of errors, the first of which saw Joseph scoop up a hospital pass by Leanardo Sarto to ghost in under the posts. 

England kicked on after this as Joseph grabbed his second minutes later, collecting a Ben Youngs grubber over the line. 

Joseph grabbed his third after an Owen Farrell penalty extended the advantage, before Farrell touched down himself late on, following good hands from replacement hooker Jamie George. 

The second half blitz will do wonders for England's confidence going into the Ireland game in a fortnight, while it does no harm for their points difference, which could prove crucial at the end of the campaign.