Rugby: Mako Vunipola scores in crushing England win against Italy
MAKO Vunipola scored his first Test try for England in their 52-11 demolition of Italy on Saturday.
The Saracens prop, who grew up in Thornbury, made his first start in this year’s Six Nations as Joe Marler remained in the UK to be with his partner at the birth of their first child.
Vunipola scored one of seven England tries in Rome, but their victory was not wide enough to overhaul Ireland, who beat France 22-20 in the late kick-off to take the title on points difference.
However, England were still able to reflect on a tournament where they’ve made big progress despite finishing second for the third year in a row.
Vunipola said on Twitter: “Awesome win from the boys! Been an amazing campaign #wheninrome”
Former Dursley player Ben Morgan kept his place at No 8 in the England side and played the full 80 minutes.
Vunipola played a big role in England’s first try as he made two big carries before Mike Brown surged to the line.
He went over himself from two yards after receiving Billy Twelvetrees’ deft offload.
Vunipola’s brother Billy started England’s first three games of the Six Nations before being injured.
Dave Attwood, who grew up in Winterbourne, came off the bench in every game for England and replaced Joe Launchbury for the final nine minutes in Rome.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “I think winning in Italy was a really positive performance,” he said. “Seven tries and over 50 points – nobody has really done that before.
“We went into the game on the back of a very emotional game against Wales on Sunday and to back that up – with Sergio Parisse coming back for them at a sold-out Stadio Olimpico – was great. I was delighted.
“Performance is important but winning is as well. I’m probably being greedy but I’d like to take both if I’m being honest. Overall, the performances during the Six Nations have been strong across the board.”
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