Try-scorer Ben Youngs admits England were forced to work hard for victory by Italy
- Credit: PA
Ben Youngs was among the try scorers as England claimed a second win from two RBS Six Nations matches with a six-try rout of Italy.
Two tries from Jonathan Joseph, plus scores from Billy Vunipola, Danny Cipriani, Nick Easter and Youngs saw England back up their opening defeat of Wales with a 47-17 victory at Twickenham.
Norfolk scrum-half Youngs started a spell of rapid England scoring by scoring a try from a tap-penalty from close range in the 54th minute, scoring his seventh England try during his 44th international match.
That sparked a landslide of 29 points in just 14 minutes, to make sure of the victory after Italy had shocked their hosts early on.
Sergio Parisse gave the Azzurri a fourth-minute lead and Luca Morisi twice breached the hosts' defence and a substantial improvement will be needed if England are to remain on course for the Grand Slam – and a first championship under head coach Stuart Lancaster – by beating holders Ireland in Dublin on March 1.
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Former North Walsham and Holt junior player Youngs said: 'They really made us work for it, they were all over us the first 20 minutes. We were really sluggish to start with, didn't respect the ball, didn't respect in terms of what we were trying to do, so that was disappointing.
'We had a good chat at half-time, addressed a few things, the most important thing was the way we reacted coming out second half and we took the game well and stuck to what we needed to do and got the results out of that.
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'At times it was a little bit frustrating, we perhaps didn't get the tempo in the game that we wanted, the speed of ruck, but we always know against a big Italian team they're going to be hard at the breakdown, they are going to make it tough for you and that's exactly what they did.'
Youngs retained his starting place for the match and was replaced in the 66th minute by Richard Wigglesworth. His elder brother and Leicester Tigers team-mate, Tom, replaced Dylan Hartley at hooker in the 58th minute to earn his 19th cap.
'It's another win and another step forward,' Youngs added, speaking to EnglandRugby.com. 'We'll have a really good review when we meet up again and obviously next week without a game gives us longer preparation for a really tough game at the Aviva Stadium.'
Head coach Lancaster was similarly relieved to have survived the early scare and knows there is plenty to work on ahead of that trip to Dublin.
'One or two areas need looking at before Ireland, but overall if you'd said to me before the game you'd get 47 points I'd have taken it,' Lancaster said.
'I was a bit disappointed we didn't get the same level of intensity throughout the 80 minutes. Fortunately the latter end of the first half, but more importantly 20, 30 minutes in the second half we played some excellent rugby.
'I think back to two years ago and we were struggling to win the game (against Italy). We know we've made progress but we know to beat Ireland in Ireland we're going to have to step up again. I'd take where we are at the moment but we know we've got step up.'
Full-back Mike Brown was taken off on a stretcher early on, but returned to the touchline in the second half and now has a fortnight to prove his fitness.