CHRIS FOY: England got their mojo back, but they need to get rid of mistakes for crucial Wales clash

George Ford helped England rediscover their attacking heartbeat at Twickenham on Saturday, but now the search is beginning to forge some clinical precision before embarking on an arduous journey to Cardiff.

This victory marked a resuscitation of their Six Nations campaign, but the English patient is still in the recovery phase.

Six attempts by the home side weren’t quite the emphatic statement they’d hoped for, as a torrent of mistakes kept them from rioting.

England got their mojo back when they kick-started their Six Nations campaign against Italy

England got their mojo back when they kick-started their Six Nations campaign against Italy

England got their mojo back when they kick-started their Six Nations campaign against Italy

But it was a start. After treating the ball like a live grenade in the shocking defeat to Scotland, at least England tried to play. They remembered how to get their kicks by running into space and forcing the opposition to chase them.

“We wanted to get the feeling that we were really attacking Italy,” Ford said. “ We had a great talk over the week, especially as backs, about supporting ourselves, getting some life into us, claiming the ball, giving Anthony, Sladey, Jonny and Elliot a little leeway to do what they do. They’re the best in the world at that, so why not use it?

The important thing is to maintain that attitude that we want to have some life around us. We missed some opportunities because we didn’t perform well enough, but most importantly, those opportunities wouldn’t have existed without our attitude and mindset to be in the right place. So we’ll try to keep that, but try to get better at the performance. ‘

The return of George Ford allowed England’s offensive talent to flourish again

That was a fitting summary of England’s work. There were positive intentions, but often a blatant lack of rigor, meaning they were not in command until the closing stages.

Jonny May’s flying finish just before half-time should have been ruled out due to his spectacular hurdle over a tackle, according to former referee Nigel Owens, so it should have been 15-8 at the break and the Italians scored after that.

As it was, the visitors tried to close the gap with a sustained flood of pressure as Anthony Watson claimed an interception outside of his own 22 and shot away for his second attempt.

England, lagging behind an Italian attempt within three minutes, eventually took control but failed to add a flourish in the last 12 minutes.

When the team returns to the camp on Thursday, they have to spend most of their time on catch-and-pass exercises.

Anthony Watson was well aware to claim that he is trying to intercept in his own 22

It doesn’t matter hours in the gym or in contact sessions. England is strong enough and tough enough for the Welsh test that awaits. It is their treatment that requires work – a lot of work.

All emphasis should be on skills. Passing against Italy was often bad. Ford is apologized for his delivery was good and he again demonstrated an instinctive sense of space and timing.

When Dan Robson came in, his delivery was excellent, as was his quick tap and sideways run to set up Jack Willis’ attempt.

Kyle Sinckler showed yet again that he is a tight striker with the composure, awareness and distribution of a playmaker, while Jonny Hill produced a textbook pass to release Watson for his first attempt – after a deft offload by the impressive Courtney Lawes.

But these were exceptions to the often careless rule. Elliot Daly remains a primary offender. He’s a class act at best, but that doesn’t come close. He is a talented sportsman with innate coordination, but he seems to have lost all confidence and authority in possession.

Elliot Daly (right) and Owen Farrell (left) again failed to show form what they were capable of

From the outside, it seems clear he should be removed from the team and given time to rebuild his game, but Eddie Jones seems determined to keep him.

If so, he should return to the wing, moving Watson to fullback, where he can run free from deep.

May was ready to take a left early, but Daly’s pass got in the way for him. He later hesitated before throwing the ball to Owen Farrell’s midriff, which led to a knock-on.

The captain also tries to restore some confidence and conviction. Later he spilled another step that got too low for him and the frustration was clear.

Farrell and Billy Vunipola were both detained in spite of their form, but neither offered a convincing response. The latter had some encouraging involvement in the defense and in the collapse, but there was no sign of it returning to a ferocious force of nature.

Billy Vunipola was picked despite his form and again struggled to convince

At one point he achieved an Italian clearance and he quickly passed, while perhaps the best option would have been to charge the field, right at everyone in his path, just to get going.

Franco Smith’s young side was combative and tenacious, but also brave and ambitious. Half-backs Stephen Varney and Paolo Garbisi set the tone, with eye-catching contributions from wing Monty Ioane and replacement Federico Mori in the second half.

The Italians tried and England too, which made for quite the spectacle. For the Jones team, the next phase revolves around further training. Fast.

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