England 39 Italy 7 (Half-time 15-7)

After the unexpected defeat at the hands of the Welsh last time out, it was back to something like normality for the England women's Rugby team against their Italian counterparts in the Six Nations at the weekend. A resounding 39-7 score line was more in line with expectations of the world champions, as they welcomed back some of the players glaringly missing from last week's reversal.

Having not even troubled the scorers in their 13-0 humbling by the Welsh, they returned to the try-scoring form many had expected from them all along during this campaign, at the Twickenham Stoop.

The host nation scored six tries in total with the lady who had hoisted the World Cup aloft last year, Katy Mclean featuring among the try scorers, besides kicking two conversions and a penalty on the day. She was among those badly missed last week, having returned to the side from sevens duty.

England had made a slightly worrying start yet again, as the visitors went into an unexpected lead in the early stages, when lock Flavia Severin breached their defence to score a try, which was successfully converted to give the Azzurri a 7-3 lead. That was despite England starting promisingly, bagging a Mclean penalty after just four minutes and then seeing the same woman drag another penalty chance wide soon afterwards.

Indeed, Mclean had a mixed time of it with the boot, missing several opportunities to extend England's advantage on the scoreboard.

The home side regained their composure though, edging their noses in front before the break, as Alex Matthews and Abbie Scott (on full international debut) both went over for tries from close range for the Red Rose nation.

Leading only 15-7 at the interval, England utilised their forward dominance after the break, resulting in several penalties against their opponents. When Italy's fly-half Beatrice Rigoni was sin-binned for an off-side offence, it seemed to be only a matter of time before the third try would come, yet silly errors prevented their control from being rewarded at first.

Eventually the pressure paid off as centre Ceri Large was able to cross the white line from close range, after her side had for once been patient when in possession. Mclean's successful conversion stretched the lead to 22-7. Mclean herself made the result beyond doubt, when she took a quick tap penalty to go over for a try of her own.

The advantage was stretched further in the closing minutes, when firstly Hannah Gallagher showed impressive pace to score from range and then Kay Wilson went over for a further try for the hosts.

England will need to be more clinical when they travel away to play against the unbeaten Irish in two weeks' time though, in what could be the title decider, especially if the English lose.