Lancaster proud of his English side
Published 15/03/2014 | 15:10
England head coach Stuart Lancaster was proud of the performance his players produced in beating Italy 52-11 in Rome, even if it fails to land them the RBS 6 Nations title.
Mike Brown's sensational championship continued with his brace of tries decorating a fine individual contribution, while Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell, Mako Vunipola, Manu Tuilagi and Chris Robshaw also crossed.
However, a Leonardo Sarto interception try for Italy and two Luciano Orquera penalties mean England failed to overhaul Ireland's superior points difference of plus 49, with events now resting on what happens in Paris later on Saturday.
Regardless of that result, however, Lancaster feels his side can hold their heads up high after thrashing Italy on home soil.
He told BBC One: "We scored some great tries and we've come here and scored 50, and not many teams have done that, in fact very, very few.
"There were some errors in the first half, but I'm just proud of the boys. It's a great squad we've got developing and the bigger picture is important.
"The match against France was frustrating, but then look at the performance against Scotland, the Ireland performance, the Wales performance, and I don't think anyone has come here and scored as many as we have today.
"So you've got to be proud of the boys really."
Captain Chris Robshaw is aware Italy's late try from Sarto could prove costly, but feels the side did everything that was asked of them.
"The response after France has been outstanding and now we just have to sit and wait," he said.
"We always knew it was going to be tough. The last two encounters we've had against Italy there was no more than a score in it.
"We were focused and ready. We came here to score 50 points and that's what we did, but unfortunately we conceded. If we hadn't conceded I'm not sure what it would have been (the points difference) but we're still in a good position."
Brown was named man of the match for his try-scoring exploits but was quick to point out the impact the team had as a whole.
He said: "First and foremost we wanted to come here and put in a performance and win, and we scored a good few tries.
"And the way we played was outstanding. We were definitely trying to play with tempo. All credit to the boys for their efforts today, it was a squad effort."