Hartley satisfied with Rome triumph

Date published: February 15 2016

England captain Dylan Hartley said he was pleased with the way his side secured a 40-9 Six Nations triumph over Italy on Saturday.

The visitors held a narrow 11-9 lead at half-time and polished their performance in the second half to turn things around in Rome, moving top of the Six Nations standings in the process.

"We were slow to get to the ruck, a few side entries, holding onto the ball – a few things we needed to tidy up," Hartley told the Six Nations website.

"We let Italy into the game and we seemed surprised when they were competing for the ball.

"In the second half we came out and we put the onus on ourselves to compete at the ruck a bit harder, get our foot on the ball, mix things up at the breakdown and I think we got some good return there."

Hartley admitted they could have done better in the first half, but said the team were happy with the win.

"The first half was frustrating but overall it was a very satisfying win for us," he added. 

"It's never easy coming out here and I thought the bench was impressive coming on for the last 20 minutes.

"We weren't 100 percent and we've got high standards so we've got stuff to work on.

"I think breakdown-wise in the first half we were a bit off the money." 

Head coach Eddie Jones fielded debut forwards Paul Hill and Maro Itoje during the game, and the newbies' performances also received praise from Hartley.

"We have got a good balance and I'm chuffed to bits with the young fellas today, Paul and Maro," Hartley stated.

"I thought their impact off the bench was outstanding as well."