England U20 book semi-final spot with 43-5 win over Italy

England U20 43-5 Italy U20, Stade Aime-Giral, Perpignan

England were the first team to book a semi-final spot in the ongoing World Rugby U20 Championship following their 43-5 win over Italy in Perpignan on Sunday.

The red rose team now have 10 points from two games as they top Pool B while Italy are positioned third.

England took just six minutes to get their first points on the board when Marcus Smith stepped up the pace to score a converted try. Steve Bates' outfit further upped the ante as fullback Tom Parton (22') and Ben Loader (26') scored further tries with Smith converting both to take their tally to 21-0.

Antoine Kouassi Koffi with his 34th-minute touchdown finally got Italy off the mark but Loader restored the 21-point lead for England before the half-time mark when he dotted down in the 36th minute.

As Italy failed to add any point in the second half, England finished the game well with further tries Gabriel Ibitoye (52'), Smith (55') and Rory Brand (64') despite Sam Lewis was sent-off with five minutes left in the game to complete a resounding 43-5 win.

"It was a really good first 50 minutes. We put a lot of pressure on Italy, scored seven tries and probably could have scored a couple more," said England coach Bates.

"It was a really important step forward but we know we can improve and there is lots to come from this side.

"We know Scotland will be a really tough challenge, but so far so good.

"I thought we put them under a lot of pressure up front, we scrummaged really well and that set the platform. We took our opportunities in the first half and despite the game becoming slightly fragmented in the second period I'm still satisfied with the performance."