Rugby: England crush Italy 52-11 but still need French favour

Italy's Leonardo Sarto (centre) is tackled by England's Danny Care during their Six Nations rugby union match at Olympic Stadium in Rome, on March 15, 2014. England scored seven tries in an emphatic 52-11 victory over Italy on Saturday but their hope
Italy's Leonardo Sarto (centre) is tackled by England's Danny Care during their Six Nations rugby union match at Olympic Stadium in Rome, on March 15, 2014. England scored seven tries in an emphatic 52-11 victory over Italy on Saturday but their hopes of winning the Six Nations championship still depend on Ireland losing to or drawing with France later in the day. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ROME (REUTERS) - England scored seven tries in an emphatic 52-11 victory over Italy on Saturday but their hopes of winning the Six Nations championship still depend on Ireland losing to or drawing with France later in the day.

England, hoping to cancel out Ireland's 49-point advantage, looked to be chasing a big score from the start and led 24-6 at halftime after two Mike Brown tries and one for Owen Farrell, who again was faultless with eight out of eight kicks at goal.

Jack Nowell, Mako Vunipola and replacement Manu Tuilagi, in his first appearance for a year, crossed after the break but an interception score by Leonardo Sarto took the wind out of their sails before captain Chris Robshaw claimed England's seventh at the death.

Having scraped three narrow wins on their last three visits to Rome, it was another hugely impressive performance by Stuart Lancaster's team, who have eight points from four wins following an opening-game defeat in Paris.

But they will now have to hope that France can beat Ireland, or claim a draw, in Paris later on Saturday to claim only their second title since 2003.

After a lively start Italy were never really in the game and end the championship with five defeats for the first time since 2009.

Wales play Scotland in Cardiff in Saturday's other game.