In a previous life, Johnny May’s try against Italy in Saturday’s Six Nations would have been the first post-match topic of conversation in English pubs.

The first thing I liked was that a millisecond before the jump, it felt like there was no pass.

Then there was the jump – certainly of Olympic proportions in the high jump – and a slow rehearsal that had Italian winger Luca Sperandio’s hands closing in the air.

And then there was the touchdown that showed the athletic ability of the NFL’s top player in May, as he managed to get the ball on the ground before his feet landed in space.

It was an acrobatic moment re-enacted on the big screen as fans were finally allowed to return to Twickenham.

A moment that makes you forget that you’ve been left out and that any conversation after the game can only be virtual.

But that was all – just a moment.

The 41-18 victory over Italy is a respectable result that is beyond doubt despite Monty Ioane’s first goal.

The fans were expecting a show. The unexpected defeat of the Scots last weekend was the exception, not the new rule.

Having reported on May’s trial and paid some attention to Anthony Watson’s excellent contribution, the discussion had to turn to facts as cold and hard as the almost frozen ground at Twickenham.

The work of England’s dazzling wingers may have served as a short-lived magic spell, but it was not enough to detract from some of the less aesthetic elements of the victory.

Following Scotland’s defeat in the penalty shootout, England are expected to deliver on a promise they made earlier this month: new momentum.

There’s no denying that the individual genius of May, Watson and aircraft carrier Henry Slade handed the Scots their first home defeat since 1983.

But then there are those who were left out in the cold at Twickenham.

England made a total of 18 handling errors – three times as many as their opponents, helped by captain Owen Farrell and centurion Ben Youngs.

There were four knockout rounds, and although England managed to limit the number of penalties they took against Scotland to 15, they still offered Italy 12.

Against the backdrop of the Six Nations project, May and Watson provided more than adequate resources for the production of a presentation film.

And of course, Jones was happy to answer questions about his two stars after the game.

The Australian said May, who is now ranked as England’s second-best player, apparently drew inspiration from rugby league footage to graduate.

It was absolutely brilliant, Jones continued. I haven’t seen him in practice yet, but he’s such a good candidate. He always wants to see how he can score a touchdown.

Anthony Watson scored two of England’s six tries.

On the other flank, Watson provided the first point with a lateral move past two defenders and the second with an impressive interception.

His efforts were also praised by Jones, who said Watson looked sharp and behaved at his best.

But the games that would not have been included by the editor are those that Jones and his team will now face in the third round in Cardiff in two weeks’ time.

May and Watson seized their chances when they could, perhaps because they knew that against a tougher defence they would have less time on the ball, while England reverted to a game of repetitive kicking.

Following Wales’ thrilling victory in Scotland, the defending champions have the chance to revive their hopes of the title with a win in the third round.

Just as England’s Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup trophies provided solace to fans bored by the tumultuous 2020 game, May and Watson were a welcome distraction from some aspects of the hosts’ play on Saturday.

But – with or without fans – a trip to the Principality is a task that has nothing to do with Italy at Twickenham.

When England crosses the North Bridge, May and Watson’s exploits will be forgotten. Winning is the only thing that matters.

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