Ireland 32 France 19
Ireland beat last year’s champions France in a blockbusting Six Nations clash at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. The match between the two top ranked sides in the world has been eagerly anticipated for months, and it certainly lived up to the hype.
France came into the game off the back of 14 consecutive wins, while Ireland have consistently played at a high level under Andy Farrell to, deservedly, be ranked number one in the World. They have recently swept aside all opponents, with the notable exception of the French, who had beaten Ireland in their previous three meetings.
France settled the quicker of the two sides, with Thomas Ramos kicking the visitors in front after just five minutes. However, three minutes later and Ireland were in the leads. Finlay Bealham played in Hugo Keenan and the fullback went over, with Johnny Sexton converting.
The French responded with some fantastic Rugby. Another Ramos penalty and a great try from Penaud saw them back in the lead.
However, Ireland dug in, and Jamie Lowe went over in the corner. French prop Uini Antonio then was fortunate to avoid a red card when a high tackle resulted in only a period in the sin-bin.
Ireland made their temporary numerical advantage count when Andrew Porter went over after some excellent forward play from the Irish pack.
Ireland lead 22-16 at the interval but France began the second half on the front foot. However, they could not convert their dominance into points and a crucial penalty from Ross Byrne extended Ireland’s lead.
Garry Ringrose went over in the corner on 70 minutes to secure a deserved win for the hosts. Ireland will travel to Rome in a fortnight hoping that their quality and momentum can carry them to a Grand Slam.
Scotland 35 Wales 7
Scotland made it two wins from two, in their best ever start to a Six Nations campaign. Many pundits had tipped the Scots to be scrapping with Italy to avoid the wooden spoon. However, they have given themselves a great platform to challenge for more.
A scrappy first half saw a try for each side. Scotland hooker George Turner went over after two Finn Russell penalties to give the hosts a 13-0 lead, before Wales captain Ken Owens reduced the deficit with a converted try after Turner was sin-binned.
Wales failed to further capitalise on their one man advantage. And Kyle Steyn went over after being played in by Russell.
Scotland then struck again through another link up between Russell and Steyn, after Wales’ Liam Williams had been sin-binned. and Scotland struck again with Russell – at the heart of it once more – producing a kick-pass for Steyn to grab his second.
And as Scotland defended their lead, another fantastic kick from Russell allowed Blair Kinghorn to add a fourth try, securing a bonus try. Russell was not finished. He provided another assist as Matt Fagerson added a fifth try.
England 31 Italy 14
England bounced back from their Calcutta Cup defeat last week to convincingly beat Italy and get their Six Nations campaign up and running. It was a first win for head coach Steve Borthwick.
Tries from Jack Willis, Jamie George, Ollie Chessum, and Henry Arundell gave England the bonus-point 31-14 win. Marco Riccioni and Alessandro Fusco crossed for Italy. England’s pack provided the foundation for victory with some great forward play. Italy had their moments in the second half, but it was too little too late, with visitors unable to match their level of performance against France the previous week.
Six Nations Latest Odds
Ireland: 4/7 Sporting Index
Scotland: 7/1 Sporting Index
England: 18/1 Sporting Index
France: 25/1 bet365/William Hill/Coral/Ladbrokes/Betfred/Betway
Wales: 1000/1 BoyleSports
Italy: 5000/1 Betfred
Grand Slam Latest Odds
Ireland: 8/11 SBK
No winner: 7/4 Paddy Power/Betfair/BetUK/BoyleSports/Unibet
Scotland: 10/1 bet365/BetVictor/10bet/Betway/QuinnBet
Triple Crown Latest Odds
Ireland: 4/6 SpreadEx
Scotland: 3/1 BoyleSports
No winner: 5/1 SpreadEx
Odds correct as of 12.02.23, 20:00. Odds subject to change.