It was a great weekend and a fantastic performance by all teams in round 2 of Guinness Six Nations Rugby.
England won 41-18 over Italy, Wales beat Scotland by 1 point (25-24) and France claimed their victory over Ireland 15-13.
FRANCE’S FIRST WIN IN DUBLIN
France’s bid to end a more than decade-long Six Nations title drought picked up further steam with a scrappy 15-13 victory over injury-hit Ireland on Sunday, their first win in Dublin in almost as long.
A brilliant first-half team try finished by captain Charles Ollivon swung the game France’s way but they were nearly made to rue not putting it well out of sight when Andy Farrell’s men dragged their way to within a penalty of an unlikely comeback.
“It was tough and we expected it to be tough even though we could have made it easier for ourselves at one point but the Irish fought until the end,” France coach Fabien Galthie told French TV.
The win meant France joined Wales at the top of the standings with two wins from two games.
ENGLAND CAME BACK STRONG
Meanwhile, England put last week’s Scotland defeat behind them with a six-try 41-18 victory over Italy at Twickenham on Saturday as Anthony Watson scored two tries and Jonny May claimed a memorable one with an astonishing, acrobatic leap.
Jonny Hill, Jack Willis and Elliot Daly also scored but the young Italy side were far from disgraced, despite falling to a 29th successive Six Nations defeat.
England were scrappy and inaccurate in the early stages but eventually settled to their task and showing signs of the cohesive attacking coach Eddie Jones had called for after last week’s poor showing.
In response to that, Jones had opted against throwing in his youngsters, instead fielding the most experienced England XV ever to take the field, with 810 caps between them against a desperately inexperienced Italian team.
REMARKABLE WALES ON THE GO
Wales roared back from a 17-3 halftime deficit to complete a remarkable 25-24 win over 14-man Scotland, in a crackling encounter that saw momentum shift time and again.
Winger Darcy Graham darted onto a clever chip from Ali Price to score the first try, before the effervescent captain Stuart Hogg collected his own kick through to add another as Scotland showcased their inventive, incisive attack.
After barely firing a shot in the first period, however, Wales fought back with tries from Louis Rees-Zammit and Liam Williams, both wingers capping off deft handling down the backline. Prop Wyn Jones thudded over after a driving maul to score a third, as Scotland began to infringe at the breakdown.
A 54th minute red card for Zander Fagerson for an illegal clearout appeared to seal Scotland’s fate, but Hogg reclaimed the lead for the home side with yet another brilliant score.
The last laugh belonged to Wales in a breathless finale, however, as Rees-Zammit scored his second try via his own brilliant chip-and-chase.
— Reporting by Reuters