Twickenham Stadium
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Maxwell Hamilton

Six Nations Week 2 Roundup: England up and running at Twickenham

Two weeks of Six Nations action have now passed us by – here’s what went down during the last round of fixtures!

Ireland 32-19 France

Ireland ended France’s run of 14 consecutive victories with a thrilling win at the Aviva Stadium in Saturday’s opening match.

France had taken the lead through a Ramos penalty within the opening five minutes, but Andy Farrell’s side struck back through Hugo Keenan. Penaud’s try capped off an excellent French counterattack before the TMO gave James Lowe’s try the all-clear moments later. After Uini Atonio received a yellow card for a high tackle on Rob Herring, Ireland finished the half six points ahead through Andrew Porter’s try.

The second half in Dublin was not as breathless as the first. France failed to really capitalise on their sustained pressure at the start of the half, with Ireland working well to force a turnover on their own
try-line. Ramos’ well-taken drop goal brought France within a converted try of Ireland, but Garry Ringrose wriggled through a few French challenges to cap off the classic match and put the game out of France’s reach.

For Ireland’s third match of the tournament, Farrell’s side will travel to Rome to face Italy in two weeks’ time.

Scotland 35-7 Wales

Scotland earned a bonus point with their complete deconstruction of Warren Gatland’s Wales at Murrayfield. Finn Russell was excellent throughout the match and spearheaded Scotland’s victory.

Scotland quickly took control of the match through two well-taken penalties by Russell, before the Scotsman converted George Turner’s try to give his side a 13-0 lead. Wales scored their only try of the match through Ken Owens, which was subsequently converted by Dan Biggar. That was to be Wales’ only score in the game.

Wales failed to capitalise on their periods of pressure on the Scottish defence in the first half, as Scotland came back out ruthlessly in the second period. Kyle Steyn scored two tries for Scotland, before Blair Kinghorn powered through expertly to extend their lead. Matt Fagerson’s try late-on in the match capped off another superb performance for Scotland.

Gatland’s side’s defeat at Murrayfield marks an 11th loss in 14 matches for Wales and was the head coach’s first loss to against Scotland as Wales head coach in 12 games. Wales will host England in their next fixture and will be hoping to score their first points of the tournament following their opening two defeats, the first time Wales have lost their opening two matches in the Six Nations since 2007. In-form Scotland will face France in their next match, looking to continue their 100% record so far in a tournament which so far has fans daring to dream.

England 31-14 Italy

England earned their first win of this year’s Six Nations with a comprehensive bonus-point victory over Italy at Twickenham.

England began the game strongly with sustained possession across the opening 10 minutes. Their persistence was rewarded when Jack Willis forced the ball over the line through a patchy Italy defence following a line-out.

England made the most of Lorenzo Cannone’s yellow card later in the half. Ollie Chessum got his first try for England, cutting back into the hole left by the Italy defenders. Another conversion from Owen Farrell gave England a 14-0 lead.

England thought they had scored their third try of the opening 40 minutes after Max Malins’ excellent run fed Jack van Poortvliet. The TMO ruled out the score for obstruction, but England capitalised on their advantage when Jamie George found the line after a classic England driving maul.

Italy responded to England’s dominance well, starting the second half excellently with Marco Riccioni scoring a try inside the first few minutes. Tommaso Allan converted the try to bring Italy up to seven points.

England got their bonus point through a penalty try after an infringement at the maul. Italy’s prop Simone Ferrari became the Azzurri’s second yellow-carded player of the match.

England had looked to capitalise on their man advantage, but it was Italy who would be next to get points on the board. Alessandro Fusco wriggled past Maco Vunipola and Dan Cole, after Tommaso Menoncello had slipped past Cole, to score Italy’s second try of the match. The game was put firmly out of reach when Henry Arundell powered down the line, doing well not to be pushed into touch, for England’s fifth score.

After Italy’s strong second-half performance against France last week, to be so far adrift against England will be disappointing. England lost their way in the first 20 minutes of the second half, but were dominant throughout to claim their first victory of this year’s tournament.


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