Six Nations week one round-up: England struggle as Ireland make statement
Wales hope to bounce back from a chastening defeat to Ireland in their Six Nations opener last weekend as they travel to Edinburgh to face Scotland this afternoon.
The second Warren Gatland era got underway with a disastrous first half-hour and heavy defeat to Ireland but Wales have won five of the last six meetings between these two sides and will be desperate to show more than they did a week ago.
Meanwhile, Scotland secured a third successive Calcutta Cup win against England when Duhan van der Merwe powered over the line six minutes from time to send the Scots ahead and complete a brilliant comeback victory.
Head coach Gregor Townsend has warned his side that the win will count for little if they do not back it up at home against Wales however, as they look to win their first two Six Nations matched for the first time since 1996.
Follow the latest score and updates from the Six Nations below:
Ireland 32-19 France, 75 minutes
It’s got to be now for France. Space on the right, Antoine Dupont finding it after Romain Taofifenua’s lay-off. Dupont kicks ahead…skewed too far to the right for Damian Penaud to hack on! French support just a little lacking after Dupont had made the burst, which left the scrum half short of clear options, and his prod wasn’t quite right for an onrushing Penaud to get to.
Tom O’Toole, who has made a real impact for Ireland, carries superbly and earns Ireland a penalty.
Harry Latham-Coyle11 February 2023 16:04
TRY! IRELAND 32-19 France (Garry Ringrose try, 72 minutes)
Patient, patient stuff from Ireland, and a try conjured from two brilliant bits of skill. Caelan Doris picks and goes but is held by Gael Fickou, running on fumes but still leading the defensive effort. It appears that Fickou has snuffed out the danger, but Doris writhes and wriggles, shedding Fickou enough to free the arms.
The number eight throws a superb pass to Garry Ringrose, who still has plenty to do. Matthieu Jalibert rushes to meet the centre, but in his haste unbalances himself, allowing Ringrose to get by him with a combination of footwork and a fend and hurry to the corner.
Ross Byrne converts – that might just seal it.
Harry Latham-Coyle11 February 2023 15:59
Ireland 25-19 France, 71 minutes
There’s a clear contrast between the laboured charges of the forwards who have been with us since the beginning and those fresher to the field. Craig Casey has injected plenty of tempo to the Irish game, and Jack Conan’s carrying has been forthright and effective since his introduction.
France holding firm for now, though, with Ireland 15 metres out.
Harry Latham-Coyle11 February 2023 15:58
Ireland 25-19 France, 70 minutes
Banker ball from France, Julien Marchand to Thibaud Flament at the front. The maul allows Antoine Dupont the space he needs to clear, but the scrum half fails to find touch.
Ireland return to the French 22 swiftly, James Lowe shimmying by the first defender.
Harry Latham-Coyle11 February 2023 15:57
Ireland 25-19 France, 69 minutes
Another intelligent kick from Byrne, a real craftsman with the boot – Ethan Dumortier is again pushed high to try and prevent Ireland finding more joy out wide, and Byrne lifts a crosskick beyond the young wing, who can only watch it into touch. This will be a pressure lineout.
Dave Kilcoyne is on for Andrew Porter in the Irish front row, while France bring on Francois Cros for Charles Ollivon.
Harry Latham-Coyle11 February 2023 15:56
Ireland 25-19 France, 67 minutes
Aki makes an immediate impact, thumping Yoram Moefana as the two inside centres collide. French arms spread wide, appealing the legality of the challenge, but it looked like Aki got his height spot on.
Gael Fickou just about keeps the ball in the field of play but Matthieu Jalibert can’t get to his own chip ahead, and that leaves the backfield slightly exposed.
Ross Byrne prods into the space left vacant by the stand-in French full-back, Damian Penaud lonely in retreat, and grateful for an extra roll and inward hop that allow him to dot down in his own in-goal with Irish pursuers in close attention.
Harry Latham-Coyle11 February 2023 15:54
Ireland 25-19 France, 66 minutes
France’s breakdown work has been far cleaner this week than last. Romain Taofifenua provides his support in the tackle, shows a clear release and then levers into position, wrenching at the ball as Ireland hold on. Wayne Barnes rewards him.
Bundee Aki replaces Stuart McCloskey in the Ireland midfield.
Harry Latham-Coyle11 February 2023 15:52
Ireland 25-19 France, 65 minutes
Held up! Ireland go close but Josh van der Flier ends up turtled on his back, unable to force the ball to floor.
It may not have mattered – it looked like the ball had been spilled forwards into the openside by a teammate, but France again show good fight to survive after their lineout had hopped into Jack Conan’s hands.
Harry Latham-Coyle11 February 2023 15:50
Ireland 25-19 France, 63 minutes
That’s really sharp from Craig Casey. An Irish pass goes through Ross Byrne’s hands to end another movement that appeared to have good flow, and France make a mess of the resulting ruck to put pressure on Casey.
Rather than risk a hurried pass, Casey lifts a left-footed box kick into space in the corner, finding a favourable bounce into touch.
And Ireland pinch the lineout!…
Harry Latham-Coyle11 February 2023 15:49
DROP GOAL! Ireland 25-19 FRANCE (Thomas Ramos drop goal, 62 minutes)
France are back within a score! With few options in front of him, Thomas Ramos drops back into the pocket and wobbles one between the uprights.
That’s Ramos’ last act – Matthieu Jalibert replaces him and will go to full back.
Harry Latham-Coyle11 February 2023 15:47