Six Nations week one round-up: England struggle as Ireland make statement

Wales face England in a vital Six Nations clash after the most tumultous week.

The Cardiff roar will be key as the Red Rose come into the Principality Stadium eager to heap more misery on Warren Gatland and the Welsh rugby crisis.

The strike avoided at the last minute, Gatland will need to conjure up some joy on the pitch off the back of a big defeat to Scotland last time out.

England are up and running under Steve Borthwick after brushing off Italy at Twickenham, but this hostile atmosphere could yet expose the character of a work in progress.

Follow all the action from Cardiff below following the conclusion of Italy vs Ireland:


F/T: Italy 20-34 Ireland

Helter-skelter stuff in Rome. Ireland escape with a bonus point win but Italy again showed their threat, pushing another of the big boys mighty close. On another day, and with more accuracy, that big home win will be theirs – this was ever-so-similar to the performance against France, and again they fall just short.

Harry Latham-Coyle25 February 2023 16:11



(Getty Images)

Harry Latham-Coyle25 February 2023 16:10


Italy 20-34 Ireland, 83 minutes

Juan Ignacio Brex wins yet another midfield collision, but James Lowe snatches a pass out of the air…

Is the wing away? No, a heroic last-ditch cover tackle to drag Lowe into touch and send things to a close.

Harry Latham-Coyle25 February 2023 16:10


Italy 20-34 Ireland, 81 minutes

Juan Ignacio Brex is forced back to scoop up a loose ball. Michele Lamaro is forced further back, behind his own line in fact, but Italy are soon awarded a penalty.

That’ll allow an attack from slightly more advanced territory.

Harry Latham-Coyle25 February 2023 16:09


Italy 20-34 Ireland, 80 minutes

Thrown into touch! At least one man over for Ireland, but the handling is inaccurate and James Lowe is left with arms agape some two metres in front of an errant ball.

Italy’s lineout – they could still snatch a losing bonus point, but they’ll have to go 85 metres to do so.

Harry Latham-Coyle25 February 2023 16:07


Italy 20-34 Ireland, 78 minutes

Off trots Ross Byrne to warm applause from the travelling supporters – it hasn’t been exclusively good from the fly half, who might have liked to exert a little more control on proceedings, but the Ireland attack has clicked nicely throughout.

Italy are penalised at a breakdown after Bundee Aki is tackled and Jack Crowley’s first involvement with the boot sets up a lineout 15 metres from the Italian line.

Harry Latham-Coyle25 February 2023 16:06


Italy 20-34 Ireland, 78 minutes

And Ireland earn a scrum penalty to all but seal it.

Harry Latham-Coyle25 February 2023 16:04


Italy 20-34 Ireland, 77 minutes

Knocked on! Italy are just snatching at their chances here, knowing they need to score swiftly to have a hope. That haste manifests itself in some handling inaccuracy – three bodies in the same space with the ball bouncing between them after a knock on.

Harry Latham-Coyle25 February 2023 16:04


Italy 20-34 Ireland, 76 minutes

But make a hash of the lineout! A throw to the back doesn’t quite hit the target, and Ireland clear.

Italy battle on, though, and earn a lineout on the opposite side from an intelligently directed toe up the touchline. A converted score here would make things more interesting.

Harry Latham-Coyle25 February 2023 16:03


Italy 20-34 Ireland, 74 minutes

James Lowe puts Ange Capuozzo firmly on his back with a driving tackle, but Bundee Aki’s cry of “stupid!” betrays a rather silly offence from the centre as he looked to make the most of his colleague’s defensive work.

Italy kick to the Ireland five metre…

Harry Latham-Coyle25 February 2023 16:02

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