There were wins for Wales, France and Ireland on the first weekend of the 2014 RBS Six Nations.
Wales defeated a spirited Italian side at the Millennium stadium 23-15, with tries from Alex Cuthbert and Scott Williams coupled by a solid kicking performance from Leigh Halfpenny enough for Warren Gatland’s side.
Italy were stubborn in defeat, with two tries from Michele Campagnaro and a further five points from Tomasso Allan encouraging enough to give them hope ahead of next weekend’s clash against France.
They will go to Paris looking to avoid a 17th consecutive away defeat in the tournament, having won just once on the road since they joined the championships back in 2000.
France will be in confident mood after a late, dramatic try by Gael Fickou ensured they survive a spirited England comeback to win at the Stade De France on Saturday evening.
Having trailed 16-3 with barely a quarter of the game gone, England roared back with tries from Mike Brown and Luther Burrell. Owen Farrell missed one conversion but made the second, whilst also adding two penalties prior to being replaced by Alex Goode with just minutes remaining.
Danny Care’s drop goal gave England a lead of 24-19 going into the final minutes in France.
But Fickou’s late try and Yoann Huget’s conversion ensured England leave empty-handed and heartbroken, just minutes away from their biggest-ever comeback win.
Like England and Italy before them, Scotland became the third away side to toil away from the comfort of home after Ireland ruthlessly dispatched them 28-6 on Sunday afternoon.
Tries from Andrew Timble, Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney gave the Irish a comfortable victory, with two conversions and three penalties from Johnny Sexton bridging the gap further.
The Scots could only respond with two penalties from Greig Laidlaw.
The win also ensured Ireland top the table after the first round of matches, ahead of both Wales and France.
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