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2022 Guinness Six Nations Round 1 review: Wins for Ireland, Scotland and France

2022 Guinness Six Nations Round 1 review: Wins for Ireland, Scotland and France

2022 Guinness Six Nations Round 1 review: Wins for Ireland, Scotland and France

Six nations - Ireland-Wales

The opening round of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations did not disappoint providing three excellent games of international rugby with late drama and high-points scoring thrown in for good measure.

Ireland kicked off the Championship on Saturday and carried on from their excellent Autumn Nations Series wins over Japan, New Zealand and Argentina, by securing a big victory over Wales in Dublin.

Scotland then edged out a thrilling Calcutta Cup with England later that evening, as Gregor Townsend’s men secured back-to-back wins over their oldest rivals for the first time since 1983-84.

France, who like Ireland also earned a fantastic win over the All Blacks in the autumn, rounded off the opening set of matches with an impressive bonus-point win over Italy.

Here’s what happened in Round 1 as the Northern Hemisphere’s historic annual competition got underway.

Ireland dismantle the defending champions at Aviva Stadium

Ireland made the perfect start to 2022 with a straightforward win over last year’s title winners Wales.

Although they had to be patient in the first half, only scoring a sole try through Bundee Aki, the floodgates opened after the interval with Garry Ringrose’s excellent score capping off a flawless display, after Andrew Conway had already crossed twice.

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Wales were never really in contention but did manage to avoid a scoreless start to the 2022 Guinness Six Nations after Taine Basham’s late try.
On the other hand, Andy Farrell’s side looked equally as strong as they did before the New Year, when they turned over Japan, New Zealand and Argentina in consecutive games, with the forward pack in relentless mood.

Wales did have a lengthy injury list for their first game of the Championship and will look to bounce back against Scotland on Saturday.

For Ireland, Round 2 sees them to travel for Paris for a crunch clash with France where the winning team will have real hope of going onto secure a Grand Slam.

Scotland narrowly edge England in thrilling battle to the finish

In a tense battle at BT Murrayfield, hosts Scotland ousted England 20-17 thanks to a late Fin Russell penalty to win back-to-back Calcutta Cup games for the first time since 1983-1984.

Both sides were confident coming into the Championship off the back of positive Autumn Nations Series last November, with Scotland only losing to world champions South Africa and England remaining unbeaten after three games at Twickenham.

But it was Townsend’s team who managed to get that crucial first win in front of a raucous Edinburgh crowd on a stormy night in the Scottish capital.

The hosts managed to get themselves in front after a debut try from Ben White but England fought back in the second half when Marcus Smith went over, also kicking four penalties to provide every one of his team’s points on the night.

But the game turned when Luke Cowan-Dickie slapped a cross-kick into touch, giving Scotland a penalty try and receiving a yellow card.

Russell’s excellent kicking ensured the win when he put them back in front with a late penalty.
Scotland will now have serious ambitions to claim a first Championship crown since 1999, while England will need to bounce back quickly when they travel to Italy next week.

Title favourites France impress against Italy

Pre-Tournament bookmakers’ favourites France made the ideal start to their campaign by heading straight to the top of the table after a 37-10 win over Italy.

Fabien Galthié’s team retained the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy with Gabin Villiere scoring an excellent hat-trick of tries.

Centre Damian Penaud, who also scored for the hosts in their win over the All Blacks back in November, also got a try of his own to help boost his team’s points difference.

Despite the tricky conditions made by the heavy rain that fell throughout the game, France showed good quality with the ball in hand and their sharp kicking game gave the Azzurri difficulties throughout.

Although it was a difficult start for Italy, they scored a good try in the first-half through debutant Tommaso Menoncello and only trailed by eight points at the break.

They have much to build on in Round 2 when they host England in Rome. France will stay at home for a mouth-watering clash with Ireland.

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