Publication Date Headline Outlet URL 05-Feb-2018 Six Nations: England are the big winners in matchday one THE Week (Online) Click to open
Snippet Description England players celebrate their victory over Italy in the Six Nations at Twickenham Credits Paolo Bruno/ Alt Text England Six Nations rugby Twickenham Wales and Ireland also start their campaigns with impressive victories One-Minute Read Monday, February 5, 2018 - 8:41am England and Wales emerged from the first round of the Six Nations with comfortable wins, and bonus points to boot, while Ireland’s victory in Paris was more seat-of-the-pants stuff. Italy 15 England 46 England ran in seven tries as they thrashed Italy 46-15 in Rome yesterday afternoon to set up a mouthwatering clash with Wales on Saturday. Two tries each for wing Anthony Watson and No.8 Sam Simmonds, plus scores from Jack Nowell, Owen Farrell and George Ford, eased England to a bonus point victory in the Stadio Olimpico, against an Italy side who were far from outclassed in the first hour. See related 2018 Six Nations guide: results, fixtures, betting odds and TV schedule It was the introduction of the English substitutes in the final quarter that made the difference as the visitors scored three tries in the final 13 minutes “It was very positive,” said coach Eddie Jones, who’ll have some tricky selection decisions to make this week given the way his subs played. “We knew that they were going to hang in there, but we ran away with it in the end… we will enjoy the win and start looking ahead tomorrow.” Farrell caught the eye with a try and a try-scoring pass for Ford, and the Saracens centre echoed his coach’s upbeat comments. “It’s good that we built through the game and got better and better,” he said. But Farrell acknowledged that England were rusty in one or two areas. “We’ll improve. It’s a good start to campaign, now we go away and work for next week… we have a lot to work on and we’ll make sure we do that.” The only downside of England’s win was a serious knee injury to scrum-half Ben Youngs, which is likely to rule him out of the rest of the tournament. The day Wales' unheralded men emerged from the shadows and announced themselves to the world https://t.co/W0K9UvOnpU — WalesOnline Rugby (@WalesRugby) February 3, 2018 Wales 34 Scotland 7 Wales stunned Scotland in Cardiff with a bonus point win that leaves them level on points at the top of the Six Nations table. The two sides meet at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon and England will be tested severely if Wales produce the same disciplined and dynamic performance that they did against the Scots. The visitors arrived in Cardiff as slight favourites but they were blown away by the pace and ferocity of the Welsh, who scored two tries in the first 14 minutes, and ultimately gave coach Warren Gatland his 50th win as Wales coach. “We’ve got a bonus point win and go next week to a venue where we’ve had a lot of success in the last ten years,” said Gatland. “I’m looking forward to it.” No one played better than Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny, who crossed for two tries and also succeeded with six attempts at goal. “His positional play and the way he does things and his work-rate is absolutely phenomenal,” said Gatland of Halfpenny. “So it’s pleasing to see him get some confidence from an attacking perspective.” Scotland’s confidence was shredded by the end of a match in which little went right, and coach Gregor Townsend has to somehow lift his battered squad before the visit of France to Edinburgh on Sunday. “We should be criticised for today’s performance,” admitted Townsend. “We know that was well short of what is required playing for Scotland.” The only positive Scotland can take from the opening round of the tournament is that their next opponents, France, will also be low on confidence after the extraordinary denouement to their match at home to Ireland. What an incredible first day of #NatWest6Nations !