The third week of Six Nations fixtures kicked off with a Friday night fixture which saw Gatland’s Wales ease past France in the most comfortable fixture of the weekend. All eyes however were on Ireland as they looked to extend their hopes of a Grand Slam against England whilst Italy and Scotland battled it out to prop up the table.
Wales 27 - 6 France
Wales continued their dominant six nations by comfortably bouncing back, following the week’s break, with a solid 27-6 victory over the French. The match saw France fail to score a try with their six points coming from Doussain and Plisson who both scored penalties before half-time.
Wales however were able to score two tries, the first of which came in the first half from George North who capitalised on an error from France full-back Brice Dulin, who spilt the ball into the path of the Welshman.
Five first half penalties from Leigh Halfpenny made the score 20-6 at the break and France without doubt looked already well beaten. Captain Sam Warburton was able to round off in the second half with a try that was converted by Halfpenny.
Italy 20 - 21 Scotland
The early kick-off on Saturday saw Italy and Scotland face each other in an effort to try and edge closer to the pack. It looked as though Italy had the points in the bag until a drop-goal from Duncan Weir, in the dying minutes of the game, saw the Scots edge past Italy.
Italy led at half-time with the try coming from Tommaso Allan, who had previously opened the scoring after 14 minutes with a penalty before Laidlaw leveled to make it 3-3, then Allan’s penalty, try, and conversion made it 13-3.
Dunbar scored Scotland’s first try on 54 minutes but Laidlaw missed the wide conversion. Dunbar’s second came on the 68th minute and this time Weir was able to make it 13-18 to Scotland.
Not to appear beaten, Italy scored a 73rd minute try through Furno and Orquera was duly able to convert making it 20-18 to Italy. It wasn’t to last and Weir’s dramatic drop-goal came in the last minute of play to make it 20-21.
England 13 - 10 Ireland
A tough fought game from England and Ireland saw the Irish hoping to win the Triple Crown and head towards the Grand Slam only to meet a brick wall with a loss to England.
A hard first 25 minutes saw the game remain pointless before Saracens and England kicked Owen Farrell capitalised and scored a penalty to make it 3-0. A score that the match remained at until after the interval.
Ireland were soon in the lead though when Rob Kearney managed to evade the England defence and touch the first try of the match on the 43rd minute, only for Sexton to score and easy conversion to make it 7-3 for Ireland. The scoreline didn’t last long when a Sexton penalty made it 10 for Ireland on the 49th minute.
A 55th minute penalty from Farrell pulled it back for England to make it 6-10 before a Harelquins-made move from Brown saw scrum-half Danny Care score a try which was subsequently converted by Farrell to round the match off at 13-10.
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