Six Nations In Pictures: England and France continue winning starts

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After an entertaining start to the 2016 Six Nations Championship last weekend, hopes were high this time around for more of the same, and we weren’t disappointed.

Having got things underway a week ago in Paris, France got the action up and running this weekend too, with reigning champions Ireland the daunting opposition.

Wales then hosted Scotland on Saturday evening in Cardiff, before England looked to make it two wins from two under Eddie Jones against Italy in Rome on Sunday.

We’re letting the pictures do the talking and here’s how it all unfolded in another dramatic weekend of egg-chasing…

Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton (R) prepares to kick a penalty during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON / AFP / THOMAS SAMSON (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Ireland failed to take advantage of their first-half dominance, but Johnny Sexton’s trio of penalties handed the visitors a 9-3 lead at the break in Paris.

Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton (2nd L) is tackled by France's prop Uini Atonio during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. / AFP / THOMAS SAMSON (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)

A bruising encounter saw Ireland lose Sean O’Brien, Dave Kearney and Sexton to injury as the score remained 9-3 deep into the second period.

France's fullback Maxime Medard (L) runs on his way to score the winning try during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on February 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON / AFP / THOMAS SAMSON (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)

France stole the victory late on however with Maxime Medard scoring the only try of the game to all but end Ireland’s hopes of a third Six Nations championship.

Across the channel in Cardiff, Wales and Scotland served up a much-higher scoring affair, with tries and penalties exchanged as the Tartan Army led 13-10 at half-time thanks to Tommy Seymour’s try and Greig Laidlaw’s trusty boot.

Scotland's wing Tommy Seymour (L) scores his team's first try during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Wales and Scotland at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on February 13, 2016. / AFP / PAUL ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. Use in books subject to Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) approval. (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The visitors were heading towards victory as the clock ticked past the hour, but Warren Gatland’s side cranked it up a notch with a Jamie Roberts try.

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 13: Jamie Roberts of Wales is congratulated by teammate Taulupe Faletau of Wales after scoring his team's second try during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland at the Principality Stadium on February 13, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

And when George North went over just six minutes later, it proved too much for the Scots, despite their own effort through Duncan Taylor.

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 13: Wales wing George North crosses for his try as Jamie Roberts (r) looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland at Principality Stadium on February 13, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Sunday’s contest saw England head to Rome, and thanks to George Ford, Eddie Jones’ side led 11-9 at the interval after a slow start.

ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 14: George Ford of England dives in to score the first try despite the challenge from Michele Campagnaro during the RBS Six Natiions match between Italy and England at the Stadio Olimpico on February 14, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones must have produced some inspiring words at half-time, as England ran riot in Rome with Jonathan Joseph claiming an 18-minute hat-trick.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14: Jonathan Joseph of England runs in to score his second try during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Italy at Twickenham Stadium on February 14, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Owen Farrell also went over as England ran out 40-9 winners in Rome to maintain their Grand Slam hopes.

ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 14: (L-R) Maro Itoje and Anthony Watson of England celebrate following their team's 40-9 victory during the RBS Six Nations match between Italy and England at the Stadio Olimpico on February 14, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Next week’s break allows teams to re-assess, but after two wins England are odds-on favourites, with Wales the only other realistic contenders.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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