It’s the time of year when millions of people seemingly become rugby experts, but for true fans of rugger, the opening weekend of the Six Nations is always one to savour and this year was no different with a trio of bruising encounters.
France and Italy got things underway in Paris on Saturday afternoon, before Scotland hosted Eddie Jones’ new-look England at Murrayfield in the evening fixture while Ireland and Wales had to wait until Sunday to make their bow.
The three fixtures threw up three enticing matches and endless questions about how this year’s championship might pan out.
They say a picture paints a thousand words, so here’s how the action unfolded…
Italy may have had a string of injuries, but they put France on the back foot right from the off.
Reaction was mixed to France’s new kit, but the hosts eventually got going to seal an unconvincing 23-21 victory.
Italy skipper Sergio Parisse had a superb game, and almost capped it off in thrilling style, but his late drop-kick sailed wide.
In Edinburgh, George Kruis handed England an early advantage in the Calcutta Cup battle.
Greig Laidlaw’s right boot kept the scores tight however.
But Scotland couldn’t take advantage of promising chances in the second-half, and England’s strength told with Jack Nowell’s try.
The visitors saw out the game to clinch the Calcutta Cup by 15 points to nine and hand Eddie Jones a debut win as England coach.
On Sunday, reigning champions Ireland welcomed Wales to the Aviva Stadium.
A gripping encounter saw the hosts race into a 13-0 lead inside 30 minutes.
Warren Gatland’s Wales are made of stern stuff however, and launched a mighty fightback.
When all was said and done, a thrilling afternoon of rugby ended all-square at 16-16.
So after a superb opening trio of games, all we can say is bring on next weekend!
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