Six Nations Round 1: Duhan's late try gives Scotland Twickenham win, Ireland thump Wales

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Duhan van der Merwe
Duhan van der Merwe
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

A look at the fixtures and teams for Round 1 of the 2023 Six Nations.


Saturday, 4 February:

Wales 10-34 Ireland

Ireland got off to an impressive start in their Six Nations campaign thrashing Wales 34-10 on Saturday for their first win in Cardiff in the tournament since 2013.

The 2022 world player of the year Josh van der Flier secured Ireland a bonus point with a fourth try late on to make it a miserable start for Wales coach Warren Gatland in his second spell in charge.

It was Ireland's biggest win in Cardiff since they won 36-6 in 2001 and the perfect launching pad for hosting defending champions France next Saturday.

The Welsh will travel to Scotland with the only consolation being they ended up champions in 2013 after the opening loss to the Irish.

Ireland justified their number one world ranking from the outset scoring quick early tries through Caelan Doris and James Ryan.

James Lowe's try from an interception put the visitors out of sight before half-time.

None of them, though, ended up man of the match as fullback Hugo Keenan took that honour.

"We came out, started really well which was really important having not won here for ten years," Keenan told BBC Sport.

"We probably slipped off a bit in the second half so there's still plenty to work on but we're delighted to get a bonus point and start the Six Nations with a win.

"These are the occasions you want to be part of, in this stadium against a tough side."

England 23-29 Scotland 

Duhan van der Merwe's late try saw Scotland to a thrilling 29-23 Six Nations win at Twickenham on Saturday as England were denied a win in their first match under new coach Steve Borthwick.

The hosts looked as if they would launch the Borthwick era with a victory when 23-22 ahead six minutes from time.

But Edinburgh winger Van der Merwe then crossed for his second try of the match, with Finn Russell converting before the visitors held out to record successive Calcutta Cup wins at Twickenham for the first time.

"It's some result for us. To do it in the last 5-10 minutes is always good," Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend told ITV.

"It was an emotional game and then a much better second half from us," he added.

England twice led in a first half where home wing Max Malins scored his first two tries and were 20-12 ahead when prop Ellis Genge plunged over early in the second half.

But they were unable to seal victory as Scotland fought back in style.

But for England, booed from the pitch after a limp Twickenham defeat by South Africa in their last appearance, the climax to a dire 2022 that resulted in coach Eddie Jones being sacked, there was some consolation in the way their attack performed in a seven-try thriller, although questions will be asked about their defence.

Sunday, 5 February

Italy 24-29 France

France got their Six Nations title defence off to a winning start after squeezing past Italy 29-24 in Rome on Sunday.

Thibaud Flament, Thomas Ramos, debutant Ethan Dumortier and Matthieu Jalibert scored tries at the Stadio Olimpico to give France a tight bonus point victory which pulls them level on five points with Ireland and Scotland.

The French, however, were a long way short of the side that won the Grand Slam last year, giving away 18 penalties and almost handing the game to an Italy side revitalised by their Autumn victory over Australia.

"There is nothing to jump around about after this victory," said France captain Antoine Dupont.

"We were too indisciplined, we gave away too many penalties. We know very well that at this level this is not acceptable and that we will have to rectify that quickly."

Italy acquitted themselves well, with Ange Capuozzo's score before half-time, a penalty try and 12 points from Tommaso Allan ensuring the hosts put up a decent fight.

Les Bleus looked set for an easy victory after scoring three of their four tries within the first 26 minutes but the World Cup favourites did not have it all their own way.

"What I do hope that comes out of this is that the team gets recognition for what they've done," said Italy coach Kieran Crowley.

"They had an off day because our boys played bloody well. We lost because we didnt execute as well as we could have in the first 20 minutes, it's as simple as that."

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