Ireland made a robust begin to their Guinness Six Nations marketing campaign with victory in Wales whereas England misplaced their first sport underneath Steve Borthwick as Scotland triumphed at Twickenham.
Italy made life laborious for reigning champions France in Rome however in the end fell to a defeat.
Here, the PA information company seems at 5 issues we discovered from the opening weekend of the championship.
Tentative indicators of revival
A 3rd successive Calcutta Cup defeat stung England, however there was promise of their maiden outing underneath new head coach Steve Borthwick.
Confounding expectations, they defended poorly however confirmed the kind of ambition and accuracy in assault that was anticipated to be layered on at a later date.
Their set-piece continues to be in want of consideration they usually missed a hefty service to actually dent the road, however in scoring three tries they confirmed a objective that was lacking within the latter phases of Eddie Jones’ time in cost.
Duhan’s the person
The distinction between the rivals in a gripping Calcutta Cup encounter was Scotland’s unflinching willingness to assault and their most potent weapon, Duhan van der Merwe.
England’s unfastened kick, fragmented chase and dismal tackling offered the platform for the large wing to attain one in every of Twickenham’s nice tries within the first half, nevertheless it was nonetheless a powerful end.
And with six minutes to go he confirmed energy and agility to sentence the hosts to defeat with an aesthetic second.
To a Scotland backline blessed with harmful runners, Van der Merwe brings his personal model of X-factor.
Ireland within the field seat
Apart from struggling for a protracted interval within the second half, Ireland totally justified their title favourites tag with a 34-10 victory over Wales in Cardiff.
A 27-3 interval lead got here after a near-faultless 40 minutes wherein they bodily dominated Warren Gatland’s ill-disciplined facet and, having misplaced their approach, they completed strongly with Josh van der Flier grabbing the bonus level.
France’s go to to the Aviva Stadium in spherical two has the look of a title decider and on this proof it’s Ireland’s to lose as they dwell as much as their billing because the world’s top-ranked facet.
Rookies provide hope to struggling Wales
There was no fairytale script to accompany Warren Gatland’s return as Wales head coach, with Six Nations title favourites Ireland powering to a 34-10 victory in Cardiff.
Wales have been horribly outplayed throughout a primary half to neglect, however the total performances of wing Rio Dyer, centre Joe Hawkins and flanker Jac Morgan ought to give Welsh supporters trigger for optimism. All three made robust contributions throughout a troublesome afternoon to reinforce their reputations.
When there may be a lot that wants fixing in Welsh rugby, such thrilling younger expertise is price savouring.
Italian rugby on the rise
“It’s quite tough to swallow this defeat” was fly-half Tommaso Allan’s response to Italy’s 29-24 loss and with a bit extra composure in a dominant last 10 minutes, they may have claimed a momentous victory over France.
Victories in opposition to Wales and Australia in 2022 has offered a carry to Italian rugby that was in full view as they went toe to toe with the Grand Slam champions, who have been crushed by their excessive penalty depend.
Full-back Ange Capuozzo burst on to the scene final yr and his electrical attacking abilities, typified by his slick attempt in opposition to France, are the focus for a crew that’s proving price of a spot within the Six Nations.
Italy go to Twickenham on Sunday and England should watch out for a harmful fixture.