Ireland is the favorite to win the Six Nations championship,…
Guinness Six Nations 2023 | Recap Round 5
Scotland maintained their unbeaten run against Italy for eight years, but it was a hard-fought victory in front of a full crowd at BT Murrayfield.
The game was not always pretty, with much of the second half characterized by painful arm wrestles. However, Scotland managed to secure the win thanks to a hat-trick of tries from Blair Kinghorn and a thunderous earlier touchdown from Duhan van der Merwe. The game was close in the second half, with Italian tenacity almost resulting in their first win of the campaign.
The match was the final round of the 2023 GUINNESS Six Nations Championship, with Scotland seeking to build on their 50% win ratio and aiming to finish third in the table for the first time in ten years. Ultimately, they achieved their goal, but not without a few anxious moments late on.
Italy had a late change at inside centre, with Tommaso Menoncello replaced by Luca Morisi, with Marco Zanon slotting in on the bench.
The match ball was delivered by firefighter Graeme Clow from Blue Watch at McDonald Road fire station in Edinburgh, in memory of Barry Martin who had died in the Jenner’s blaze in January.
The game got off to a lacklustre start for the hosts, with Italy landing the first points through a penalty from Tommaso Allan. However, Scotland responded with a try from Duhan van der Merwe, and Kinghorn’s conversion put Scotland in the lead.
Italy managed to regain the lead with another penalty from Allan, but Scotland fought back with a try from Kinghorn, with the conversion making the score 12-6.
Despite being short-handed due to a yellow card, Italy managed to hold off Scotland for the remainder of the first half, with the game ending without further score. Scotland had several opportunities to add to their tally but were unable to do so.
15-Smith; 14-Steyn, 13-Jones, 12-Tuipulotu, 11- Van der Merwe; 10-Kinghorn, 9-White; 1-Schoeman, 2-Turner, 3-Zander Fagerson, 4-Skinner, 5-Jonny Gray, 6-Ritchie (capt), 7-Watson, 8-Dempsey
Replacements: 16-Ashman, 17-Sutherland, 18-Nel, 19-Cummings, 20-Matt Fagerson, 21-Price, 22-Healy, 23-Redpath
15-Allan; 14-Bruno, 13-Brex, 12- Menoncello, 11-Gesi;10-Paolo Garbisi, 9-Fusco; 1-Fischetti, 2-Nicotera, 3-Riccioni, 4-Iachizzi, 5-Ruzza, 6-Negri, 7- Lamaro (capt), 8-Lorenzo Cannone
Replacements: 16-Manfredi, 17-Zani, 18-Ceccarelli, 19-Niccolo Cannone, 20-Pettinelli, 21-Zuliani, 22-Alessandro Garbisi, 23-Morisi
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Man of the Mach:Jack Dempsey (Scotland)
Scotland (12) 26
Try: van der Merwe (13′), Kinghorn (30′, 44′, 81′)
Conversion: Kinghorn (31′, 46′, 81’+1)
Italy (6) 14
Try: Allan (62′)
Penalty: Allan (8′, 16′), Garbisi (66′)
France closed out their Six Nations campaign with a resounding 41-28 bonus-point victory over Wales at the Stade de France
Damian Penaud scored two tries, while Jonathan Danty, Uini Atonio, and Gael Fickou also scored one each. Thomas Ramos kicked the remaining points. If Ireland loses to England without a bonus point, Les Bleus will win the championship.
Wales fought back after a slow start, scoring four tries through George North, Bradley Roberts, Tomos Williams, and Rio Dyer, with Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny contributing points from their kicks.
France is at the top of the table with 20 points, just one point ahead of Ireland, while Wales is in fifth place with only five points.
Wales coach Warren Gatland praised his team’s resilience and improvement but acknowledged that there is still much to do ahead of the World Cup.
France’s victory was a commanding display of skill and strength, with their brutal response to Wales’ early try a standout moment. The home side built a lead through two Ramos penalties and extended it further with tries from Danty, Atonio, and Fickou.
However, France’s casual approach allowed Wales to come back with Roberts and Williams scoring tries. In the end, Penaud’s second try and Ramos’ conversion secured a 20-point lead, but Dyer’s last-minute try and Halfpenny’s conversion reduced the gap to 13 points.
Ramos; Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Dumortier; Ntamack, Dupont (capt); Baille, Marchand, Atonio, Flament, Taofifenua, Cros, Ollivon, Alldritt
Replacements: Mauvaka, Wardi, Falatea, Chalureau, Macalou, Lucu, Moefana, Jaminet.
Rees-Zammit; Adams, North, Tompkins, Dyer; Biggar, Webb; Wyn Jones, Owens (capt), Francis, Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Wainwright, Tipuric, Faletau.
Replacements: Roberts, G Thomas, D Lewis, D Jenkins, Reffell, T Williams, O Williams, Halfpenny.
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Man of the Mach: Freddie Steward (England)
France (20) 41
Try: Penaud (10′, 77′), Danty (34′), Atonio (44′), Fickou (49′)
Conversion: Ramos (12′, 35′, 45′, 50′, 77′)
Penalty: Ramos (26′, 30′)
Wales (7) 28
Try: North (8′), Roberts (56′), T Williams (66′), Dyer (80′)
Conversion: Biggar (8′, 57′, 67′), Halfpenny (81′)
Man of the match: Romain Ntamack (France)
Ireland sealed their fourth-ever Six Nations Grand Slam with a 29-16 win over England at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
The win confirmed Ireland’s status as the world’s top-ranked team ahead of the World Cup in September. Despite England being reduced to 14 men in the second half, they kept the match nervy and within one point of an upset with 20 minutes remaining.
However, late tries from Robbie Henshaw, Rob Herring, and man of the match Dan Sheehan secured Ireland’s 15th championship and fifth since 2009.
Ireland was well deserving of their clean sweep, having won every game by 13 points or more. They also ended France’s 14-game unbeaten run along the way in the game of the championship.
England, who sought to regain some pride after a record defeat by France the previous week, had a more cohesive performance but still finished in fourth place with a third successive Six Nations with more defeats than victories after winning the championship in 2020.
Keenan; Hansen, Henshaw, Aki, Lowe; Sexton (capt), Gibson-Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong; Baird, Ryan; O’Mahony, van der Flier, Doris.
Replacements: Herring, Healy, O’Toole, Treadwell, Conan, Murray, R Byrne, O’Brien.
Steward; Watson, Slade, Tuilagi, Arundell; Farrell (c), Van Poortvliet; Genge, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Ribbans, Ludlam, Willis, Dombrandt.
Replacements: Walker, M Vunipola, Cole, Isiekwe, B Curry, Mitchell, Smith, Marchant.
Referee: Luke Pearce
Man of the Mach: Dan Sheehan (Ireland)
Ireland (10) 29
Try: Sheehan (33′, 68′), Henshaw (62′), Herring (77′)
Conversion: Sexton (35′, 63′, 70′)
Penalty: Sexton (19′)
England (6) 16
Try: George (73′)
Conversion: Farrell (73′)
Penalty: Farrell (8′, 15′, 51′)
Red Card: Steward (41′)
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