Wales 16 – 21 England
A famous victory for England as the Roses came from behind to snatch victory from the jaws of the Dragon in Cardiff on Friday night.
Chris Robshaw and his men were left waiting in the cold before the kick off, as Wales delayed their entrance into a packed Millennium Stadium.
The home side opened the scoring on the minute mark, Leigh Halfpenny slotting a 3 pointer after Johnny May was penalised for loitering on the floor.
Taulupe Faletau provided the go forward momentum and a deft offload to Rhys Webb for Wales’ first try, with Halfpenny making it 10 – 0 after 8 minutes.
Anthony Watson got on the end of a Mike Brown grubber to bring the English men back into the game.
After trading penalties, Dan Biggar landed a drop goal right on the half time mark.
Jonathan Joseph danced through the Welsh defense to score early in the second half and George Ford put England ahead on the hour mark.
Substitute Dan Atwood crossed the whitewash with 5 minutes remaining, but referee Jerome Garces deemed there was an obstruction in the build.
It mattered little as George Ford sealed the win for England with a penalty from 30 metres out.
Italy 3 – 26 Ireland
Ireland were made to work for a win in the Eternal city, but eventually broke down a stubborn Italian defense.
The much anticipated return of Sean O’Brien was not to be however, as the Leinster man cried off with a hamstring injury during Ireland’s warm up.
The first half offered little in the way of spectacle, as the Italians frustrated Ireland at the breakdown.
Their transgressions at ruck time did however give Ian Keatley opportunity to settle into his first test in Rome with 3 penalties.
The final one coming after Josh Furno strayed offside in attempting to halt an Irish maul inside the 22.
Just on the stroke of halftime outhalf Kelly Haimona got the home side on the scoreboard to make it Italy 3 – 9 Ireland.
Ireland spent much of the second half in Italian territory but handling errors cost them.
Devin Toner continued his dominance in the line out, and late replacement Tommy O’Donnell carried well.
Fresh legs in the front row paid dividends when Sean Cronin and Marty Moore helped the Irish pack wheel the Azzurri scrum 90 degrees.
Keatley stroked over the ensuing penalty to give Ireland a 12 – 3 lead.
Ireland finally began to make in roads shortly after Leonardo Ghiraldini was sin binned for illegally halting a maul.
Connor Murray skirting over after a big carry from young No. 8 Jordi Murphy.
This broke the Italians, evident in the manner in which Tommy O’Donnell fended off Andrea Masi’s poor impression of a tackle 3 minutes later to race over for an excellent individual try.
Replacement out half Ian Madigan converted to make the final score Italy 3 – 26 Ireland.
France 15 – 8 Scotland
The boot of Camille Lopez landed all of France’s points, as Scotland were left to rue handling errors.
Playing in red for the first time since 1959, Philippe Saint Andre’s side were underwhelming as a much improved Scottish side prevented the hosts from crossing the whitewash.
In his first Six Nations start, Lopez landed two penalties in the opening 15 minutes to put the hosts 6 -3 ahead after Scotland were pinged for offside.
Scotland began to press however, Stuart Hogg coming to within inches of scoring after stepping two defenders.
Finn Russell’s attempted drop goal was well wide a few minutes later, and Lopez made the deficit 6 points shortly after with another penalty.
Scotland were to have the final say in the half, as Hogg raced down the left wing only to be hauled down short.
From there Scotland sucked in the French defense before moving it wide to where Teddy Thomas was outmumbered 3 to 1.
Great hands by prop Euan Murray put Dougie Fife over in the corner.
A penalty early in the second half gave the hosts some breathing room to make it 12 – 8.
After Scottish No.8 Johnnie Beattie was yellow carded, Yoann Huget spilled the ball forward with the try line beckoning.
The game fizzled out from there, with Scotland’s poor handling spurning any chance of a comeback.
Lopez duly made it a 7 point game and the Scots once again failed to record an opening day win.