England edge Italy, Scotland hold off Wales fightback in Six Nations day two (1 Viewer)

MartinGee

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England kicked off their 2024 Six Nations campaign with a victory, defeating Italy 27-24 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Despite trailing by three points at halftime due to tries from Alessandro Garbisi and Tommaso Allan, with Elliot Daly also scoring for England, Alex Mitchell's brilliant weaving run in the 44th minute turned the tide.

A series of penalties from George Ford extended England's lead before Monty Ioane's late try, followed by Paolo Garbisi's conversion for Italy. However, despite Ioane's effort, it was too late for Italy to stage a comeback as England secured an impressive turnaround under Steve Borthwick's guidance.

Italy managed to secure a consolation bonus point, but their winless streak against England continues. England's victory extends their perfect record against Italy to 25 wins in 25 men's Six Nations matches, highlighting their dominance over the perennial wooden spoon holders.

"It's pleasing to start the tournament with a win. I think we will build through this tournament and will get better as a team," BBC Sport quotes Borthwick as saying after the contest.

"As you start looking now, there is almost a contrast there because we are playing against an Italian side dominated by Treviso players, who play together week in and week out.
"And you see an England team with five debutants, so we knew it was going to be a challenge and it really was. There is plenty to work upon, but I'm pleased we came through the challenge."

After witnessing England's comeback victory in Rome, Wales aimed to replicate their success against Scotland in Cardiff. However, despite their remarkable efforts, they fell short in a heart-wrenching 26-27 defeat.

Scotland surged ahead with a commanding 27-point lead during a dominant 43-minute period. Pierre Schoeman and Duhan van der Merwe crossed the try line twice, while Finn Russell added another 12 points with his accurate kicking.

Yet, Warren Gatland's men emerged as a different force in the second half. James Botham, Rio Dyer, Aaron Wainwright, and Alex Mann scored tries, supported by three Ioan Lloyd conversions. Despite their spirited comeback, Scotland managed to secure their first win in Cardiff since 2002.

With this nail-biting victory, Gregor Townsend's side lifted the Doddie Weir Cup for the second consecutive year and continued their streak of opening Six Nations fixtures with wins for the fourth tournament in a row.

Looking ahead, round two of the Six Nations will see Scotland hosting France and England welcoming Wales to Twickenham next Saturday. The weekend will conclude with Ireland facing Italy at the Aviva Stadium on February 11th.
 

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