Sport Six Nations roundup from gameweek 1 as Scotland stun England & France thrash Italy
Start date for rescheduled Women's Six Nations yet to be confirmed
Halsey performs 'without me' on the voice
Just three months after the conclusion of last year’s edition, The Six Nations returned for its 22nd championship this weekend.
Six Nations is the annual rugby union tournament that features the national teams of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy, as they contest for one of rugby’s most coveted international titles. England have won the most Six Nations titles, with seven triumphs since the inaugural tournament in 2000.
France, Ireland and Wales have each had success as well, with the French and the Welsh having won five titles each, and Ireland having won four. Italy and Scotland have yet to be crowned Six Nations champions, as Italy have won the Wooden Spoon (given to the last placed team) 15 times.
Six Nations guide: Finn Russell and Cam Redpath offer hope for Scotland but France and England remain the teams to beat
The absence of fans means the 2021 Six Nations will be a championship like no other and just getting the competition completed as scheduled would be a triumph of sorts.Most of the smart money will be on France and England but Finn Russell’s return and the addition of Cam Redpath has fuelled Scottish hopes.Since Italy’s inclusion, Scotland have never finished higher than third in the venerable tournament. A top-two finish is long overdue but do Gregor Townsend’s side have the strength and talent to barge England and/or France aside? © Scotland’s Darcy Graham celebrates his second try in the stunning 38-38 draw with England at Twicken...
What happened in 2020?
The 2020 edition of the tournament was split into two phases following the delay in March caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Ultimately, England were crowned champions at the end of October, finishing just ahead of the French on point difference, as both teams concluded the tournament on 18 points.
With the entire 2021 tournament taking place behind closed doors, fans still have lots to look forward to, and if weekend one was anything to show for it, rugby fans are going to be in for quite a ride for the next month-and-a-half.
Italy 10-50 France
Last season’s runners-up have vengeance on their mind, as they ran riot in their opening match of the tournament.
A thumping 50-10 victory in favour of the French got their campaign off to the perfect start. A Dylan Cretin try five minutes into the game set the tone for the French, as they went on to score six more tries, including two from Teddy Thomas and one from Antoine Dupont, who also set up three tries.
Boris Johnson offers Scots assistance for struggling Covid jab rollout
Mr Johnson became the latest UK politician to offer Government help to speed up the process north of the border. The Army is already at work in Scotland helping to administer the vaccine. Ms Sturgeon has been under pressure to improve the vaccination programme after it hit a record low on Sunday, before rebounding on Monday and Tuesday. Mr Johnson visited vaccination sites in Scotland last Thursday amid a campaign to bolster support for the Union in independence-minded Scotland.And his offer of aid came at Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons today as the nationalists sought to attack him for the trip to Glasgow.
Italy only scored once, as they suffered their 28th consecutive Six Nations defeat. The Italians will face another tough test next weekend, as they take on the reigning champions England.
France will also have their work cut out for them next weekend as they take on the Irish, who finished in third behind the French last year.
England 6-11 Scotland
In the shock of the weekend, Scotland won their first game at Twickenham since 1983 following a dominant performance against last year’s champions.
Finn Russell was the catalyst for the Scots, as his two penalties proved to be the difference against their bitter rivals. Scotland remained composed against the ill-tempered English, and stood their ground on defence, as England’s points came exclusively from penalties.
Scotland thus lifted the Calcutta Cup at the end of the game in what was the 150th anniversary of the first rugby matchup between England and Scotland.
England and Scotland gear up for Six Nations curtain-raiser
England will wear special shirts at their spiritual home to mark the anniversary, as captain Owen Farrell returns at No 10 while centre Ollie Lawrence will make his first start.At the end of a week full of talk about the historical significance of their showdown with Scotland, Eddie Jones' side can celebrate the past by delivering in the present and allowing the future to take shape in due course. The hosts and their opponents should block out any thought of the bigger picture to treat their latest collision as the be-all and end-all.
England were the favourites coming into the tournament, but after this defeat and France’s commanding performance against Italy, the reigning champions will need to reset and refocus for their next game against the Italians.
The Scots will carry their momentum forward into their next match against Wales, as they look to challenge for their first ever Six Nations title.
Wales 21-16 Ireland
In a feisty affair, the Welsh took advantage of Peter Mahoney’s early sending off as they recorded a memorable 21-16 victory against the Irish.
Despite the sending off, Ireland were ahead 13-6 at half-time through a Tadhg Beirne try and two penalties from Johnny Sexton.
Wales’ resilience paid off, though, in the second half, as tries from George North and Louis Rees-Zammit, as well as 11 points from Leigh Halfpenny, sealed the win for the Welsh.
The physicality battle was won by Wales, as they dominated the tackle charts. Ireland were better in possession, but could not crack the firm Welsh defence, as the home side celebrated a deserved victory in Cardiff.
Twelve England rugby players and four Scotland stars take knee
The Six Nations kicked off in the Calcutta Cup at an empty Twickenham stadium in southwest London today. Ahead of kick-off, the players lined up in support of the Rugby Against Racism campaign.The Six Nations kicked off in the Calcutta Cup at an empty Twickenham stadium in southwest London today.
Now in high spirits, the Welsh face a tough test against a buoyant Scotland side, while Ireland will be looking to bounce back against the French.
After weekend one, France lead the way in the table with five points, and fellow weekend one winners Scotland and Wales are just behind with four points each.
Following England’s shock defeat to Scotland, we know that anything can happen at this year’s tournament, providing fans with much to look forward to from the comfort of their homes.
Saturday 13: England vs Italy - 14:15 & Scotland vs Wales - 16:45
Sunday 14: Ireland vs France - 15:00
Sturgeon demands England quarantines ALL Scotland-bound travellers .
Scots Transport Secretary Michael Matheson last night confirmed the SNP government in Edinburgh wants Boris Johnson to adhere to Scotland's policy for travellers heading north of the border via England. Such a move would effectively partially impose the Scottish policy on England, and it is not clear how it would be enforceable at English ports and airports. Addressing the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood yesterday, Mr Matheson said: 'Passengers entering England from the red-list countries who then seek to travel onto Scotland will have to isolate in a hotel in England. Last week, that was 130 people.