Enthralling first round sets tone for Six Nations


Round 1 of the Six Nations is officially over, and what an opening week it has been! 

For the fans with Six Nations tickets, who had not experienced national rugby action for more than three months, it was end-to-end thrilling action. 


At Cardiff:

Wales 26 Scotland 27

At Rome:

Italy 24 England 27

At Marseille:

France 17 Ireland 38

Ireland's resounding win over France was great for their campaign and opened the discussion of the possibility of the side winning back-to-back Grand Slams. 

No team in the Six Nations have won back-to-back titles. Ireland now have an opportunity to be the first. With a commanding performance against the French in Marseille, Andy Farrells's Irish side showcased their true potential in a bid to rectify all that went wrong for them in the quarterfinal at the Rugby World Cup 2023. 

The highlight game for Round 1 was the France-Ireland clash - the final that nobody saw at the recently concluded Rugby World Cup. The opener delivered exceptionally in sporting action for every fan with Six Nations tickets. 

The start of this game was debutant Joe McCarthy, winning the admiration of the fans and former players. 

On the other side, France was handicapped without their star player and captain, Antoine Dupont, who chose to represent France in rugby sevens. 

It was a personal decision for Dupont as he wanted to try his luck at the shorter format of the game, with the 2024 Olympics scheduled to be held in Paris. 

But the absence of Dupont was felt by the Les Blues as they needed Dupont's skill set when it came to break-up play. 

Dupont's mastery and tactical vision have always been the strength of France. It was a strategy that France used on almost every occasion, and with Dupont absent, it brought a big void. 

Replacing Dupont at scrum half was Maxime Lucu, but Lucu's valiant effort in Dupont's stead fell short, prompting questions about France's combinations beyond their captain. 

Meanwhile, England was another team that struggled to cross the line with Italy. It was highlighted earlier that England was in a transitional phase, which looked quite bad. 

The lapses were out in the open, as Italy quickly pounced on open space. It was a valiant effort from Italy, but it fell short as they had to settle for a bonus point loss. 

The second-round fixture will be a wake-up call for England when they play Wales, who have a quick backline and are always ready to pick the gaps. 

Wales had a revival from their static style of play against Scotland and opted for a more expansive style. 

It was a scintillating display of end-to-end rugby, with the fans with Six Nations tickets on their feet most of the time. 

The team saw a new level of dynamism coming through as Wales indicated their capabilities early. 

In the game played at Cardiff, Scotland's Finn Russell was the start of the proceedings, capitalized on the Welsh errors to bring in the opening points, propelling a strong fightback from Wales. 

Russell continued his mastery on the field, but Scotland could not keep up with errors that gave away points to their opponents. 

Otherwise, it would've been a more straightforward win for the Scottish side. 

Scotland finally had the nerve to close the game 26-27 in their favour and start their campaign on an extremely high note. 

Scotland Hit with Injuries

After Scotland's 27-26 win, the Scotts confirmed that injury worries Richie Gray and Luke Crosbie. These two players will no longer be a part of the Guinness Six Nations.

Everyone with Six Nations tickets saw a spectacle come alive at the Principality Stadium as Scotland secured a 27-26 win thrillingly. 

There emerged injury concerns after the game, and Scotland Rugby confirmed in a medical report this week that they will now take no further part in the Championship.

Gray only managed to play half an hour in Cardiff before he was forced off the field owing to a bicep injury. Crosbie lasted until the second half and had to be substituted with a shoulder injury. 

Scotland is bringing in replacements in the form of uncapped Glasgow Warriors second-row duo Max Williamson and Alex Samuel. 

Scotland is back at training as they are ready to take on France at Murrayfield. Scottish fans are heavily rallying around Six Nations tickets as they understand that momentum is with their side to strike a win against France, whom Ireland has already defeated. 

A positive for Scotland is that prop WP Nel and wing Darcy Graham are recovering and will rejoin training this week. 

For coach George Townsend, injuries could be better, especially when the side wants to improve their Six Nations performance this year. 

But there's also a silver lining - Townsend now has both lock Grant Gilchrist returning from a ban this week and flanker, their co-captain, Rory Darge, available after recovering from a knee injury.

For Scotland, a second win in Round 2 against a depleted France can set the tone for the rest of the competition. France were last beaten by Scotland in 2021. 

Townsend added that as Scotland prepares to host France, "Grant will be available. He trained all week, and it is good we have got a second-row back this week with Richie's injury."

Change of Referee for Ireland - Italy game

After referee Pierre Brousset sustained an injury, there was a change to the original plan of match officials for the upcoming Round 2 of the Guinness Six Nations. 

Initially, Pierre was slated as the referee for the Ireland-Italy clash but will now be replaced by England's Luke Pearce. 

This marks the second time Brousset had to let go of officiating duties due to injury. He was initially designated as assistant referee in the Italy vs England clash in Rome, but he had to sit out of the game as well owing to a calf injury. 

Nika Amashukeli stepped in as his replacement. 

Unfortunately, the injury hasn't adequately healed to enable him to be back officiating. An official statement from World Rugby confirmed the change to allow the England national to officiate in place of the injured Brousset. It cited the injury as the reason for his withdrawal from the fixture.