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Italy v England LIVE rugby: Result and reaction from Six Nations as England hold on to beat Azzurri

Italy 24-27 England: Steve Borthwick’s England come from behind and then hold on to edge out a fiesty Azzurri side in Rome

Luke Baker
Saturday 03 February 2024 19:46 GMT
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Six Nations: Full Contact trailer

England recovered from a scruffy start and a 17-8 deficit to beat Italy 27-24 in their opening Six Nations game in Rome, ending a run of four successive opening-round defeats in the championship.

Italy flew out of the blocks with a Tommaso Allan penalty and a well-created try for Alessandro Garbisi and though Elliot Daly hit back for England, their new-look side looked disorganised, not least when Allan flew through for the hosts’ second try.

Two George Ford penalties closed the gap to 17-14 at half-time, somewhat flattering for England, but they took control in the second period, starting when scrum half Alex Mitchell showed great determination to claim their second try.

Ford’s boot stretched the lead and more aggressive defence kept Italy at bay until Monty Ioane broke through for a converted try in added time to earn Italy a losing bonus point.

Relive all the action from Rome below.You can get all the latest Six Nations odds and tips here.

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Scotland hold off incredible Wales fightback to end 22 years of hurt

Scotland ended 22 years of hurt in Cardiff after they thwarted a spectacular Wales fightback to win an extraordinary Six Nations clash 27-26.

It was Scotland’s first win in the Welsh capital since 2002 – ending a run of 11 successive defeats – to set up a mouth-watering Murrayfield encounter against France next Saturday.

But Wales made them fight every inch of the way after the Scots had breezed into a 27-point lead after 42 minutes, with wing Duhan van der Merwe scoring two tries including a virtuoso long-range effort while prop Pierre Schoeman also touched down.

Captain Finn Russell kicked three conversions and two penalties, but it only told half the story.

Scotland hold off incredible Wales fightback to end 22 years of hurt

Wales 26-27 Scotland: Wales roared back from 27-0 down but come up agonisingly short as Scotland won in Cardiff for first time since 2002

Luke Baker3 February 2024 19:46
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Warren Gatland apologises for Wales’s first-half performance

Wales head coach Warren Gatland on S4C: “I think I can apologise for the first half, it’s probably the worst first 40 performance in my whole rugby career as a coach.

“We were terrible, shocking. Discipline was poor, didn’t nail some things, so the message at half-time was to do what we wanted to do in the first, bring some tempo, play with a bit of intensity and play some rugby, nothing flashy.

“I think some guys came off the bench and had some impact, we were so slow in the first half, things like opportunities for quick taps to get us back in the game.

“When you don’t nail some lineouts and give away stupid penalties, the Josh Adams one was dumb and when you think about it, that’s the difference between winning and losing the game.

“The players should be disappointed with the first half but proud for the second half that they didn’t throw the towel in and could have won the game.”

(REUTERS)
Luke Baker3 February 2024 19:45
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Finn Russell reacts to narrow Scotland win

Scotland captain Finn Russell tells BBC One: “Probably a little bit disappointed to be honest. The win is brilliant but that second half was nowhere near where it needed to be.

“We played really well first half and controlled the game; second half our discipline was poor and two yellow cards allowed Wales back into the game.

“As happy as we are to win, that’s not a performance that we need, especially the second half. When we scored that try at the start of the second half we probably got a bit complacent to be honest and thought the game was done.

“Fair play to Wales, they came back and put us under a lot of pressure. The pleasing thing was that at the end of the game we managed to hold them out. A lot of positives but we need to be a lot better.”

(Getty Images)
Luke Baker3 February 2024 19:22
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Aaron Wainwright reflects on agonising Wales defeat

Here’s what Aaron Wainwright had to say after the defeat.

Player of the match Aaron Wainwright tells BBC One: “We probably wanted the game to go on another five minutes.

“We left ourselves too much to do, and were probably not accurate enough in the first half. A lot of their ball came from our errors.

“As the scoreboard kept ticking down the belief grew, but first-half inaccuracies cost us.”

(Getty Images)
Luke Baker3 February 2024 19:03
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Wales v Scotland highlights

Wow - what a game. The Six Nations at its best and Wales were one score away from the biggest comeback in championship history but instead Scotland cling on for a first win in Cardiff for 22 years. Here are some of the highlights:

Luke Baker3 February 2024 18:51
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FULL-TIME! Wales 26-27 Scotland

And it’s over. Phew! What a game. What a second half.

Wales were 27-0 down. 27-0! But they came roaring back to 27-26, only to come up agonisingly short. Scotland hold on and secure a first win in Cardiff for 22 years but boy they had to work for that!

(Action Images via Reuters)
Luke Baker3 February 2024 18:40
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Wales 26-27 Scotland

80 mins: Van der Merwe stretches out but puts the ball down on the leg of a Welsh defender, not the ground. Does any part of the ball touch the ground? The referee and TMO determine no.

No try and game over!

Luke Baker3 February 2024 18:38
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Wales 26-27 Scotland

80 mins: Scotland through the phases form five metres. One-up carries from the forwards but Wales hold firm.

Hepburn goes on the 10th phase. Still short. Acres of space out wide left if they want it. Horne dummies and goes himself. Van der Merwe tries with a dart to the right.

Has he got it down? I think he’s short. We’ll go to the TMO to check.

Luke Baker3 February 2024 18:37
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Wales 26-27 Scotland

79 mins: Scotland win the scrum and get the penalty! They run it to the left and the long-striding Steyn roars into the 22. Dempsey takes it up to five metres out. Scotland going for the line.

Luke Baker3 February 2024 18:35
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Wales 26-27 Scotland

78 mins: The scrum on halfway resets. Huge moments. Another reset. We’re into the last 90 seconds...

Luke Baker3 February 2024 18:34

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