Here are the latest rugby evening headlines on Saturday, March 12.
England knocked out of title running by Ireland at Twickenham
Eddie Jones’ men went down 32-15 to Ireland in a record-breaking defeat as their Six Nations title hopes ended at Twickenham.
On what proved to be an extremely uncomfortable afternoon, Ireland’s late scores handed them their biggest Twickenham win to keep alive their title bid.
England lock Ewels became the fastest sending-off in the history of the tournament for a head-led tackle on James Ryan that also lacked any attempt to wrap his arms in a challenge that ended the concussed Leinster second row’s afternoon.
In total, Ireland went on to score four tries from James Lowe, Hugo Keenan, Jack Conan and Finlay Bealham, aided by the boot of Johnny Sexton.
England’s only points came from the boot of fly-half Marcus Smith, but they fought back to draw level at 15-15 after 60 minutes despite being a man down for almost the entirety of the game but Ireland regained a clear lead to finish with a bonus point.
Farrell’s men host Scotland on the final weekend of the championship and will be reliant on a favour from England, who travel to Grand Slam-chasing France.
Chris Harris scores two tries as Scotland record convincing win in Italy
Chris Harris scored two first-half tries as Scotland overcame a sticky start to record a convincing bonus-point 33-22 victory over Italy in their Guinness Six Nations match in Rome.
Gregor Townsend’s side struggled early on but once they sparked into life they were too strong for their hosts, who were consigned to the wooden spoon once again.
Sam Johnson, Darcy Graham and captain Stuart Hogg got the other tries on a pleasant spring day at Stadio Olimpico as the Scots recovered from back-to-back defeats against Wales and France to claim the inaugural Cuttitta Cup, named in honour of ex-Italy captain and Scotland coach Massimo Cuttitta.
Italy went in to the match without a Six Nations victory since winning away to Scotland in 2015 and it looked in the early stages like they might finally be equipped to end their seven-year drought.
The hosts enjoyed the majority of territory and possession in the opening quarter of an hour and were unfortunate not to have more than just a fourth-minute penalty from Paolo Garbisi to show for their efforts.
France say team was ill in Cardiff
France head coach Fabien Galthie says his side’s relatively subdued performance in Cardiff was down to widespread illness.
Les Bleus overcame Wales 13-9 at the Principality Stadium as the defending Six Nations champions lost for the third time in four games this season.
It was maybe the first mediocre France performance of the tournament, with the side restricted to just one try in the first half to Anthony Jelonch. For much of the contest, Wales were in the ascendancy, although Wayne Pivac’s side ultimately failed to make it count in the scoreboard.
Galthie, who had previously revealed that Antoine Dupont had injured his arm in training leading into the game, put the flat French performance down to a viral malaise in the squad.
“Wales were very tactical and tried to push us back with a lot of very long kicks,” said the 52-year-old.
“We managed to react well to their game. We knew it would be difficult because they have won the competition several times, and it’s not by chance.
“We had a team that was ill, half of them with flu and half of them with Covid.
“But despite the virus the team has managed to get a victory, and that’s the most important thing.”
Cheika appointed Argentina boss
Michael Cheika has been unveiled as Argentina’s new head coach until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
He has been part of Los Pumas‘ backroom staff for the last two years as an assistant and external adviser, and from now on he will assume responsibility as head coach.
“The starting point of the new management will be when the Argentine team receives Scotland on July 2 in San Salvador de Jujuy,” a Union statement said. “This Test match will mean the reappearance of Los Pumas on a stage in our country, after almost three years of playing as a visitor.
“The presentation of the new head coach of the Argentine team was made through a virtual press conference from London, England. In addition to Cheika, the president of the Argentine Rugby Union, Marcelo Rodríguez, Gabriel Travaglini, first vice president of the UAR, and Sol Iglesias, general manager of the entity, participated in this meeting.”