Wallabies get European Tour back on track with victory over Italy, while Six Nations champions Wales beaten by Springboks at home.
Rugby round-up: Wins for Australia, England, Scotland and South Africa
Wales 15 South Africa 24
Wales captain Sam Warburton did not attempt to hide his feelings after his side went down to a 24-15 defeat against South Africa at the Millennium Stadium.
Tries from Jean De Villiers, Bismarck Du Plessis and Fourie Du Preez, seven points from Morne Steyn and a conversion from Pat Lambie were enough to see off the Six Nations champions.
Wales, who were hit by first-half injuries to Jonathan Davies, Liam Williams, Adam Jones and Scott Andrews, registered five penalties from Leigh Halfpenny but it was not enough.
Warburton told BBC2: “A massive amount of frustration.
“We had genuine belief we could have won this weekend but it wasn’t to be.”
He added: “We were in control for 23 minutes of the second half.
“It seems against these top sides you make one mistake and pay the price.
“But South Africa are a top-quality side.
“They finished their chances when they had to.”
Ireland 40 Samoa 9
Ireland got off to a winning start under new coach Joe Schmidt, beating Samoa 40-9 in a scrappy encounter that featured occasional glimpses of the attacking rugby the New Zealander is renowned for.
Tries from Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien, Fergus McFadden and two for debutant David Kearney, together with a solid kicking display from Paddy Jackson eased Schmidt into his job of picking up the Irish from their worst Six Nations in 14 years.
Samoa, ranked one place ahead of Ireland following victories over Wales and Scotland in the last year, looked the more threatening side in the first 20 minutes but only had one Tusi Pisi penalty to Jackson’s two.
The hosts dominated at the set piece and Ireland’s first try began and ended with the pack, driving the visitors back from a lineout just inside the 22-yard line to allow Munster captain O’Mahony to barrel over.
Pisi and Jackson traded penalties to leave the hosts 14-6 ahead at halftime, but crucially the Samoans were reduced to 14 men just before the break when centre George Pisi was sent to the sin bin.
Ireland took full advantage with O’Brien, a first-half replacement for the injured Chris Henry, touching down after a breakaway move that included an outrageous assist from Brian O’Driscoll who flicked an earlier pass through his legs.
The biggest roar was saved for new Ireland captain Paul O’Connell who entered the fray before Kearney, another replacement, stretched the lead after collecting a pass from his brother Rob to dive over in the corner.
Italy 20 Australia 50
Australia shook off a rocky start to crush Italy 50-20 at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday and bounce back from a morale-sapping loss to England.
The Wallabies’ 20-13 defeat to England at Twickenham shot down their Grand Slam bid in their tour opener, but they got back to winning ways in Turin.
Italy dominated the early stages before a fearsome backlash from Australia kicked in as the Wallabies scored 33 points without reply, with tries from Ben Mowen, Tevita Kuridrani, Nick Cummins (two), Adam Ashley-Cooper, Joe Tomane and Israel Folau.
Quade Cooper converted four, and Christian Leali’ifano two.
Luke McLean, Lorenzo Cittadini and debutant Tommaso Allan crossed for Italy’s tries.
England 31 Argentina 12
England relied on a superb first-half display featuring three tries in a 21-minute spell to see off Argentina 31-12 at Twickenham on Saturday, backing up last weekend’s victory over Australia.
However, the English celebrations were muted at the final whistle after a sloppy second half against the spirited Pumas, with the hosts’ only points after the break coming from a 78th-minute try by Ben Morgan.
Tries by Joe Launchbury, Billy Twelvetrees and Chris Ashton put England 24-6 up by the 34th minute and if Stuart Lancaster’s team can recreate that intensity against top-ranked New Zealand next week, an autumn sweep of victories could still be on.
All of Argentina’s points came from penalties, with the South Americans now having lost seven straight Tests after a chastening Rugby Championship.
Scotland 42 Japan 17
Scotland survived two second half scares to get their November test campaign off to a winning start against a plucky Japanese side at Murrayfield with a 42-17 victory on Saturday.
The Scots led 11-3 at half time but tries by left wing Kenki Fukuuoka twice pegged back the gap to a single point before the hosts pulled clear with four tries in the final 25 minutes.
Scotland bagged six tries in all, wing Tommy Seymour claiming a brace on his home debut and Greig Laidlaw, Alasdair Dickinson, Duncan Weir and Sean Lamont also crossing the opposition whitewash.