Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 May 2019

Henry Slade slices through Ireland as England inflict Six Nations defeat

Centre touches down twice in second half after first-half tries from May and Daly as England win 33-20 in Dublin

England's Manu Tuilagi celebrates as Henry Slade scores their third try against Ireland. Reuters
England's Manu Tuilagi celebrates as Henry Slade scores their third try against Ireland. Reuters

A resurgent England upset Six Nations champions Ireland on Saturday, handing Joe Schmidt a first ever home defeat in the championship with a resounding 32-20 victory that blew the tournament wide open at the first weekend.

England made a sensational start and rarely looked back, stunning the hosts with a fine Jonny May try after just 90 seconds before brushing off a reply from Cian Healy to force a raft of errors, one of them gifting Elliot Daly a second try.

Johnny Sexton cut the deficit back to four points in the second half but the mistakes kept coming for Ireland as their more ruthless opponents went for the jugular 14 minutes from time with Henry Slade touching down a perfectly weighted May kick.

Slade intercepted a Sexton pass for his second try to end Irish dreams of back-to-back grand slams at the first hurdle with a thud that a John Cooney consolation try did little to dampen.

Scotland 33-20 Italy

Winger Blair Kinghorn scored a hat-trick of tries and pivot Finn Russell provided decisive moments of genius as Scotland got their Six Nations campaign off to a winning start with a 33-20 victory over Italy at Murrayfield.

Scotland scored five tries to three for a deserved win, headlined by Kinghorn’s three scores but inspired by Russell’s clever touches, both out of the hand and with the boot.

But Scotland will be concerned after letting a 31-3 lead slip in the final 10 minutes after Simon Berghan was yellow carded and Italy took advantage of the one-man advantage to score through Guglielmo Palazzani, Edoardo Padovani and Angelo Esposito to give some late gloss to their score.

“The last 15 minutes was disappointing,” said Scotland manager Gregor Townsend. “Obviously the yellow card had a bearing on that and there are a few areas to work on but the first 60 minutes were very pleasing.”

Stuart Hogg got Scotland’s third try, although television replays cast doubt on its veracity, and substitute Chris Harris went over for their fifth.

Updated: February 2, 2019 11:02 PM