Six Nations 2016: England claim Triple Crown after overcoming Wales, whilst Ireland destroy Italy
England players celebrate winning the Triple Crown (image via:

Six Nations 2016: England claim Triple Crown after overcoming Wales, whilst Ireland destroy Italy

England beat Wales 25-21 and Ireland thumped Italy 58-15 during Saturday's two Six Nations matches.

Tom Hiscott

England have claimed the Triple Crown after beating Wales 25-21 at Twickenham. The victory follows up wins over Scotland and Ireland, meaning that the English can boast to be the cream of British rugby for the next 12 months. 

More importantly for Eddie Jones men, is the opportunity they have given themselves to win their first Grand Slam in 13 years if they can win in Paris against France next weekend. 

Elsewhere on Saturday in the Six Nations, Ireland reminded people of their excellence with a thumping nine-try victory over Italy in Dublin. The 58-15 win is Ireland's first of the campaign, and will give them some much-needed confidence going forward. 

England survive late Welsh fightback for fourth Six Nations win

England are 4/5 of the way to a Grand Slam, after holding firm to beat Wales at Twickenham. 

The result looked to be in no doubt at all after about an hour, when the hosts had built a 19-0 lead, only for the Welsh to fightback and give the English players and the crowd an almighty scare. 

The first half was a non-contest, with the Welsh players completely overwhelmed by a fired-up England. Man-of-the-match Maro Itoje in particular was a real menace for England in defence, at the lineout and with ball-in-hand. 

The only try of the first-half was scored by Anthony Watson, who accepted a pass from Mike Brown before dotting-down. The ball ended up in Brown's hands after a break from Itoje, which saw the Welsh miss one of the 19 tackles they were unsuccessful with before the break.

Anthony Watson crosses for a five-pointer (image via: Tom Jenkins, Guardian)

Watson's try, added to 11 points from the boot of Owen Farrell gave England a 16-0 lead at the break, which was nothing more than they deserved after dominating in every facet. 

After the interval, Farrell added another penalty to increase the lead to 19, before the Welsh fightback began. Dan Biggar was the man to give the visitors hope, when he collected his own charge-down of George Ford's attempted clearance kick, before adding the extras. 

Farrell added two more penalties as England extended their lead back out to 18 points, and with ten minutes remaining looked to be home and dry.

The Welsh had other ideas though, and with Dan Cole in the sin-bin, they scored a pair of converted tries through George North and Toby Faletau to bring themselves within four points. 

With England still down to 14-men, and with the Twickenham crowd in complete shock, Wales pushed for what would have been the winning try only for the linesman to adjudge that North had a foot in touch. 

England then won the subsequent lineout, before Danny Care kicked the ball as far as he could out of play with Craig Joubert then blowing his whistle for full-time. 

Ireland outclass Italy in 58-15 rout

2015 champions, Ireland finally grabbed their first victory in the 2016 Six Nations, smashing Italy 58-15 in Dublin. Ireland scored nine tries to Italy's two in the romp, putting on a show for the home crowd.

Jamie Heaslip scored a brace of tries, with his back-row partner CJ Stander also crossing for a score and front row pair Sean Cronin and Jack McGrath grabbing five-pointers of their own.

The backs accounted for four tries, through Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Ian Madigan and Fergus McFadden, with Jonny Sexton adding nine points from the boot, and Madigan four. 

For Italy, a fourth defeat on the bounce was secured despite tries from David Odiete and Leonardo Sarto