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Week 3 Recap of the 2024 Six Nations Championship!

Welcome back to The Full 80, your go-to source for the exhilarating 2024 Six Nations Championship! Let’s dive into the highlights from Week 3.

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#1. Ireland vs Wales (31-7)

#2. Scotland vs England (30-21)

#3. Italy vs France (13-13)

Saturday 24th February 2024

#1. Ireland vs Wales (31-7)

Last Saturday, Ireland showcased their superiority over Wales, clinching their third win. They are now ambitiously eyeing a consecutive Grand Slam, an unprecedented achievement in the annals of the Six Nations.

Conversely, Wales endured a disheartening third successive loss in this year’s tournament. They succumbed to Ireland with a scoreline of 31-7 in the third round, held at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

Ireland’s triumph can be largely attributed to the exceptional performances of hooker Dan Sheehan, winger James Lowe, full-back Ciaran Frawley, and lock Tadhg Beirne. Each player made significant contributions by scoring a try, leading to a bonus-point victory.

Fly-half Jack Crowley was another key player, showcasing his adept penalty skills by flawlessly executing a penalty and all four conversions.

Wales struggled to withstand the Irish offensive, lagging by 17 points at the half-time mark. They managed to secure a penalty try, resulting in Beirne’s temporary dismissal from the game.

However, despite this fleeting glimmer of success, Wales failed to increase their score. This resulted in a bitter conclusion as they suffered a third consecutive defeat in the initial three rounds of the tournament.

Aiming to etch their name in the annals of rugby history, Ireland ended on a high note by establishing a record for their 18th consecutive Home victory at the Aviva Stadium.

This achievement places them on par with England, matching their record of 11 successive Six Nations Test wins, a distinction England earned from 2015 to2017.

As it Happened:

The atmosphere was electric as Ireland initiated their formidable onslaught against Wales on Saturday.

The game’s drama began to unravel early on when Wales’ Centre, Nick Tompkins, found himself embroiled in a skirmish, ensnaring the Irish winger in a neck grapple.

This crucial juncture paved the way for Crowley, Ireland’s fly-half, to seize the spotlight. Bearing the hopes of his nation, he delivered a stunning penalty kick from an impressive distance of 40 meters, inscribing Ireland’s inaugural points on the scoreboard.

In response, Wales demonstrated an impregnable maul defence from the outset, culminating in a breakdown penalty by Tommy Reffell. This led to Ireland being thwarted on their next two attempts as they opted for corner kicks, bypassing any potential shots at the posts until the 21st minute of the match.

After a strong scrum by Ireland leading to a penalty against the rivals, Crowley sent the ball into the corner again. This move cranked up the heat on the Welsh defence, which finally buckled. In the end, a united push from Ireland’s 12-man maul successfully nudged Sheehan over the line.

Crowley swiftly converted, propelling Ireland into a 10-0 lead. Even with a shaky lineout, the scrum held firm, persisting in their assault on Wales within their half.

As the game progressed, Wales’ Captain Dafydd Jenkins found himself penalised at a ruck. In a bold move, Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony sent the ball flying to the corner, forgoing a surefire kick for points.

This gamble paid off in their favour, with Wales under heavy fire as they struggled to keep the ball away from the line. Meanwhile, a spectacular offload from Calvin Nash provided Lowe with the chance to score in the corner, marking a thrilling moment in the 32nd minute of the match.

Crowley would soon convert, just inches from the touchline, to bring the Shamrock’s side up 17-0.

As the half-time whistle was about to blow, Wales kicked into high gear. They booted the ball to the corner twice, trying to gain some ground inside Ireland’s 22. But Ireland’s defence was like a brick wall, not giving an inch.

As the second half got underway, Wales finally managed to put some points on the board. They were awarded a penalty try after Beirne was penalised for changing his bind, all while a Welsh maul was bearing down on Ireland’s defence, eyeing the try line.

Despite having a one-man advantage over the 14-strong Irish team, Wales couldn’t make the most of it. Ireland dominated ball possession, keeping Wales from adding any more points to their tally before Beirne returned to the field after his time in the sin-bin.

Wales, poised at a five-metre lineout, suffered a setback when Beirne snatched the ball, just as they were closing in on Ireland’s try-line.

But Ireland was far from finished. They launched an all-out assault, a 19-phase attack deep in Wales’ territory. And just when Wales thought they could breathe, Ronan Kelleher turned the tide with a crucial win at the breakdown. 

Ireland, relentless in their pursuit, saw their centre Bundee Aki make a daring dash under the posts. But just as the crowd’s cheers reached a crescendo, they were abruptly silenced.

A TMO review revealed an earlier knock-on by Robbie Henshaw, denying Aki his moment of glory.

As the clock ticked into the 67th minute, Ireland struck again. Jamieson Gibson-Park, with the precision of a master, fed a flawless pass to Frawley. Frawley, seizing his moment in his first Test start, touched down, securing Ireland’s third try, which was later converted to bring the scores to 24-7.

In the final act of this thrilling drama, Ireland’s lock, James Ryan, found himself in the sin-bin for repeated penalties. Meanwhile, Wales’ Aaron Wainwright was tantalisingly held up over the try-line.

But the Irish, now a 14-player battalion, weren’t done yet. They conjured up one last opportunity to secure the bonus-point fourth try.

And it was Beirne, seizing the moment after Crowley made a daring half break, who sealed the deal. The crowd went wild, the echoes of their cheers marking the end of an unforgettable match.

#2. Scotland vs England (30-21)

Scotland worked their magic last Saturday as they clinched their fourth consecutive Calcutta Cup, with notable contributions coming by way of star player Duhan Van der Merwe and his sensational hat-trick of tries.

England also showed grit and determination through the incredible efforts of George Furbank and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, concluding the scores 30-21 in Scotland’s favour.

With Van der Merwe sent to the sin bin in the closing moments of the game as a result of his dangerous tackle, the winger was undeniably the star of the show as Scotland secured the Calcutta Cup, marking an impressive fourth year in a row at retaining the title, boding well for their Six Nations hopes after a controversial loss to France in round two.

Despite England having taken an early lead in what many might regard as a messy first half, George Furbank converted a try and George Ford secured a penalty to catapult England into the lead.

However it didn’t take long until Scotland hit back with two converted tries by way of Van der Merwe and a Finn Russell penalty propelling them into the lead.

England would soon hit back, with George Ford reducing England’s point defecit to just four points with his drop goal at half time, resulting in a 17-13 lead for the hosts by the break.

However, it wasn’t long until Van der Merwe and Russell combined efforts in the early second half for Merwe’s third try, undeniably affirming the winger as Scotland’s star player, with Russell combining efforts to convert, while adding two penalties for a considerable lead.

In an attempt to regain momentum, England retaliated with a penalty from Ford and an unconverted try by Immanuel Feyi-Waboso. Despite Van der Merwe’s sin-bin penalty, which gave England a player advantage in the game’s final moments, Borthwick’s team couldn’t capitalize and failed to score any additional points. Consequently, Scotland celebrated their fourth consecutive victory over England.

As it Happened:

From the get-go, England and Scotland were on fire, showcasing formidable form and aggressive offensive strategies. England drew first blood, capitalizing on an early scrum opportunity.

Furbank, backed by the exceptional playmaking of Danny Care and Elliott Daly, dove over the line just after the 5-minute mark.

As Scotland faltered, England found more openings. They secured a penalty at the breakdown in the 14th minute, and with a conversion from Ford, they surged ahead with a 10-0 lead.

But England’s defenses started to crumble. Huw Jones made a swift break, setting up Van der Merwe to score in the corner. A conversion from Russell closed the gap to 10-7.

Emboldened, the hosts capitalized on England’s blunders. Van der Merwe, displaying extraordinary speed, outpaced Furbank and Ben Earl to score another try. With another successful conversion from Russell, Scotland snatched the lead at 14-10.

Frustration began to seep into the England camp as a breakdown error led to Scotland capitalizing on the mistake to extend their lead to 17-10 with just 5 minutes until half time. But Ford responded with a sensational drop goal, bringing the scores to a nail-biting 17-13 by half time.

As the second half kicked off, Scotland showed no signs of slowing down. They snatched the ball from England’s grasp following the lineout. Russell, with a keen eye for opportunity, delivered a crossfield kick that exploited the space created by England’s reshuffled defense line. Van der Merwe was on the receiving end, collecting the ball and touching down for a spectacular hat-trick.

The captain converted, catapulting Scotland to a commanding 24-13 lead. The tension was palpable as Scotland continued to dominate the game, leaving England scrambling to regain their footing.

With the atmosphere charged, England retaliated swiftly with a penalty from Ford. However, their attempt to close the gap proved to be in vain as Russell seized the moment, capitalizing on Earl being caught offside. He sent yet another ball sailing over the posts, bolstering his side’s lead to 27-16.

With a little over 20 minutes left on the clock, the game was reaching its boiling point and it wasn’t long before another penalty in the 64th minute saw the lead increased to 30-16.

In a surprising turn of events, the visitors launched a counter attack. Feyi-Waboso, spotting a wide gap, seized the opportunity to secure his first Test try. But England’s hopes were dashed as Fin Smith failed to add any additional points.

This left the score at 30-21 in favour of Scotland, and to the delight of the home crowd, marked their fourth consecutive Calcutta Cup victory. 

Sunday 25th February 2024

Italy vs France (13-13)

Italy came tantalizingly close to a stunning victory last Sunday, showcasing a renewed resolve and strategic play that saw them dominate phase attacks and penalties, putting the heat on Les Bleus defence.

Paolo Gabrisi stood at the crossroads for the Azzuri side, the outcome of the game hinging on his performance. Under the crushing weight of the ticking clock, he took his penalty shot. But fate had other plans. The ball veered off course, striking the posts instead of sailing through.

With the sands of time running out and the scoreboard locked at 13-13, the team had no choice but to settle for a draw, with Italy avoiding defeaf against France for the first time in 15 matches, ending a seven-match losing streak in the Six Nations Championship.

As it Happened:

From the moment the whistle blew, it seemed as if history was poised to repeat itself.

Charles Ollivon, France’s captain, orchestrated the game’s tempo, clinching a try in the electric seventh minute of the match. The home team charged out of the gates, and Thomas Ramos swiftly followed with a conversion that propelled Les Bleus to a 7-0 advantage.

France didn’t waste any time in capitalizing further, extending their lead to a commanding 10-0 courtesy of a Ramos penalty.

It was evident that Italy was under immense pressure as the first half unfolded. France stretched their opponent’s defense to its limits, but their efforts proved fruitless as they squandered opportunities before the break.

Italy continued to feel the pressure, making several attempts to run the ball into France’s 22, however they could not breach the try line.

The tide of the game quickly shifted in Italy’s favour when Jonathan Danty was penalized with a sin bin for his high tackle.

Upon further review, the penalty was escalated to a red card, leaving France one player short. This turn of events provided Martin Page-Relo with an opportunity to score a long-range penalty, marking Italy’s first entry onto the scoreboard. By half time, the score stood at 10-3 in favour of France.

Emerging from the intermission, Italy was armed with a resurgence of resolve. France’s Ramos, with an unerring precision, extended the lead by 10 points to 13-3 with a penalty kick that sliced through the uprights. However, Italy’s fly-half Garbisi, undeterred, retaliated with a penalty kick of his own, narrowing the chasm to a mere 7 points.

The game, a tense standoff until now, erupted into a frenzy in the 70th minute. Italy, with a series of relentless attacks, finally saw the ball spiral into the waiting arms of winger Ange Capuozzo. With a burst of speed and a leap of faith, he crossed the line to score a try. Garbisi, with a steady hand and a focused gaze, converted the try, drawing the scores level at 13-13.

As the final seconds bled from the clock, Italy, with victory within their grasp, were awarded a last-minute penalty. But fate had a cruel twist in store. The ball slipped from the tee, and Garbisi’s hurried re-adjustment resulted in a rushed kick. The ball ricocheted off the posts, leaving the scores tied as the final whistle echoed across the pitch. 

What’s next?

As we delve into the fourth week of the exciting 2024 Six Nations Championship, the burning question on everyone’s lips is: Who will emerge as the ultimate victor? 

While the sands of time will eventually unveil the answer, for now, let’s keep our eyes glued to the thrilling matches. Here’s the schedule, complete with match times and venues:

Round 4 (Saturday, 9 March 2024):

  • Italy vs. Scotland
    • Kick-off time: 14:15 UTC
    • Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
  • England vs. Ireland
    • Kick-off time: 16:45 UTC
    • Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
  • Wales vs. France
    • Kick-off time: 15:00 UTC
    • Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Missed out on Round 2?

We’ve got you covered! Check out the Six Nations Round 2 Recap right here at The Full 80.

By Peter Wakeford

Just your everyday grassroots guru. I'm here to sprinkle some sportsy magic on your day with the latest boot drops, guides, news, and a dash of quirky humor. Let's lace up and have a laugh on this sporting adventure!

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