Six Nations as it happened

England earn a big win over Scotland after Grand Slam champions Wales lose at home to Ireland as the Six Nations starts with a bang.

2 February 2013 Last updated at 18:36 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1823: 

    Right you lot, as the Six Nations forum approaches its inevitable end, I'm going to wrap this thing up. It's been lovely having you, I'll see you next week.


    Scotland head coach Scott Johnson: "We said before the match that if we got the contact area right we'd win the game. Yeah, they had the opportunities. We butchered a couple, too. We gave them too many easy yards and we're really disappointed. We let ourselves down. We have to forget the tries. The reality is we have to get this part of the game right. And we're capable of doing it. If we get that right we'll have an attractive rugby team."

    Sir Clive Woodward, BBC Sport

    "When you've got a player like Stuart Hogg, as a coach, you're just lucky. It's like having Jason Robinson in your team. You know you're going to play him somewhere. He's in there in terms o the Lions, but I'm sure they see him as a 15 because of his pace."

    Andy Nicol, BBC Sport

    "This time last year, you probably wouldn't have had Chris Robshaw on the [Lions] tour. Of the four captains this weekend there were three sevens and an eight. It's competitive but he looks a leader."


    England captain Chris Robshaw: "It's always great to get off to a win, especially at home, to kick off the campaign. There are lot of areas to work on. I think the attack took some shape, but we were a little loose as well. The coaches have given the structure and backed us to go and play and there's nothing better than when the coaches back you. We are moving forward. Everyone is starting to understand each other a bit better."

    Sir Clive Woodward, BBC Sport

    "I thought Ben Youngs had a great game, he organised his forwards well and made some good decisions."


    Emma Pilkington on Twitter: "Great game England! Watch out Ireland."

    Philip Forster on Twitter: "Belting Calcutta Cup game. You write Scotland off at your peril! Think they'll surprise people this year."

    Adam Latham on Twitter: "Thought Scotland looked more dangerous and enthusiastic than any time in the last 3 years. They played really well."

    JP on Twitter: "Billy Twelvetrees seems to have a very similar game to Will Greenwood, which will create a huge amount of space in midfield."


    England's Billy Twelvetrees, who scored a try on debut, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It was a thoroughly enjoyable debut. It was a million miles an hour but enjoyable. We wanted to play a good brand of rugby. It didn't always come off but we're in the right place."

    Andy Nicol, BBC Sport

    "Stuart Hogg, without the doubt [impressed]. The effort was there, there's no doubt about it. There was a lot of effort. I didn't really see the influence of Scott Johnson and Dean Ryan but I don't think it was the game to see that. Scotland in the Six Nations was never going to be judged on today."

    Sir Clive Woodward, BBC Sport

    "Playing at Twickenham is one thing. Going to Dublin, Edinburgh, Cardiff is totally different. I think England achieved everything they wanted to. They've got every chance of winning next week."


    England centre Billy Twelvetrees: "It was nice to get on the scoreboard but it hasn't sunk in yet. I just wanted to get out there and do what I do every weekend for Gloucester."


    England head coach Stuart Lancaster: "I'm really pleased with the scoreline. We definitely would have taken that at the start of the day. We've been building steadily, getting more consistent. That New Zealand game gave us a lot of confidence and what we'll do is continue to build on that. Our intent to play [was pleasing], it was a great day to play. Fair play to Scotland, their defence was outstanding, work rate and commitment. We've got good guys to come off the bench and they made a difference also."

    Gavin Hastings, BBC Radio 5 live

    "At no stage did we [Scotland] look like we would win. We played second fiddle to England. We weren't able to establish a dominance. In the end I give full credit to England. It's going to be hard for Scotland. They've got lots to work on ahead of next week."

    Andy Nicol, BBC Sport

    "England were very ruthless. Nine turnovers to eight, but from those nine turnovers England must have scored 21 points. They were very efficient. Scotland can take a lot from this."

    Sir Clive Woodward, BBC Sport

    "England are looking a very hard team to stop with the ball in hand. There's always areas [to improve]. The key things in rugby, the lineout went well the scrum went well, and you can build from there. What really impressed me is that all the forwards can handle the ball. Twelvetrees had a great game. Next week we'll see how good this England team is."

  16. 1749: 

    Chris Robshaw climbs the Twickenham steps and picks up the Calcutta Cup from Princess Anne. Drops the lid, although it's hardly a Dean Richards-like piece of vandalism. Remember, we've got a Six Nations forum on the red button, where we'll have Clive Woodward, Jeremy Guscott and Andy Nicol chatting about rugby and stuff.


    Man of the match Owen Farrell: "It's brilliant, especially to get back out at Twickenham. It's what international rugby is all about and it's why we love playing the game. We played with real pace and tempo and I thought the intensity was good. It's important to keep the scoreboard ticking over. The boys earn the penalties and you just want to reward them by kicking the points over."

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport

    "Owen Farrell has answered a lot of questions in terms of his distribution. For a man of his age, he's still very young, he's had a great game. He's directed England very well. He's been playing with aplomb. He's added the handling to the kicking game."

    Chris Paterson, BBC Sport

    "Both coaches will be pleased with what they've seen. Scotland have a starting point. England have kicked on from the autumn. Next weekend's games should be exciting."

    FULL-TIME- England 38-18 Scotland

    I don't remember seeing an England-Scotland game as entertaining as that, it was a match that throbbed from start to finish. Scotland can take plenty of heart from that performance, it's Italy up next for them, at Murrayfield. As for England, they will travel to Dublin next weekend confident of doing some damage.

    TRY- England 38-18 Scotland

    Brian Moore opts for Owen Farrell as the man of the match and you can't really argue with that. That said, England skipper Chris Robshaw has been ubiquitous. Hartley with a throw in 5m out and England are still looking for one last try... Haskell goes storming through before Danny Care touches down under the posts. Great performance by England - whisper it quietly, but this might be a pretty decent England team Lancaster is building.

  22. 78 mins: 

    Gray with a crisp take at the line-out but England have them back-pedalling. Drop-out 22, on comes Wilson of Bath for Dan Cole. Lawes goes smashing through a ruck, nicks the ball, but Richie Gray snuffs out the threat. Care goes on a snipe before Vunipola shows what he's all about with a snorting carry... Flood with the break - look at that wiggle! - before Brown is brought down... Haskell thinks he's in, gets turned, and the Wasps man is penalised for holding onto the ball. Great defence by Scotland when the game has already been lost.

  23. 73 mins: 

    Scotland still got some grunt in this final quarter, I thought they might be out on their feet by now. Scotland penalty, Brown opts for the kick to the corner...


    Rhys Mackay on Twitter: "Same old Scotland, always knocking on! Come on England, great dominating performance so far."

    Kirsty Irvine on Twitter: "I'm not sure I can watch the next 20 mins..."

    Colin Dryden on Twitter: "Battling play by Scotland making the best of their lesser resources. No shame in losing to a better side."

    Chris Paterson, BBC Sport

    "What a fantastic try. There were five turnovers in the build-up and to have the courage and ability to score from there.... A great counter-attack from Scotland."

  26. 71 mins: 
    TRY- England 31-18 Scotland

    Strettle is on for Alex Goode and he makes a half-break. Flood almost makes a hole but is brought down by Gray... tremendous offload play by England but Denton eventually turns it over and comes flying clear... Scotland try, Maitland kicking on, Stuart Hogg hacking through and the Scotland full-back beats Flood to the touch. Laidlaw lands the extras...

  27. 68 mins: 

    England's defence to the fore now and they eventually win the penalty. Farrell into touch, Scotland huffed and they puffed but they couldn't blow England's house down. Matt Scott with a wild tackle on Barritt, Farrell gains another 25 yards of territory. Flood on for Twelvetrees, Farrell shifted to centre.

  28. 65 mins: 

    Beattie show cast iron cojones as he goes on a chunter but the ball is eventually knocked on by Denton, chance gone. Scotland get a good shove on but England hang on. Scratch that, Scotland win a put-in. Courtney Lawes on for Joe Launchbury, Stuart Lancaster has got plenty of trump cards up his sleeve...

  29. 62 mins: 

    Hogg with a magnificent clearance under pressure but here come England again. Goode into the line and here comes Vunipola, a rippling mass of a man... Scotland turn it over and Hogg chooses to run it from behind his own line... Visser kicks and they eventually win a penalty, the ball being sent into touch inside the England 22...

  30. 59 mins: 

    England really showing some buccaneering spirit now - training ground move from the back of the scrum, Ashton kicks through, but Robshaw is eventually ushered into touch...


    Joe Gammie on Twitter: "Scottish discipline has been abominable today! Let's just let England win why don't we?!"

    Jake Harrison on Twitter: "That try was stunning!"

    Chris Paterson, BBC Sport

    "It was actually quite a good defensive line from Scotland so it takes something special to beat that. Also the depth of Owen Farrell, he was deep enough to see that and give himself time to execute that wonderful pass."

    Gavin Hastings, BBC Radio 5 live

    "England are on a high and I'm not sure Scotland have got the legs. I've been very impressed with England's runners. I think they are going to prove a real handful in this season's Six Nations."

  34. 57 mins: 

    Hook against the head and Ben Youngs kicks through - Scotland really creaking now. Scotland forwards coach Dean Ryan said beforehand that "England don't play much". They're making him eat his words out there. Two England changes, Care and Vunipola on for Ben Youngs and Marler.

  35. 54 mins: 
    TRY- England 31-11 Scotland

    Robshaw showing a cool head, taking referee Alain Rolland's explanation like a man. Tom Youngs is off, on comes Dylan Hartley in his stead. Ben Youngs with a sniping run, Owen Farrell with a long miss-pass and Parling goes over for his first try for England. Good vision by Farrell, a little bit more than a kicker... Farrell pushes his conversion attempt wide, but it's been a fine all-round performance by the Saracens man.

  36. 52 mins: 

    Ross Ford is on for Dougie Hall, who's tweaked a knee. Richie Gray pinged for going off his feet and Farrell smashes the ball into touch just outside the Scotland 22. Youngs switches play to Twelvetrees before Robshaw finds himself in space only to find no-one outside him... Brown almost through and he offloads to Robshaw, who is everywhere at the moment... Goode brought down just short but Joe Launchbury is in for his first England try... no try! Tom Youngs with a bit of naughty work round the neck...

    Matt Dawson, BBC Radio 5 live

    "There's still 35 minutes left and Scotland are capable of scoring tries. They are very dangerous on the counter attack. Will England give them a chance from the deep?"

  38. 46 mins: 

    Difficult to see the Scots coming back from this, they haven't played badly, it's just that England have been pretty clinical. James Haskell into the fray for Morgan, who had a pretty good game, especially with ball in hand. Farrell with a cute kick out of hand, Scotland pinned into their own territory...


    Matt Green on Twitter: "There are some amazing beards at Twickenham this afternoon."

    Louise Ward on Twitter: "Insight into the science behind success!! Clive Woodward 'I wouldn't choose a player with a beard'. Genius!"

    Jonnie Horden on Twitter: "You're wrong Woodward. All international rugby players should have beards. I wouldn't pick a player who didn't have a beard."

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport

    "Twelvetrees has had a good debut. He's made a number of half breaks and that was a result of England doing things properly, not trying to force things. When it was right to go they had the skill to do that."

  41. 42 mins: 
    TRY- England 26-11 Scotland

    Here we go again, Jackson with the restart. England with an early penalty, Murray holding onto the ball. England line-out just outside the Scotland 22 and Wood very nearly finds a way through... Robshaw gets his legs pumping before Morgan gets on a rumble... Twelvetrees in for a try on debut! The Gloucester man with a jagged angle and reaching over for the score, Farrell unerring with the conversion.

    Andy Nicol, BBC Sport

    "Scotland had to weather the storm in the first 10 minutes and they did. I think the penalty gives Scotland a boost going into half-time. There's been some good play by Scotland that they need to build on in the second half."

    Sir Clive Woodward, BBC Sport

    "I'm really pleased. Great game. Scotland scoring early has made the game. I think England are playing really well. If Scotland are to win this game they've got to look at that penalty count and say to England 'you've got to score tries to beat us'."

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport

    "A very entertaining first half. Both sides have enough positives to take into the second half. The score reflects England's dominance in the gain line."


    England lead on possession, 62% to 38%, but Scotland have played their part, they've been bright and vital. England have been sturdy and thrusting and the better side.

  46. 40 mins: 
    PENALTY- England 19-11 Scotland

    Beattie with a marauding break, ball in one hand, and Scotland have the penalty, the hirsute Marler coming off his feet. Laidlaw makes his kick and I'd say that score is a pretty good reflection of play, it's been a highly entertaining first half.

  47. 38 mins: 
    PENALTY- England 19-8 Scotland

    Johnnie Beattie with the high tackle on Morgan and Farrell gets another kick at goal from just inside the 10m line. Drilled that, that's a Rolls-Royce technique the young lad's got...

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport

    "England's offload game has been good. You get a charge down behind you and you're always playing catch up. It's very difficult to reorganise. We've seen both England second-rows. They are very proficient. New, different types of second rows: athletic and precise."

  49. 34 mins: 

    England Women got their Six Nations defence off to the ideal start, with a resounding 76-0 win over Scotland. Head coach Gary Street's side notched up 12 tries in Esher. Parling spills a pass from Ben Youngs... bit of ping-pong and Hogg eventually finds touch with a doozy from a tight angle...

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport

    "Quite often the opening games of Six Nations are stodgy affairs with people trying to find each other out. This game is at a cracking tempo. A lot of positive work by both sides. I'm really enjoying it."

  51. 30 mins: 
    TRY- England 16-8 Scotland

    Jackon's kick is charged down and eventually Parling goes charging through the Scotland defence. Twelvetrees is almost through but is felled by Scott and here comes Launchbury... Ashton into the line and that's a try, although they're going upstairs... try given, that's Ashton's 17th for England, the Saracens man now equal with Lawrence Dallaglio. Farrell with the conversion, England lead by eight.

  52. 28 mins: 

    Strokosch is out for the match with a facial injury, Denton in for the long haul. Matt Scott injecting some wriggle into the Scotland midfield before Laidlaw puts a good kick long, Mike Brown slicing his return into touch...

    Matt Dawson, BBC Radio 5 live

    "England need to calm themselves down, they are a little bit frantic."

  54. 25 mins: 

    Parling is unable to claim at the rear of the line-out and we've got some harem-scarem stuff. England go left before Brown is eventually taken down and here goes Ashton with the half-break. Robshaw now before Goode skips into the line... Twelvetrees with a touch of class, finding Barritt, but that's a Scotland penalty. Both sides should be applauded, it's been a game full of adventure so far.


    Harry Sangwin on Twitter: "Twelvetrees has a strong resemblance to napoleon dynamite."

    Matthew Connolly on Twitter: "Scotland - One Direction haircuts no direction passing!"

  56. 23 mins: 

    Scotland competing well at the breakdown but here's Goode with a little goose-step and a pass inside. Dan Cole is unable to hold onto a pass inside from Ahton, Visser hacks clear and Scotland have a line-out in England's 22. Over the top to Denton but Scotland give away the penalty at the breakdown, Dan Cole the spoiler...

  57. 20 mins: 
    PENALTY- England 9-8 Scotland

    Penalty to Scotland as England hooker Tom Youngs comes in from the side after a carry from Parling. Laidlaw with the three-pointer, not a lot in it.

    PENALTY- England 9-5 Scotland

    As easy as you like by Farrell, three from three so far...

  59. 17 mins: 

    Robshaw spoils his good work, great take followed by an iffy offload to Tom Youngs. Scotland put-in but Dave Denton puts his side in all sorts of bother with a wild and windy pass and it's an England penalty bang in front...

    Gavin Hastings, BBC Radio 5 live

    "A magnificent start by England. They are aiming to play expansive rugby whenever they can."

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport

    "Scotland supporters must have thought early on that they butchered a chance. I have no idea where the England chasers were. Scotland need to take every chance that they get and they've started well."

  62. 13 mins: 
    PENALTY- England 6-5 Scotland

    Farrell pops over the three-pointer, Dave Denton into the fray already, on for Alasdair Strokosch.

  63. 12 mins: 

    Laidlaw is unable to bend in the conversion from out wide. Not sure what was going on with the England cover defence there, Brown committed himself to the outside man, Hogg went through the hole and Alex Goode it was with a rather weak tackle. Great start to this game, Twelvetrees now with a dart. Penalty England, Kelly Brown the guilty man...

  64. 10 mins: 
    TRY- England 3-5 Scotland

    England securing quick ball at the moment and here comes Mike Brown with a scuttle down the left wing. Launchbury spills it and Laidlaw thumps clear. What a break by Hogg, scything through the England defence, carrying into the England 22 and feeding inside to Laidlaw. TRY SCOTLAND! Sean Maitland, on debut, touching down in the corner.

  65. 7 mins: 

    Scotland put-in on their own 5m line. Solid set-piece and Hogg cocks the hammer and clears his lines...

  66. 4 mins: 

    Twelvetrees' first touch in international rugby is an inauspicious one but England emerge from a scrappy bit of play with a put in at the scrum. Early engage Scotland, Farrell puts up a bomb, here comes Barritt out on the left, and here comes Wood, swerving inside the Scotland cover defence... Twelvetrees with a half-break but an attempted offload lands in Scottish hands. But here come England again, all red roses so far...

  67. 2 mins: 
    PENALTY- England 3-0 Scotland

    Referee Alain Rolland peeps his whistle and Owen Farrell gets us under way... Morgan on a barrel and here comes Cole, 18 stone of prime beef... England penalty bang in front and Farrell pops it over to give England the early advantage...


    Craig Davies on Twitter: "Got a good feeling about Scotland nicking a win today."

    Jade Monaghan on Twitter: "Crazy stat 'not a single player of the England team was alive the last time Scotland won at Twickers'"

    Toby Hayward on Twitter: "Right now down to business. The Calcutta Cup. Come on England but do not underestimate the Scots."

  69. 1559: 

    I do like these England tracksuits - deep purple with a gold rose. The pre-match paraphernalia is cleared from the pitch, we'll have some play in a minute.

    Sir Clive Woodward, BBC Sport

    "This is a lot better Scotland team than 12 months ago. It's a far better England team than 12 months ago. I do think it's going to be a tight game with England just nudging it in the end."

  71. 1558: 

    Euan Murray first out, he's winning his 50th cap today. As John Inverdale has just pointed out, the last time Scotland won at Twickenham there was a Laidlaw and a Beattie in the side, while there was also a Youngs in the England squad. Flower of Scotland...

  72. 1555: 

    Let's be honest, England-Scotland games haven't exactly been barnstormers of late but you get the feeling this one might be different. Both sides lined up in the tunnel, they'll be out in a minute...

  73. 1553: 

    Billy Twelvetrees making his debut for England, in for the injured Manu Tuilagi. Could Twelvetrees be the Will Greenwood England have been looking for since the Leicester man retired? Not one member of Scotland's starting XV was alive when they last won at Twickenham, which is a sobering thought.

  74. 1550: 

    Scotland have a Dutchman and a Kiwi on either wing today, and Tom Visser and Sean Maitland have got plenty of lead in their pencil. Dougie Hall getting his first start in six years at hooker for the Scots, Johnnie Beattie back in at number eight.


    England head coach Stuart Lancaster: "There is expectation now and that's slightly different from this time last year. Twelve months ago we were the underdogs. We have to concentrate on what we do and what we can do well and hopefully the score will look after itself."

  76. 1548: 

    On their first visit to play England, the Scots had to hack their way through allotments to find the pitch. That's not made up, it's in my notes. Scotland with a new coaching set-up for this year's Six Nations following the departure of Andy Robinson - former Wales coach Scott Johnson is at the helm, with proud Englishman Dean Ryan in charge of the forwards. It's an odd couple but they're both claiming it's working out. We're about to find out.


    Neil Dodsworth on Twitter: "Hmm England bt NZ and Scotland lose to Tonga in Nov, but I expect the usual close affair today in a scrappy game."

    Richard Bicknell on Twitter: "Excited to see what this England team is capable of, not just today but against the tougher teams."

  78. 1544: 

    Right, only one winner this afternoon at Twickers, surely? Scotland haven't won at Twickenham since 1983, when Laidlaw, Rutherford et al stormed the English fortress. Indeed, Scotland's record at Twickenham is pretty diabolical, with only four wins in 45 matches - 1926, 1938, 1971 and that win in '83. England's last win was a thumping of world champions New Zealand, Scotland's was a humbling defeat by Tonga. But I've got a feeling...


    Full time at Esher, and England Women have smashed Scotland Women 76-0, running in 12 tries.

    Andy Nicol, BBC Sport

    "It's very hard [for Scotland], there's no doubt about that. A lot of changes have taken place [since defeat by Tonga]. There's a new coaching structure, a third of the side has changed. I don't think they'd have talked about Tonga in the build-up to this game."

    Sir Clive Woodward, BBC Sport

    "It's the time of year when rugby takes centre stage around the whole country. The expectations are huge today. Twickenham feels very special. There's a very expectant crowd here."


    Claire Brennan on Twitter: "Actually stayed half an hour over my shift cause I couldn't take my eyes off that!"

    Wayne Palmer on Twitter: "Great start to the Six Nations."

    Kristian Miller on Twitter: "Tale of 2 halves but can't give 20 points away at international rugby and expect to come back."


    Former Lions and Wales out-side half Phil Bennett on BBC Radio Wales: "Anyone calling Wales lazy must be crazy, but Ireland deserved to win. O'Driscoll was outstanding and he was not alone and I agree with Garin Jenkins. It was a great game."


    Man of the Match Brian O'Driscoll: "First game is a must win otherwise you're chasing your tail for the rest of the competition. We owed Wales one. They did a number on us in the last three games. We came out of the blocks in the first half and played really well. It was just our discipline [which let us down in the second half]. They were able to kick to the corners and build momentum. Rugby is a game of momentum."

  85. 1528: 

    Not much time to ruminate on that result, we're heading straight over to Twickenham for England versus Scotland. I've wet my finger, stuck it in the air and felt an upset...

    Martyn Williams, BBC Sport

    "Wales have got to take great heart from this second half but they've got to be disappointed as well. What a game. Wales, when the shackles were off, showed how dangerous they can be."

    FULL-TIME- Wales 22-30 Ireland

    And that's that, what a start to this year's Six Nations, a real breathless encounter. Wales splattered in the first half, Ireland on the rack in the second, you might not see a better match in the tournament this year. Guess who was man of the match? That man Brian O'Driscoll.

  88. 79 mins: 

    The clock runs down in Cardiff. North with the grubber and Zebo is eventually hunted down as he looks to counter...


    Twenty minutes to go at Esher, and England Women are dominating Scotland Women - they're 57-0 up.

  90. 75 mins: 
    TRY- Wales 22-30 Ireland

    That's a try, Craig Mitchell of Exeter Chiefs was never in doubt. Halfpenny nudges over the extras, Wales still have to score twice. As bad as Wales were in the first half they've been excellent since the break. As for that Ireland defence...


    Ollie James on Twitter: "Too little too late from Wales?"

    Adam Turner on Twitter: "Leigh halfpenny has been exceptional today, what a display... Try well deserved, great direct running."

  92. 75 mins: 

    Tipuric with the take at the line-out, right into the bread-basket, and here's Wales with a maul... Craig Mitchell lunges for the line and Romain Poite is going upstairs...

    Martyn Williams, BBC Sport

    "As well as Wales have attacked, you've got to take your hat off to the Irish defence. Down to 14 men. Fantastic defence by Ireland."


    Former Lions and Wales outside-half Phil Bennett on BBC Radio Wales: "Magnificent, incredible defence from the Irish, but what Wales have lacked is a little bit of composure."

  95. 74 mins: 

    Olly Kohn of Harlequins is on for Coombs, Hook on for Biggar, changes all round. O'Driscoll with the put-in - Ireland's number nine Murray is in the bin - and here he is with the box kick into touch.


    OptaJim on Twitter: "1 - Fiji's 41-38 defeat of Tonga in 2010 was the only time in Test history a side has overturned a 20-point half-time deficit. Unlikely."

  97. 73 mins: 

    Faletau goes again from the base of the scrum, he's been very good since the break, and here's another penalty, Lloyd Williams with the tap and go... Warburton lunges for the line but comes up short... Biggar with the long pass and that's great work by Halfpenny, flicking the ball to North... Wales have butchered it, Jonathan Davies has two men outside him but Faletau, the closest to him, is standing in front of him. Wales knock-on, probably Wales' chance of winning this match gone.

  98. 70 mins: 

    ... Owens misses his man at the line-out again but here comes Jonathan Davies after some neat work by North, standing Zebo up with a side-step. Biggar into the corner again, problem is Owens is having a bit of a nightmare with his throwing. Declan Fitzpatrick on for Mike Ross at tight-head. Owens finds his man and here comes Roberts steaming into the Ireland defence. Faletau looks to have scored, the Wales number eight flying into the line and touching the ball down at the base of the post - no, he's actually short, that's a very good decision by Romain Poite... Conor Murray in the sin-bin...


    England Women are demolishing Scotland Women at Esher, courtesy of BBC's Sara Orchard : "47min TRY ENGLAND CHAMBERLAIN on her Eng debut Eng 38-0 Sco. Conversion Reed."

  100. 67 mins: 

    Ken Owens muffs a line-out throw, looked liked he got a touch of the yips. Cuthbert tries to get outside O'Brien but is forced to kick through and the ball rolls dead. However, it's a penalty as O'Brien is pinged for tackling the man without the ball. Biggar into the corner, another try-scoring chance...

  101. 64 mins: 

    Video replay: Want to see Simon Zebo's back-heel flick again, which set up Cian Healy try? Course you do. Mike Phillips is replaced by Lloyd Williams at scrum-half for Wales, Best still in the bin. Wales penalty as Sean O'Brien finds himself isolated, Biggar clears his lines...

  102. 62 mins: 

    Maybe I wrote Wales off too soon, Ireland are on the ropes at the moment and unable to get any punches off. Another try in the next 10 minutes and who know what might happen. Biggar with the half-break and it's still on, Cuthbert screaming down the right wing... Ireland penalty, chance gone...

  103. 59 mins: 

    Wales with a 13-man line-out and here comes North again... Halfpenny touches down in the corner, that should be a try... it is indeed, tremendous strength by wee Halfpenny, managing to stay in play despite a double-tackle by Zebo and Heaslip... Halfpenny unable to make the conversion from a very acute angle...


    Former Wales hooker Garin Jenkins on BBC Radio Wales: "Coombs has been fantastic on his debut. He has been Wales's best ball-carrier."

  105. 57 mins: 

    Welsh put in, for only the second time in the match. Earls is on for D'Arcy in the Irish midfield... Wales penalty and Phillips is furious that he's not allowed to take the quick one, bit petty from referee Romain Poite. Warburton with the take at the line-out, Wales smashing at the Irish defence like frothy waves crashing into a wall... Wales with acres out left but Jonathan Davies sends out another rancid pass... North mops it up but is hauled down by three Irish defenders... Coombs has had an impressive debut, plenty of carries... Halfpenny gets cleaved in two by Gilroy, Best sees yellow, epic defence by Ireland...

  106. 53 mins: 

    Peter O'Mahoney is off injured, replaced by Chris Henry of Ulster. North popping up in the Welsh line at will now, a sign that the hosts are at least trying to make things happen behind the scrum. Halfpenny with the show and go before Murray knocks on, although not deliberately.


    England Women have extended their lead over Scotland at Esher, via BBC's Sara Orchard: "36min TRY ENG WILSON Eng 24-0 Sco women. No conversion."

  108. 51 mins: 

    Here come Wales again, Faletau hammering up the pitch before Tipuric takes over... Ireland turn it over and here comes Gilroy, kicking ahead. That Cuthbert try has opened this game up like a can of beans... tremendous work by O'Driscoll back there, just nudging Phillips' arm as he was about top pull the trigger...

  109. 48 mins: 
    TRY- Wales 10-30 Ireland

    Ireland pinged for not releasing, Biggar kicks for the corner. Coombs with a clean take in the line-out and Wales batter away at the Irish line before Cuthbert comes clattering into the line and touches down. Wales have a pulse after all... Halfpenny nails the extras...

  110. 46 mins: 

    Not sure what Warburton can say behind those posts, not even Henry V at his most verbose could stir this Welsh side from its lethargy. As an historical aside, most of Henry's archers at Agincourt were Welsh. Shingler off for Tipuric, no idea why he wasn't just brought on at half-time. Faletau trying to inject some energy into proceedings but there is an air of disbelief at the Millennium Stadium at the moment.

  111. 43 mins: 
    TRY- Wales 3-30 Ireland

    Sexton with the restart, George North underneath it. Doesn't look like Wales have made changes - well, why would you after a first half like that? That's not a good start, Wales turned over right on their own 22. Sturdy Irish scrum, Ryan with a hefty carry... Sexton with the wraparound in midfield before Kearney very nearly finds a way through out on the right wing and O'Driscoll does, try number 46 for Ireland's Prince of Centres.

    Martyn Williams, BBC Sport

    "For me, I'd put James Hook on and [Justin] Tipuric on because, at the moment, it's not quite working and we need to do something a little bit different in the second half."


    Opta Jim on Twitter: "20 - Ireland have led Wales by 20 points at half-time twice before and went on to score six tries in each match (both wins). Given."


    Connor Plane on Twitter: "I'm not actually Irish, but I will happily support any team that can take the Welsh apart like this."

    David Smart on Twitter: "Absolutely disgraceful first-half performance from Wales. Howley is far too out of his depth."

    Emily Yowza Morgan on Twitter: "Good first half, fair to say Zebo is a legend."

  115. 1429: 

    Jonathan Davies looks angry up in the pundits box, as well he might, that was one of the worst halves of rugby you'll see from a Welsh team. Some chat now about this summer's Lions squad, not sure there'll be too many Welshmen on the plane on this evidence.


    BBC's Sara Orchard is watching England Women v Scotland Women at Esher in Surrey: "18min - TRY ENG WOMEN - Hunter. No con Eng 5-0 Scotland."


    Former Wales hooker Garin Jenkins on BBC Radio Wales:"I would change the core of the Wales team. I would bring on Lloyd Williams at scrum-half, James Hook at fly-half and Ken Owens at hooker because we need a spark from somewhere."

    Martyn Williams, BBC Sport

    "It's difficult to argue against Ireland's lead. They've been outstanding. It's a long way to go. This Welsh side can come back but they need a big, big start to the second half."

    Keith Wood, BBC Sport

    "It kind of goes down to attitude and self belief. The Irish attitude is energetic and positive and they all have self belief. Wales seem to be a little step off the pace. When you look at the body language of some of the players, some of the Welsh guys are downcast and that's putting the others under pressure."


    Keith Tatters on Twitter: "Cracking start to the BBC six nations Hard hits, blood and a couple of good tries. Second half can only get better."

    Steve Bowes on Twitter: "Wales have been terrible at securing the ball at the breakdown. Rucking has been a mess."

    Alex Knight on Twitter: "Howley destroying Gatland's legacy."

    Gavin Bunker on Twitter: "Pretty painful to watch Wales being so outplayed."

  121. 39 mins: 
    PENALTY- Wales 3-23 Ireland

    That was a huge moment, and maybe a match-winning one, you can't see Wales turning this round from here. Penalty Ireland, Wales not releasing - Aaron Shingler the guilty man - Sexton slippers over the three-pointer, the hosts surely dead...


    BBC Sport pundit Brian Moore on Twitter: "No international side should lose a 17 point lead."

  123. 37 mins: 

    George North under the restart and I think that's the first time he's touched the ball. Here he is now, coming into the line and getting over the gain line - can Wales nick a try before half-time? That might make it interesting. Bit more urgency from Wales but Biggar sticks a kick straight down Gilroy's gullet... Coombs on a barnstorming charge and here's North again, making yards out on the left... Warburton into the line at a jagged angle before Roberts makes a half-break... Wales pinged for not releasing, chance gone begging...

  124. 33 mins: 
    PENALTY- Wales 3-20 Ireland

    Wales with a kick at goal from just outside the Ireland 22, they desperately need this to go over... Halfpenny does the job, the Welsh have a lifeline...

  125. 31 mins: 

    Warburton with the dart and dummy and here comes Coombs asking questions... Lordy, lordy, this is terrible, Jonathan Davies having all sorts of problems passing off his left hand, butchering another chance with a wild and windy pass into touch.


    Kit Wilson on Twitter: "This is awful!! Could be 50 points at this rate."

    Oscar Orellana-Hyder on Twitter: "Zebo mate, take a bow yeah. Then have a day off."

    matt mead on Twitter: "Think Shrewsbury need to sign Zebo better footwork than I've seen this season down the Greenhous Meadow."

  127. 29 mins: 
    PENALTY- Wales 0-20 Ireland (Sexton)

    Sexton with a penalty attempt from way out wide... no problems for the Leinster man, Wales are a very confused side at the moment, I'm not sure I've ever seen a sporting team go downhill so rapidly...

    Martyn Williams, BBC Sport

    "If you go back to the start ,there were two rucks which were so slow. It made it easy for the Ireland defence. Take your hat off to Rory Best, putting Biggar under pressure. Ireland are totally on top at the moment."

  129. 27 mins: 

    Quick ball off the top of the line-out and here comes Roberts on the crash... Wales turned over again, it's actually a bit embarrassing watching this, the home side are being mullered at the breakdown...

  130. 25 mins: 
    TRY- Wales 0-17 Ireland (Healy)

    Ireland engaging too soon at the scrum and here comes Ian Evans... Wales are playing awful, they really are - Evans is burgled in the tackle and Ireland bring it clear... Biggar charged down by Best, the Ireland hooker picks up the loose ball, it goes right and Zebo pulls out a trick I'm not sure I've seen on a rugby pitch before, flicking up a misdirected pass with his heel, taking it with his left hand, and eventually Cian Healy reaches for a try. Sexton with the extras...

  131. 20 mins: 
    PENALTY- Wales 0-10 Ireland (Sexton)

    ...Ireland chiselling away at the Wales defence, Coombs gives away a penalty, Sexton misses with a drop-goal attempt, makes the three-pointer... Wales would have taken that, but it's all Ireland at the moment.


    John Morris on Twitter: "O'Driscoll is good but I could've defended better than Cuthbert there."

    Chris Binns on Twitter: "Wales just don't look up for this. Inevitable that Ireland are leading, they want it more!"

    Kate Shaw on Twitter: "TRY for Ireland!!!!!!! Can I change my prediction for the office draw now please?!?"

  133. 18 mins: 

    Murray very nearly finds a hole on the edge of a ruck and here comes O'Brien on the barrel... cute hands again by the Irish backs but Gilroy is brought down just short of the line... Ireland put in, big moment this...

    Martyn Williams, BBC Sport

    "For some reason, only 5m off their line, Wales stood off, giving O'Driscoll and Zebo the space. I don't think [defence coach] Shaun Edwards will be too happy with that at half-time."

  135. 15 mins: 

    It's one of those tries that gets better every time you see it and as soon as you saw who had it in his hands you knew there was something cooking - Brian O'Driscoll is so artful he could pick pockets at a gathering of naturists. Ireland with the line-out but Wales nick it... chance to break but Jonathan Davies butchers it with a dozy old pass...

  136. 11 mins: 
    TRY- Wales 0-7 Ireland (Zebo)

    CHOO CHOO! Sean O'Brien at the back of a maul before Ireland sling it right. Quick hands but Gilroy is unable to go round Halfpenny, although Ireland win the put in. And here's O'Driscoll! The magic man shows he's still got it, curving through the Welsh defence before somehow finding Simon Zebo with one of the cutest passes you'll ever see. Sexton adds the extras...

  137. 8 mins: 

    Biggar kicks for the corner and Wales have a line-out in the Ireland 22... that's not clever, the ball is knocked on, Ireland win the scrum. Looked like Donnacha Ryan got a fingertip on that, and that's all it needed. Gethin Jenkins pinged for boring in at the scrum, Ireland clear their lines...


    Infostrada Rugby on Twitter: "Wales have won their last four Six Nations matches at the Millennium Stadium and 10 of their last 13 since the start of the 2008 season."

  139. 6 mins: 

    Biggar puts some juice on that clearance, big opportunity for the Ospreys 10 today. A bit of a muted start if I'm being honest, both teams feeling each other out rather than coming out throwing blows. Sexton with the bomb and that's a great take by Halfpenny - penalty Wales, Ireland not releasing...


    BBC's Sara Orchard is at Esher to see England Women take on Scotland Women at 1400 GMT. "Late change Scotland women. Sarah Dixon out. Annabel Sergeant moves to 13, Lauren Harris 14, Laura Stevens comes in on bench."

  141. 3 mins: 

    Wales free-kick, early engagement. Ireland with the turnover and it's slung wide to Peter O'Mahoney... the ball comes right before Sexton puts through a searching little grubber, Wales line-out in their own 22...


    Former Wales hooker Garin Jenkins on BBC Radio Wales: "If it's anything like the game in Dublin last year, we'd better put our seatbelts on."

  143. 1 min: 

    We're off, Dan Biggar with the start... Conor Murray with the box kick, Halfpenny underneath it. Andrew Coombs gets his first touch in international rugby and Wales get the put-in after Ireland knock on...

  144. 1332: 

    Warburton's not inconsiderable bottom jaw having a bit of a wobble as Land Of Our Fathers gets a throaty outing, a couple of minutes to kick-off - we've got ourselves a barnstorming day in Cardiff, couldn't be a better day for crisp, open, running rugby - expect it to be 9-6...


    Jeremy Gahagan on Twitter: "Am loving Keith Wood's pink and navy scarf."

    Charles Walubita on Twitter: "Who's got the stronger pack today?? I say Wales scrape it over Ireland in the opener."

    Jack Beacher on Twitter: "Offensive scarves are back."

    huwdavies75 on Twitter: "Expect Wales will do their usual thing & make me think they're gonna win only 2 blow it all in the last 5 mins."

  146. 1328: 

    Here come Wales, led out by Sam Warburton - and a soldier with the regimental goat on a lead. Magnificent reception as ever, I'm taking Wales by five...

    Martyn Williams, BBC Sport

    "Wales are really upbeat. They've drawn a line under the autumn. They've been cooped up for two weeks in camp and can't wait until kick off. It was difficult in the autumn, was [Rob Howley] in charge, wasn't he in charge. Rob is a great coach and hopefully he can get a win today."

  148. 1326: 

    Players gathering in the bowels of the Millennium Stadium and ready to be spewed out onto the pitch. Here come Ireland, led out by Jamie Heaslip, strange to see Brian O'Driscoll back in the rank and file...


    Wales caretaker head coach Rob Howley: "I'm looking forward to it. I spoke to the players this morning and they're confident. It's a fresh campaign. We're Grand Slam champions and we're not going to give that up lightly. Momentum is hugely important. They're isolated games but you need to get off to a winning start and that's what we intend to do today."

    Keith Wood, BBC Sport

    "Brian O'Driscoll is pure unadulterated quality. It hurts him that he's not captain. It was something he was confident with, being captain did not change him."


    Ireland head coach Declan Kidney on the Ireland captaincy: "Brian [O'Driscoll] needed time to get himself right. Sometimes you need to look after the individual and, sometimes, it's the coach's job to look after the individual."

  152. 1317: 

    They just snapped up some very interesting stats comparing Heaslip and Welsh number eight Toby Faletau - let's just say Faletau's attacking numbers rather dwarf Heaslip's, including 107 carries to 62 in roughly the same number of games.

    Jonathan Davies, BBC Sport

    "The opening match of the Six Nations is always exciting. It's a very special time for the players. Confidence is a problem for Wales. Looking back on the results in the autumn, the tackle area was a problem, as was composure and closing games down. Now it's a question of getting momentum back, confidence back. Wales are the Grand Slam champions. It's a new start."

  154. 1310: 

    Wales have got their Lions front-row back on the paddock - Jenkins, Rees and Jones - and they're three names to put the willies up any opposition pack. And if Wales' locks can win quick ball off the top of the line-out and feed that bullocking back-line, they could make sizable holes.

  155. 1307: 

    IRELAND: 15-Rob Kearney; 14-Craig Gilroy, 13-Brian O'Driscoll, 12-Gordon D'Arcy, 11-Simon Zebo; 10-Jonathan Sexton, 9-Conor Murray, 8-Jamie Heaslip (captain), 7-Sean O'Brien, 6-Peter O'Mahony, 5-Donnacha Ryan, 4-Mike McCarthy, 3-Mike Ross, 2-Rory Best, 1-Cian Healy.

    Replacements: 16-Sean Cronin, 17-David Kilcoyne, 18-Declan Fitzpatrick, 19-Donncha O'Callaghan, 20-Chris Henry, 21-Eoin Reddan, 22-Ronan O'Gara, 23-Keith Earls.

  156. 1306: 

    WALES: 15-Leigh Halfpenny, 14-Alex Cuthbert, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Jamie Roberts, 11-George North, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Mike Phillips; 1-Gethin Jenkins, 2-Matthew Rees, 3-Adam Jones, 4-Andrew Coombs, 5-Ian Evans, 6-Aaron Shingler, 7-Sam Warburton (captain), 8-Toby Faletau.

    Replacements: 16-Ken Owens, 17-Paul James, 18-Craig Mitchell, 19-Olly Kohn, 20-Justin Tipuric, 21-Lloyd Williams, 22-James Hook, 23-Scott Williams


    Infostrada Rugby on Twitter: "Grand Slam winners in the 6N era have posted 5 wins and 2 defeats in the opening match of next campaign. France (03) and Wales (06) lost."

  158. 1302: 

    Jamie Heaslip leading Ireland today, despite the return to the ranks of O'Driscoll. Not sure Brian was too happy about that. Meanwhile, confusion continues to reign in the Wales camp, with head coach Rob Howley continuing in his caretaker role and Warren Gatland doing his second job as Lions honcho. What exactly he's up to I'm not entirely sure. God knows Wales could do with some cogent leadership.


    Former Wales scrum-half Robert Jones on BBC Radio Wales: "Wales are big and powerful behind the scrum and Ireland will find it hard to stop them even if they know what Wales are going to do."


    Geraint is on Twitter: "I'm hoovering the car! I can't take the anticipation."

    Tim Basford on Twitter: "Supposed to be asleep as on nights tonight but there's something called Six Nations about to begin!"

    angela on Twitter: "Really sad that this may be Brian O'Driscoll's last 6N. No one comes close to the passion he shows in every game he plays."


    Infostrada Rugby on Twitter: "Jamie Heaslip the 8th player to captain IRE in Six Nations: O'Driscoll (41), Wood (11), O'Connell (6), Galwey (3), Best (2), 3 players on 1."

  162. 1251: 

    According to my pre-match notes, the spotlight will no doubt shine brightest on Dan Biggar after he pipped James Hook to the number 10 shirt. Meanwhile, Ireland full-back Rob Kearney reckons there will be potential panic in the Welsh ranks if things don't go their way early on at the Millennium Stadium.


    Sian Davies on Twitter: "Sun's out, Wales shirt on - C'mon Cymru."

    Matthew Thorne on Twitter: "Return of the six nations today! I love this time of year! Nothing beats this tournament for pride and passion."


    Former Wales hooker Garin Jenkins on BBC Radio Wales: "Past form doesn't mean a hoot - and Wales have a great chance today."

  165. 1241: 

    As Alastair Eykyn quite rightly points out, this is quite likely to be the great Brian O'Driscoll's final Six Nations and what a player he's been - suck the marrow from the man, we will never see his like again, surely a nailed-on certainty in any all-time Five/Six Nations XV?


    BBC 5 live's Alastair Eykyn on Twitter: "Stating the bleeding obvious but we must savour every last moment of Brian O'Driscoll's 6N. The legend can't go on forever. Rugby genius."


    England women's international Sarah Hunter on Twitter: "All the prep is done & waiting is over we're on the bus on way to first game in 6 Nations v Scotland! Thanks for all the messages! #letsdothis


    Jonny Wilkinson on Twitter: "Hoping to see sides counter attack for at least a phase or 2 on kick return if poss be 4 looking for territory. Set the tone for a good game."

  169. 1233: 

    Should Ireland win today, Wales will have lost five consecutive home games for the first time in their history. Meanwhile, they've only scored seven tries in their last seven games. Who knows what has happened to that joyful side we saw at the 2011 World Cup?

  170. 1230: 

    Afternoon. Day one of the 2013 version of the Six Nations and first up we've got Wales hosting Ireland in Cardiff. Neither side are in the midst of what you might call a purple patch - Ireland ended their worst run since the pre-Brian O'Driscoll days of 1998 with a year-ending win over Argentina, while Wales have lost their last seven games. Wales have won their last three Tests against the Irish but only two against Ireland in Cardiff since 1985. Clear as mud.

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