Ireland kicked off the second round of the Six Nations with a big win over Italy. in Dublin Ireland had the bonus point for the four tries wrapped up before half time. Jacob Stockdale and Robbie Henshaw went over twice each in an eight try deomoliton running out 56-19 winners in the end.
It was a closer affair at Twickenham. England got off to a blistering start against Wales with two tries for Johnny May giving England an early 12-0 lead. The big talking point was Gareth Ainscombe’s disallowed try. He looked to have scored but the video referee determined the Welshman had not got downward pressure. As a result Wales were chasing the game in the second half and met some superb England defence. Ainscombe struck a second half penalty to reduce the deficit to 12-6 but they could not find the winning score as England held on for victory.
On Sunday the final game at Murrayfield was end to end in the first half as Scotland and France shared four tries. Sean Maitland and Huw Jones went over for the Scots while in form Teddy Thomas scored both the first half tries for the French. The second half became more attritional as the kicking game became more important and the Scots fitness and forward control came into play. The penalties racked up against France and Greg Laidlaw kicked Scotland into the lead eventually ending up with 22 points as France ran out of steam and Scotland bounced back from defeat in Wales to win 32-26 and keep their impressive form at home going.
Wales kicked off the six nations and got off to a perfect start against Scotland in Cardiff. Full back Leigh Halfpenny starred with 2 tries and 24 total points. Gareth Davies and Stefan Evans got the other tries in a convincing 34-7 win against a Scottish side who did not live up to the hype after their impressive Autumn showing.
Ireland won in Paris after a dramatic finish against the French. Ireland looked in control for most of the game but the conditions were difficult and the French did enough to stay in touch in a game riddled with errors. France took the lead for the first time thanks to an excellent try from Teddy Thomas as France led 13-12. However in the final play Ireland inched into drop goal range and Johnny Sexton dropped the winning goal from the half way line to give Ireland a rare Paris win they must have thought they had thrown away.
Finally in Rome England got their expected win over Italy. Italy stayed in the game up to around half way into the second half but England then cut loose in the last 20 minutes to run out easy 46-15 winners. Anthony Watson and Sam Simmons got two tries each as England went over seven times by the final whistle. Italy have talent but simply don’t have enough to keep it going for the whole game. England march on as they look for their third straight Six Nations title.
AT THE PERTH STADIUM, PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA
England 259 (47.4) (Root 62Tye 5-46)
Australia 247 (48.2) (Stoinis 87Curran 5-35)
ENGLANDWIN BY 12 RUNS
ENGLANDWIN THE SERIES 4-1
England finished the one day series in Australia with a closely fought win in Perth in the first game played at the new Perth Stadium. Joe Root top scored for England with 62 with Andrew Tye taking 5 wickets for the Australians to restrict England to 259, bowling them all out and denying them and extra 14 balls as a result.
The game then kept swinging. Australia got off to a great start and looked like they were heading for the win When Tom Curran’s bowling had top scorer Marcus Stoinis caught by Adil Rahid for 87 the home side were 187-4. Four quick wickets however swung the game back the other way putting England in control at 203-8
Tim Paine who saw Australia home in the last game nearly did it again. His 34 put the Aussies back in it but Curran bowled him to take the final wicket with Australia 12 runs short to ensure England end the series on a high. Curran took 5 Wickets in the end which proved the difference in this game, Australia’s batting was not good enough over the series as a whole and this win will be a big boost to England looking ahead to next years One Day World Cup.
4TH ODI AT THE ADELAIDE OVAL, ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA
England 196 (44.5) (Woakes 78Cummins 4-24)
Australia 197-7 (37) (Head 96Rashid 3-49)
AUSTRALIAWIN BY 3 WICKETS
ENGLANDLEAD THE SERIES 3-1
Australia finally got a win on the board taking full advantage of excellent conditions for bowling in Adelaide. England got off to a dire start and at one stage were 8-5 and Australia threatened to totally annihilate the whole England batting line up. Chris Woakes saved the position with 78 including 5 sixes as the lower order managed to get the score to 196 before being bowled all out. Pat Cummins took four wickets with Josh Hazlewood and Andrew Tye splitting the other with 3 wickets each in an excellent bowling performance.
Australian opener Travis Head got the home side off to a good enough start despite wickets falling at the other end. end eventually fell just short of his century on 96. Australia had enough overs to get the runs, the only question was could England bowl them all out for an unlikely win as Head’s wicket was the sixth to fall. Tim Payne hit 25 Not Out to ensure Australia got home as England only took one more wicket before the hosts got to the target and claim victory.
Adil Rashid’s 3 wickets had helped make for some nervy moments for the Australians along the way, but they got their ‘Australia Day’ victory England have already won the series with one more game in Perth and the final Australia v England international at the WACA before the new stadium out west is built.
3RD ODI AT THE SCG, SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
England 302/6 (50) (Buttler 100* Woakes 53*)
Australia 286/6 (50) (Finch 62 Stoinis 56 Marsh 55)
ENGLAND WIN BY 16 RUNS
ENGLAND LEAD THE SERIES 3-0
England showed they have batting strength in depth to turn around a poor start to claim a series victory against Australia in Sydney. The visitors were struggling at 189-6 and a competitive total was looking unlikely. However a partnership of 113 between Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes got ensured England got above 300 to post 302. Buttler got his century off the last ball of the innings. His 100 Not Out included four sixes, Woakes ended on 53 Not Out.
With a good total on the board England’s bowlers remained disciplined. Aaron Finch again top scored for Australia but was out for 62 when he was given out leg before wicket to Adil Rashid’s bowling. For Australia to win someone else would need to set up and get a big score. While there were decent contributions from Macus Stoinis (56) and Mitchell Marsh (55) nobody could go on and get a big century. With key wickets falling at important moments Australia fell behind the run rate and in the end they were 16 runs short of the target.
There are two more contests to go but the win means England have already won the series and can now try and pursue a whitewash. What a turnaround from the Test Series where Australia won 4-0 to the one day series with England 3-0 up.
Australia 304-8 (50) (Finch 107 Stoinis 60 M Marsh 50)
England 308-5 (48.5) (Roy 180 Root 91*)
ENGLANDWIN BY 5 WICKETS
ENGLANDLEAD THE SERIES 1-0
England put their test disaster behind them to remind the world they are a serious force in the one day game. Australia batted first with Aaron Finch getting a century (107) supported by Marcus Stoinis (60) and Mitchell Marsh (50) as the hosts posted 304. Opener Jason Roy set about the chase hitting 5 sixes in his brilliant 180 to put England right in contention. Joe Root backed it up with 91 Not Out to lead the visitors home with 7 balls to spare. It’s clear the One Day series will be much more for a contest than the Ashes was and the Barmy Army finally have a win to cheer.
Australia 649-7(Khawaja 171, S Marsh 156, M Marsh 101, Smith 83, Warner 56)
AUSTRALIAWIN BY AN INNINGS AND 123 RUNS
AUSTRALIAWIN THE SERIES 4-0
Australia completed their demolition of England with a crushing win in Sydney. Joe Root top scored with 82 as England put 346 on the board which never looked enough on a flat pitch good for batting. Australia then put England to the sword, Usman Khawaja hit a superb 171 with the Marsh Brothers, Shaun with 156 and Mitchell 101 piling on the pain as Australia declared on 649.
The lead was far too much but England’s capitulation summed up the series. Only Root put up any resistance but he had to retire suffering from de-hydration. The wickets then continued to fall as Pat Cummins led the attack, taking four wickets in each innings. England were finished off for a miserable 180, a fitting climax to a one sided series as Australia celebrated winning back the urn. They also have won nine out of the last ten Ashes matches on Australian soil.