Six Nations: Ireland favourite after win over Italy

Ireland’s crushing 46-7 win over Italywas a vital one in Six Nations terms, and alleyes were on the 35-year-old O’Driscollafter his 140th Test match, according toBBC. Record-breaking centre BrianO’Driscoll savoured a rousing ovation anda winning finale as he made his last internationalappearance on Irish soil.O’Driscoll fought back the tears as headmitted he was still getting used to theprospect of looming retirement.“I haven’t let myself think about. It isemotional,” O’Driscoll said. “It has been ahuge part of my whole adult life and toleave here [the Aviva Stadium] is going tobe hard. But this was a good way to leavetoday and hopefully we have set ourselvesup for next week”.Elsewhere France kept their Six Nationstitle hopes alive with a thrilling victory overa spirited Scotland at Murrayfield, 17-19,their eighth in a row in the fixture.Scotland led 14-9 at half-time, full-backStuart Hogg touching down after a hopefulhigh kick and wing Tommy Seymour crossingfor the hosts.Philippe Saint-Andre made sevenchanges to the France side humbled byWales a fortnight ago, but only three ofthem because of injuries.With number eight Louis Picamoleshaving been dropped, France had an entirelynew back-row of Sebastien Vahaamahina,Alexandre Lapandry and DamienChouly, with the last two making their firststarts in the Six Nations.Wing Maxime Medard, centre MaximeMermoz and scrum-half MaximeMachenaud were also included in the startingXV, and it was the unfamiliar visitingoutfit that made the brighter start.France host Ireland next Saturday withthe sides level on six points. The winner ofthe match between England and Wales onSunday will also go into the final weekendwith six points.


Romania’s national rugby team defeatedBelgium 29-10 (14-0) on Saturday, at theMihai Naca stadium of Constanta, in thesecond leg of the European Nations Cup(ENC) 1A. Romania is already qualified forthe World Cup. In this year’s edition ofENC, Romania has so far defeatedPortugal, 24-0; Russia, 34-3 and Spain, 32-6, while Belgium has lost 0-35 to Georgia;6-11 to Spain and 6-19 to Portugal. OnMarch 15 in Tbilisi, Romania will meetGeorgia in the last match that will decidethe winner of the European Nations Cup.

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