Six Nations: Wales and France earn narrow victories over Scotland and Ireland

Week two of the Six Nations began with Wales inflicting an 11th successive defeat to Scotland in Cardiff, before France edged past Ireland in dramatic fashion.

Wales recovered well from their drubbing against Ireland last week to secure a crucial victory over Scotland.

Elsewhere, an action-packed match in France ended with the hosts getting the better of an in-form Ireland side.

Wales 20-17 Scotland

Six Nations, Rugby Union, Scotland vs Wales

While Scotland headed into the clash full of confidence following their victory over England last week, Wales had a point to prove in front of their home crowd in Cardiff, with the Dragons needing to bounce back from a heavy week one defeat.

Dan Biggar captained Wales and, on his 100th Test match appearance, inspired the side to victory, kicking four penalties and a drop goal to help his side over the line.

Scotland started well but found no reward for their efforts, with Wales' Owen Watkin spearheading a counter-attack from their own 22, before Biggar slotted his first penalty of the match after five minutes to open the scoring.

A second penalty doubled Wales' advantage three minutes later, but Scotland roared back through Darcy Graham's impressive try. While they missed the following conversion, a penalty soon after saw the visitors take an 8-6 lead.

Three further penalties followed, with Scotland's Finn Russell and Wales' Biggar both completing hat-tricks. But Wales levelled the tie at 14-14 after an impressive lineout gave prop Thomas Francis an easy touchdown.

Russell and Biggar both landed penalties between the posts again to reach 17-17 and set up a climcatic final 10 minutes. However, the major turning point was when Finn was sin-binned, after Wales found themselves inches away from another try.

With the visitors still disorganised, Wales stormed down the pitch and Biggar landed the decisive drop goal. Scotland piled forwards as the clock ticked down, but a stubborn Welsh defence saw them off time and time again.

Following the final whistle, Biggar stated it was "one of his best victories in a Wales shirt".

He added: "It's been a really difficult week, we've had to put up with a lot of flak - and rightly so. To come back here and put on a show like that, to grind a result out like that, is one of the best victories in my 100 appearances.

"We put in a huge shift defensively, our forwards fronted up and it laid a really strong foundation."

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg criticised his side's discipline during the match.

"We're very disappointed. When we get into good positions we're really dangerous, but at times we weren't allowed to do that. It's really frustrating because we know we're a lot better than what we showed.

"That's Test match rugby, you have to take your opportunities or you get on the wrong end of scorelines.

"We gave away penalties and Wales cheap field position, easy avenues into the game, and that's the frustrating part. It's a horrible feeling right now, but that's Test match rugby."

France 30-24 Ireland

Ireland look on in disappointment following their Six Nations defeat to France

Ireland saw their nine-match winning streak ended in Paris as France sealed a second Six Nations victory.

Following on from their thrashing of Italy last week, the French went toe-to-toe with the visitors and narrowly came out on top in what was a breathtaking clash.

Antoine Dupont's try just 67 seconds into the match set the pace, and Ireland quickly matched it, converting scores from Mack Hansen, Josh Van Der Flier and Jamison Gibson-Park to build a lead of their own.

However, a lack of discipline saw France able to convert six penalties throughout the match, and a second-half try from Cyril Baille helped Les Blues over the line.

Ireland hadn't lost an international match since losing to France in the identical fixture last year. By beating them on Saturday, the hosts managed to take one step closer to winning their first Six Nations title since 2010.

Of course the visitors will point to absent captain Johnny Sexton as a factor in their defeat, but head coach Andy Farrell will be more disappointed at his side's poor discipline throughout.

READ MORE: Six Nations: Ireland dominate Wales, while England slump to defeat

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