Six Nations: Scotland win action-packed clash with Italy, England suffer heavy defeat to Ireland

In the penultimate week of Six Nations action, Ireland kept the pressure on France with a convincing victory against England, while Scotland toppled Italy in a high-scoring affair.

Week four of the Six Nations saw France and Ireland race ahead in the overall table, while Italy's defeat sees them remain pointless in sixth.

Italy 22-33 Scotland

Italy vs Scotland, Six Nations

After struggling early on, Scotland rallied to record a bonus-point victory over a winless Italy side.

Following back-to-back defeats against Wales and France, Scotland looked low on confidence heading into the match, and Italy can consider themselves unfortunate to have not built up a sizable lead in the opening minutes.

Paolo Garbisi's fourth-minute penalty is all they had to show for their efforts, and by the 20-minute mark, Scotland began to find rhythm.

Chris Harris starred for the visitors with two first-half tries, while Sam Johnson, Darcy Graham and captain Stuart Hogg added to the scoreline with further tries.

Two tries from debutant replacement Ange Capuozzo in the closing 14 minutes made the scoreline more respectable for Italy but the Scots had already done the damage as they set themselves up nicely for their campaign-concluding trip to Ireland next weekend.

Townsend praises Scotland learning curve

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend praised his side's performance following the final whistle:

"I'm delighted for the players to get a win away from home and to see the rewards of a really productive week.

"To get to the final quarter with a good lead on the scoreboard, I expected us to kick on even more after that so credit to Italy for the way they played the final quarter.

"It was really important to win, though. This tournament is about winning but you've also got to learn at times. We learned from the France game and I felt that was reflected in how we managed the game.

"Our key decision-makers controlled things really well. That was pleasing. The effort was there but the frustrating element was in that final quarter when we didn't play as well as we had in the previous three quarters."

England 15-32 Ireland

England vs Ireland, Six Nations

England found themselves a man down just 82 seconds into the clash as Charlie Ewels was shown a red card.

It turned out to be the fastest sending off in Six Nations history, and England were immediately forced to fight an uphill battle at Twickenham.

Despite being a man down, the hosts continued to go toe-to-toe with Ireland in the opening stages of the match, and found plenty of success through the scrum.

A remarkable six penalties conceded by Ireland allowed Marcus Smith to keep his side in contention from the kicking tee, but in the end the manpower of the visitors proved to be the difference.

Jack Conan scored in the 72nd minute before Finlay Bealham crossed the line to inflict a harsh scoreline on England after a spirited display.

The result leaves Ireland chasing France at the top of the table, and they'll be wanting England to do them a favour next week when they face the leaders in the Stade de France.

Laws 'can't ask for more' from England side

Following the match, England captain Courtney Lawes said: "I really think we showed today how much it means to be part of this team.

"We didn't give up for a second. We knew from minute two it was going to be pretty tough for us.

"But we had a lot of confidence going into the game and truly believed we could win that.

"Obviously it wasn't to be today, towards the end we were pretty tired, I think. But class effort from the boys. I honestly couldn't ask any more of them."

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