Round 1 of the 2024 Guinness Men’s Six Nations kicked off with plenty of drama. Ireland made a real statement with their victory away in France, while England edged past Italy in a tight game in Rome, before Wales almost recorded one of the great comebacks. Warren Gatland’s side fell just short of a Scotland team who just gave themselves enough of a headstart thanks to a blistering opening 45 minutes before taking the foot off the gas in spectacular fashion.

There were three away wins in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations. It’s just the sixth time that has happened in the Championship’s history, however it’s becoming increasingly common – four of those six instances having come since the beginning of 2022.

Our experts from OptaJonny dive into the key facts and post-match data from the opening round of Six Nations 2024 fixtures to see where each game was won and lost…

France 17-38 Ireland

  • Ireland’s 21-point win was their biggest against France in over a century (24-0 in 1913) and their second biggest overall. Their tally of 38 points is also their highest ever against France.
  • Meanwhile, France’s 21-point defeat was their second heaviest at home in the men’s Five/Six Nations, with their only bigger defeat on home soil coming 110 years ago (13-39 vs England in 1914). It was also their heaviest defeat under Fabien Galthié, surpassing their 13-point loss to Ireland in last year’s Guinness men’s Six Nations.
  • France have conceded 4+ tries in each of their last two men’s Six Nations home matches (also v Wales in March 2023) – previously, they had not conceded four tries in a home game in the Championship since 2006, against Ireland.
  • Paul Willemse became just the second player to get sent off in two separate men’s Six Nations matches (also versus Wales in 2021) after compatriot Mohamed Haouas.
  • Aged 19 years and 189 days, Posolo Tuilagi became the fifth-youngest player to ever represent France in the men’s Six Nations after Gaël Fickou, Morgan Parra, Matthieu Jalibert and Frédéric Michalak.
France vs Ireland Stats Six Nations

Italy 24-27 England

  • England have won each of the 31 men’s test matches they have played against Italy, including all 25 in the Six Nations. However, this was England’s narrowest margin of victory against the Azzurri and the most points they’ve conceded in this fixture.
  • Italy scored three tries to England’s two at the weekend, the first time they’d scored more tries than their opponent in a men’s Six Nations match since 2015 against Scotland (Italy 3-1 Scotland) and just the third time they’ve managed it against England (also 2012 and 2013).
  • Tommaso Allan scored a try against England to become Italy’s top try scorer (8) in the men’s Six Nations, while his tally of 12 points saw him became Italy’s top point scorer in the Championship (165), surpassing Diego Dominguez (162). He also passed the 500-point mark in his test career overall in this match (501).
  • Elliot Daly became the third England player to score a try and be shown a card in the same Six Nations game after Jason Robinson (2 tries, 1 yellow card vs Scotland in 2003) and Manu Tuilagi (1 try, 1 red card vs Wales in 2020).
Italy vs England Stats Six Nations

Wales 26-27 Scotland

  • Scotland’s victory was their first against Wales in Cardiff since 2002, ending a run of 11 consecutive defeats in the Welsh capital. Wales have now lost their last five home games in the men’s Six Nations, their longest such losing run in their Five or Six Nations history.
  • Scotland have won their opening match in six of their last eight men’s Six Nations campaigns (L2), this after winning in Round 1 just once in the initial 17 editions of the Championship.
  • Scotland led by 20 points at half-time – their second-biggest lead at the break in a test match against Wales. The only time that they’ve held a bigger half-time lead in this fixture came 100 years ago on Friday (22-0 at HT, 2 Feb 1924).
  • Scotland conceded 16 penalties against Wales, their most in a Six Nations match since conceding 17 against England in 2014.
  • Wales’ Dafydd Jenkins became the youngest player to captain any team in the men’s Six Nations. He was 21 years and 60 days old when he led his nation out against Scotland, over two years younger than Sam Warburton, who previously held the record (23y 123d v Ireland in 2012).
Wales vs Scotland Stats Six Nations

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