Wrap: England outmuscle Ireland, France beat Scotland

Jonny May scored a brace as England beat Ireland 18-7, while Wales battled past Georgia and France outfought Scotland in the Autumn Nations Cup.

In the second round of the Autumn Nations Cup, England put in a masterclass defensive performance and simply overpowered Ireland at the set piece for their sixth successive win this year.

England were full value for their 12-0 lead at the break, courtesy of a brace from winger May, with his second the pick of the lot as he danced past Irish defenders inside his own 22, chased his own kick, toeing the ball ahead once more before gathering to score.

ALSO READ: Lions keen to keep Simelane amid interest from France

In the second half of the physical encounter, England captain Owen Farrell extended their lead with a couple of penalties, but Ireland had the final say when replacement flyhalf Billy Burns chipped the ball over the defence to be collected by Jacob Stockdale to score.

Later on Saturday, Wales brought their five-match losing streak to an end by battling to an 18-0 win over Georgia in Llanelli. It was hardly a convincing performance from Wayne Pivac’s side, who got their points through tries from teenage wing Louis Rees-Zammit and scrumhalf Rhys Webb, while flyhalf Callum Sheedy kicked eight points.

England are top of their pool and are likely to compete in the tournament’s final, with their last group game coming against Wales next weekend.

On Sunday, France came out on top in an entertaining battle of the kickers against Scotland, as fullback Thomas Ramos slotted 17 points to carry them to a 22-15 win at Murrayfield. Gregor Towsend’s side were looking for their six successive Test victory – a feat only achieved twice before by Scotland – and went into the break tied with France at 12-12 thanks to four penalties from flyhalf Duncan Weir. However, France produced the decisive moment of the match just two minutes after half time as centre Gael Fickou put a surging Vincent Rattez into a gap before he offloaded to put Virimi Vakatawa over for the game’s only try.

Photo: Getty Images