INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Minute-by-minute: Six Nations Saturday

Italy have beaten France by one point in a wonderful game in Rome. Keep up-to-date with all the action as Ireland face Wales.

Get in touch with your comments as the morning’s action unfolds. Leave a comment below, send your e-mails to , tweet us @thescore_ie or find us on Facebook.

Latest update will appear at the top.

7pm Here’s what Brian O’Driscoll had to say: Brian ODriscoll talks to RTÉ’s Hugh Cahill

6.51 An on-air editorial meeting gets tasty when Popey questions why we ‘have to spend five minutes on this’ as McGurk attempts to read some rule from an on-screen graphic.

FULL TIME Wales 19 Ireland 13 Wales do it. What the hell was Paddy Wallace doing stepping inside to danger when he had Keith Earls outside.

Nugent again blames the ref and touch judge – and there is every reason to – but Ireland did not play well.

6.45 We’re in added time. Nail-biting stuff. Wales defend. Wallace had a run at it but cut inside, inexplicably.

6.44 We’re drinking at the last chance saloon, says Nugent. Ireland have a penalty, quickly taken…

6.42 Hook gets the man of the match award – but there’s still three minutes in this. Ireland pegged back again, Nugent reckons we won’t get back into position to take the seven we need.

6.40 Sean Cronin and Leo Cullen in for Donncha O’Callaghan and Best. Sexton kicks deep to give Ireladn a good opportunity to go for that required try.

6.35 After Peter Stringer shanks one to touch, Paul O’Connell takes the opportunity to remind his players to keep their heads.

Paddy Wallce is on for Fitzgerald after 72 minutes.

6.31 Wales 19 Ireland 13 Search me, but Ireland are punished again for some reason. Maybe because someone was too near the line-out.

RTÉ say: O’Brien is picked out as being offside at previous lineout.

Sixty-nine minutes gone and there’s six in it. Leamy on for Heaslip and for Court for Ross.

6.30 After a sustained period of pressure from Ireland, Wales come out on top. Penalty.

James Hook clears well into the green half to the acclaim of most of the Millennium Stadium crowd.

6.25 Wayne Rooney scores against Arsenal. It’s not a good week to be a Gooner is it?

And OptaJoe tells us: “Wayne Rooney has now scored in three of his last four appearances against Arsenal in all competitions.”

6.24 There’s 60 minutes on the clock in Cardiff. In Rome, the vino must be flowing. The BBC’s Jeremy Guscott tweets:

What’s happening in Cardiff.. just had a txt somethg about some controversy?

Yes. Yes there was.

6.17 Conor O’Shea says it’s ‘unforgivable’ that that try is given. ‘It was touched, it’s a different ball, everything that could be wrong….’

6.15 Keith Earls leads the Irish up the other end in a wonderful run. Ireland actually get over in the corner – I didn’t see who, let me know – but it’s called back.

Sexton misses the penalty which is normally a mulligan. ‘Can you believe it’ asks Nugent.

6.14 The Irish players really aren’t happy though. The ball went into the crowd and so the quick line-out should not have been permitted.

TRY! Wales 16 Ireland 13 A quick lineout catches Ireland napping. Mike Philips takes delivery gratefully and gets in at the corner despite Tommy Bowe’s last-ditch efforts. 

6.11 Sexton on for O’Gara Out of nowhere, the Leinster man makes his introduction. 50 minutes on the clock.

6.09 Shane Williams ‘backed himself’ to use Ralph Keys’ awful cliche with a grubber into the corner but O’Driscoll reads it as always and snuffs out the danger.

6.06 It’s half-time in the FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United one up thanks to this strike:

6.01 We’re up and running again in Cardiff. Wales left Ireland waiting on the ripped-up pitch for a few extra minutes.

And the visitors seemed to be caught cold with a few hospital passes, deep in their own half. They get away with it.

5.51 In the football, Fabio has scored for United, despite their uber-defensive set-up.

5.48 HALF TIME Wales 9 Ireland 13 Sean O’Brien makes a bull-dozing break and Ireland are on the brink of completing a wonderful counter attack. It eventually comes out to Fitzgerald who lets the ball go through his legs as he takes his eye off it.

O’Gara has a penalty from beneath the posts and he sends the teams in four points apart.

5.45 Another penalty – offside – but it’s well out. However, Leigh Halfpenny makes it a one-point game again after 38 minutes with a monster kick.

5.42 O’Gara chases his own grubber, Byrne turns with it in hand, but slips due to the poor pitch again and the Munster man makes the tackle himself.

Rory Best throws into a line-out.

5.40 Wales 6 Ireland 10 Ronan O’Gara makes a big kick to extend Ireland’s lead again.

5.38 There’s a half hour on the clock. With a break in play, O’Driscoll is lecturing his players – rightly – on their discipline problems.

Wales are upping their game.

5.33 Wales 6 Ireland 7 Another penalty to Wales. Cian Healy and O’Driscoll are called over for a chat by the ref.

“Taking out the half back, totally unnecessary” is the message.

Hook addresses the ball, and from a similar angle as the one he knocked off the upright, this one is good. One-point game, for all you maths boffins out there.

How are we feeling now?

5.32 Fitzgerald has a bicep injury. That’s what happens when you have biceps, lads.

5.31 The referee Jonathan Kaplan asked to delay the toss so he could watch the drama unfold in Rome, according to the BBC’s Sonja McLaughlin.

5.29 Wales are finding their rhythm and they should have done better there. Luke Fitzgerald clattered Shane Williams with a tackle but earlier on in the move Hook should have done better with the chance. It’s bubbling nicely now.

Wales 3 Ireland 7 Hook slots a ‘bread and butter attempt’ as Ryle Nugent puts it. Rory Best goes off his feet at the tackle.

5.22 James Hook arrows a penalty off the post. Wallace – who was penalised initially – was awake to it, and O’Gara ultimately slices it out. Let-off.

5.21 Lee Byrne reads a typical O’Gara kick for touch and returns. Luke Fitzgerald is made to turn and chase and is almost caught when the sod gives way underfoot.

It’s a warning that ROG will have to vary his game here though.

5.19 Mitchell off for Yapp after 12 minutes in another enforced substitution.

The stadium crowd seem pretty subdued. An early try will do that I suppose.

5.16 No penalties yet which is nice to note in watching the two most penalised sides in the championship.

Paul O’Connell looks to be in the mood to pilfer line-out ball which Philip Mathews explains makes ROG’s life ‘so much easier’.

5.11 Ross O’Carroll Kelly tweets - presumably from either Kiely’s or Cardiff – to graciously big up his old enemy.

“Dopes on Twitter saying Drico’s finished. No substitute for class. Get in.”

5.08 TRY! Wales 0 Ireland 7 Brian O’Driscoll gets over for a try after a short pop pass from Tommy Bowe. O’Gara converts.

5.06 Reddan actually took an awful knock; he more or less took the ball in the face from point blank range.

Peter Stringer is introduced within 46 seconds.

5.05 O’Gara gets us going. Wales make life difficult for themselves early on as Lee Byrne is blocked down by Eoin Reddan who’s now injured.

But the visitors have an opportunity to attack.

5pm Ireland’s call….

And just in case it happens and you don’t believe me later, I have Bowe to score the first try at 9-1. I’ll buy you all ice-cream should it come to pass.

4.56 Here come the teams. There’s a huge Irish contingent in the crowd. Woodie reckon Ireland can ‘cut loose and score ties and win’.

He also expects something big from BOD.

4.54 John Inverdale on the BBC says it’s a perfect evening for rugby with ‘a bit of a nip in the air’ but feels like spring. Keith Wood is hat-less FYI.

4.53 Ireland have only lost once in Cardiff since 1983. That defeat was in 2005 when Wales won the Grand Slam.

Conor O’Shea says the last 30 years don’t matter, however, and seems to fancy Wales to win it.

4.50pm Ireland have won the toss and have chosen to kick off. Boom.

4.47 Oh God, Hooky is doing a piece to camera in a trench coat. I thought you paid extra for this kind of TV.

It might be a good time to run through those line outs again:

Wales: L Byrne; L Halfpenny, J Roberts, J Davies, S Williams; J Hook, M Phillips; P James, M Rees (capt), C Mitchell, B Davies, A-W Jones, D Lydiate, S Warburton, R Jones.

Replacements: R Hibbard, J Yapp, D Peel, S Jones, M Stoddart, plus two from R McCusker, A Powell and J Thomas.

Ireland: Luke Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowe, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Keith Earls, Ronan O’Gara, Eoin Reddan, Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Sean O’Brien, David Wallace, Jamie Heaslip

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Tom Court, Leo Cullen, Denis Leamy, Peter Stringer, Jonathan Sexton, Paddy Wallace

4.40 This is the last time many of Ireland’s boys have been back in the famous Cardiff stadium We could well do with a few manky drop kicks this evening too.

4.36 In soccer news, Alex Ferguson has named seven defenders in his side to face Arsenal. and one of those is John ‘Sheasey’ O’Shea.

Man United: Van der Sar; Brown, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Rafael, Gibson, O’Shea, Fabio; Rooney, Hernandez.

Arsenal: Almunia; Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs; Wilshere, Diaby, Nasri, Denilson, Arshavin; Van Persie.

I’ll do my best to keep us all up-to-date on that one too.

Declan Kidney talking to Ryle Nugent about the presence of a southern hemisphere referee: “It shouldn’t make any difference. We’ll go about our business in a normal way.”

Italy 22 France 21

4.20 Right, I’m getting the kettle before we turn our attentions to Ireland’s visit to Cardiff. Let us know your thoughts on the Wales showdown in the usual ways, see above.

4.16 Parisse cries tears of joy. Tom McGurk isn’t particularly moved as he asks is this bad news for Ireland in the World Cup.

FULL TIME Italy 22 France 21 ‘Rome erupts like Vesuvius’ roars George Hamilton. The place goes nuts. Frankie Sheahan says he’s delighted for Italy.

It’s Italy’s first win over France in competition. Just look at these scenes, as they say.

4.12 This is the last play agree the pundits. Unless there’s a penalty.

It’s another scrum to France though there’s some confusion why. Mallett will be furious – says Frankie – if it doesn’t work out.

4.11 There’s literally one second on the clock. There’s one point in it. And France have a scrum.

4.10 Italy are defending like their lives depend on it. ‘It’s all hands to the pump for Italy” says George Hamilton.

France might get to drop kick range here. Half a minute left.

4.07 Castrogiovanni is on the ground and taking his time getting up. Three minutes on the clock.

Italy 22 France 21 Dude! He nails it. This is history in the making.

4.04pm Penalty for Italy – it’s a difficult one but Bergamasco has to go for it.

4.02pm How are we feeling out there in computer land? Our colleague at TheJournal, Gavin seemingly always backs a stalemate. He must be feeling pretty good? On Twitter:

“Yeah, so today would be the day I don’t have a bet on a draw in #6n. And the day when @Betfair is down.”

3.59 Italy 19 France 21 Awarded a penalty, Italy opt to go for the posts. And Bergamasco makes sure it’s the right decision as he splits them.

The Azzuri have only ever beaten France once in 31 attempts – and that was a friendly.

3.56 Italy 16 France 21 Parra puts France five points clear again with a kick from his favoured left side despite the home fans’ attempts to put him off.

Italy 16 France 18 France penalised for being offside at the ruck. Italy’s kicker gets his side to within two points.

We’ll have some finish now. 15 minutes left.

TRY! Italy 13 France 18 Masi gets over in the corner as the Stadio Flaminio erupts. Bergamasco converts. Game on, Ger.

3.43 God! Bergamasco drags another one wide.

3.40 Italy 6 France 18 (still) Bergamasco kicks a penalty short from in front of the posts. That’s poor.

3.31 This is interesting. Frankie Sheahan has just tweeted while on air.

“Italy have a chance here. Off camera, the French forwards walking around and the Italian crowd getting more behind Italy.”

3.22 The RTÉ panel are talking about the merits or otherwise of a closed roof in Cardiff. Declan Kidney insisted it be left open – to suit Ireland’s ‘natural game’ according to Conor O’Shea.

We’re about to kick off in Rome again, meanwhile.

3.13 HALF-TIME But it’s not to be. Italy 6 France 8.

What an absolute weirdo of a half.

3.11 We’re into the last few minutes of the first period. A score now from the home side would be a massive, massive boost.

3.06 Ah that’s brilliant. Frankie asks George was he there at the ’86 World Cup when the Mexican Wave first started. The commentator happily reflects on its origins.

3.03 Italy are playing pretty well here with Pairsse and Canale standing out.

With his second penalty Mirco Bergamasco becomes the third Italian to hit 100+ points, I’m told.

And as I type, Parra hits a penalty off the post. Another three points gone a-begging.

2.54 Italy 6 France 8 Hooky tweets from Donnybrook: “We are watching unbelievable power by the French scrum”.

Bergamasco kicks his second penalty after some sloppy defence from Les Bleus.

2.50pm Rougerie drops the ball as he stretches for the line after Italy act the goat in the scrum again. ‘Comedy of errors’ says Frankie Sheahan, ‘unbelievably bad’ agrees George Hamilton who sees disgusted by the fare on offer thus far.

2.46 TRY! Italy 3 France 5 Clerc gets in in the corner, using all his speed and skill, after a wonderfully open passage of play in which France counter attack and Italy defend hopelessly.

Parra fails to convert as the home fans whistle.

2.43 For those interested in the FA Cup, Bolton have gone through after what sounds like a thriller at Birmingham. 3-2.

Here’s the winner from Lee:

szólj hozzá: —

2.40 We have a southern-hemisphere referee today; we may glean some insight into how Ireland will be officiated later.

Italy are enjoying scrum time with France penalised a couple of times already. Either the French are struggling or ref Bryce Lawrence is very fussy.

2.34 First blood to the home side after a sloppy French start marked by a knock-on and poor scrum ultimately results in Bergamasco knocking over a straight-forward penalty.

2.31 We’re off in Rome.  I have a pizza in the oven, but will maintain journalistic impartiality throughout. Friend of TheScore Frankie Sheahan is next to George Hamilton in the gantry.

2.25pm We’re now treated to two wonderful anthems at the Stadio Flaminio. Will I stand to attention and hum along, here’s the teams:

Italy: Andrea Masi; Tommaso Benvenuti, Gonzalo Canale, Gonzalo Garcia, Mirco Bergamasco; Luciano Orquera, Fabio Semenzato; Andrea Lo Cicero, Carlo Festuccia, Martin Castrogiovanni, Santiao Dellape, Carlo Del Fava, Alessandro Zanni, Robert Barbieri, Sergio Parisse (captain).

France: Maxime Medard, Yoann Huget, Aurelien Rougerie, Yannick Jauzion, Vincent Clerc, Francois Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra; Sylvain Marconnet, William Servat, Nicolas Mas, Julien Pierre, Lionel Nallet, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Julien Bonnaire, Sebastien Chabal.

2.23 This could be Nick Mallett’s last Six Nations game in Rome, we’re reminded. His contract is up for review this year; he tells a BBC reporter he’d like to stay on and continue his mission in Rome.

Well, he seems to know the children’s names as Superintendent Chambers, might say.

2.19 On the sideline in Rome, after one of those slickly-produced Eddie Butler-narrated VTs, Gaby Logan asks Guscott and Serge Betson of Lievremont: genius or madman?

We’ll see at the World Cup is the conclusion it seems.

2.14 As the RTÉ lads take their first ad break of the afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your teams…

Wales: L Byrne; L Halfpenny, J Roberts, J Davies, S Williams; J Hook, M Phillips; P James, M Rees (capt), C Mitchell, B Davies, A-W Jones, D Lydiate, S Warburton, R Jones.

Replacements: R Hibbard, J Yapp, D Peel, S Jones, M Stoddart, plus two from R McCusker, A Powell and J Thomas.

Ireland: Luke Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowe, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Keith Earls, Ronan O’Gara, Eoin Reddan, Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Sean O’Brien, David Wallace, Jamie Heaslip

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Tom Court, Leo Cullen, Denis Leamy, Peter Stringer, Jonathan Sexton, Paddy Wallace

2.12 The George Hook waffle index is at seven. Comparisons already drawn with the boom and Irish fans’ expectations.

Warming up: As David McSavage’s President of Ireland would say: Gidd Wafternoon!

We’re strapping in for a mouth-watering double-header of Six Nations rugby. Les Bleus visit Rome for a nice aperitif before the main course of Wales v Ireland in Cardiff.

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