Wins for Ireland, England, France and Scotland

Johnny Sexton guided Ireland to a convincing win over Japan in his 100th cap for his country, while Italy went down to New Zealand in Rome.

Johnny Sexton guided Ireland to a convincing win over Japan in his 100th cap for his country, while Italy went down to New Zealand in Rome.

Later England powered past Tonga, but Wales were overhauled late on by world champions South Africa.

And in the final game on Saturday, France came out top in a battling encounter with Argentina.

Ireland 60-5 Japan

Johnny Sexton enjoyed a perfect 100th appearance for Ireland as he helped himself to a try and 16 points in a convincing 60-5 win over Japan.

The Ireland skipper pulled the strings for Andy Farrell’s side as they ran in nine tries, including a hat-trick for Andrew Conway.

A week before the All Blacks come to town, it was a perfect tune-up for Ireland against the side who beat them in the pool stages of the 2019 World Cup.

A fast start from Ireland ensured that there was never likely to be a repeat, James Lowe going over after just four minutes. Conway finished off a stunning move for Ireland’s second, Jamison Gibson-Park delivering the cross-kick to set him up.

Conway grabbed a second midway through the half, with Gibson-Park adding the next to make it 29-0 at half-time.

Sexton then celebrated his landmark appearance in style with the fifth followed by another wonderful team score finished off by Bundee Aki.

While Siosaia Fifita got Japan on the board just before the hour, Ireland finished the stronger with a try from Ringrose, the hat-trick score from Conway and then Cian Healy finishing things off.

Italy 9-47 New Zealand

At the same time, Italy held New Zealand in check for the best part of an hour before falling away in the final quarter of a 47-9 defeat.

The Azzurri started strongly and could even have taken the lead, only for Monty Ioane to be pulled back by a premature whistle when racing to the line.

It took the All Blacks 28 minutes to break the deadlock, Finlay Christie pouncing opportunistically before two tries from Dane Coles gave the visitors a 21-6 half-time lead, Paolo Garbisi kicking two penalties for Italy.

Another penalty from Garbisi cut the deficit to 12 with 20 minutes to go, but he limped off shortly afterwards and just as they had against Wales, New Zealand cut loose late on. Sevu Reece, Hoskins Sotutu and Asafo Aumua, with a double, helped the visitors run in 26 unanswered points to give the scoreline some gloss.

England 69-3 Tonga

England ran in 11 tries as they cruised to a comfortable win over Tonga including four in the last ten minutes of a 69-3 success.

Jonny May, Ben Youngs and Jamie George all helped themselves to two tries, while debutant Alex Mitchell came off the bench for a debut try.

Adam Radwan had got the ball rolling after just three minutes with George and May extending that lead in the first half-hour, Sonatane Takulua with a sole penalty for Tonga.

The visitors were three times reduced to 14 men, with yellows for both wingers and then a red card late on for Viliame Fine.

And England took full advantage of the extra man, Maro Itoje and Youngs each crossing against 14 as the home side led 29-3 at the break.

Youngs added a second with a steal off the back of a scrum and a 40-metre sprint before May’s second on the hour made it 41-3.

Fine then saw red for an elbow to the head of Marcus Smith, who got one of four scores in the last ten minutes, along with George’s second, Jamie Blamire and Mitchell.

England will now look to carry that form into the sterner tests to come, starting with South Africa next weekend.

Wales 18-23 South Africa

Malcolm Marx’s late try helped South Africa come from behind to edge out Guinness Six Nations champions Wales in Cardiff.

With Ellis Jenkins making his return to international action three years on from his last appearance – also against South Africa, Wales caused the Springboks all sorts of problems and led for much of the game thanks to the boot of Dan Biggar.

Handre Pollard and Francois Steyn kept South Africa in touch, and with the Welsh leading 18-15 with ten minutes to go, it was all to play for.

A rolling maul ended up being the difference though, Marx emerging with the only try of the game to put South Africa in front for the first time.

And it would prove the decisive moment, with Elton Jantjies kicking a final penalty from the last play of the game to seal victory for the world champions.

Wales will look to bounce back against Fiji next week.

France 29-20 Argentina

A debut try from Thibaud Flament and another score from Péato Mauvaka helped France see off the stubborn challenge of Argentina in a 29-20 win at the Stade de France.

The first half was a scrappy affair, Tomas Cubelli with the only try while Melvyn Jaminet’s three penalties ensured France led 9-7 at the break.

Second row Flament, making his first appearance for Les Bleus, finally got their first try of the game when he burst through from a pass by Matthieu Jalibert.

France almost had another straight after, new skipper Antoine Dupont finishing a stunning move only for it to be called back for a knock-on by Jaminet.

The second try did come eventually, Mauvaka arriving at speed to take Jalibert’s offload off the deck and power over.

Argentina kept battling, getting back to within a score thanks to Mateo Carreras’ try three minutes from time, but Jaminet sealed the win with his fifth penalty, taking his personal tally to 19 as France got off to a winning start in the Autumn Nations Series before next week’s clash with Georgia.

Scotland 15-13 Australia

Ewan Ashman’s try on debut helped Scotland edge out Australia 15-13 in a tight affair at BT Murrayfield.

The 21-year-old hooker came off the bench after just 11 minutes to replace the injured George Turner but showed his finishing ability with a wonderful score in the corner midway through the second half.

Hamish Watson had gone over in the first half for Scotland, who led 7-3 at the break with Australia twice seeing tries disallowed.

Despite being down a man with Allan Alaalatoa in the sin-bin, Australia took the lead early in the second half with a Rob Leota try.

But Ashman’s score swung the game back to Scotland, and despite the lead changing hands twice more, with penalties from James O’Connor and Finn Russell, it was Scotland who came out victorious for a third successive win over the Wallabies, a first since the 1980s.