Autumn International Results: Analysis for Scotland vs. Japan and All the Games
The opening weekend of Autumn Internationals in Europe sees all of the Top 10 nations in the International Rugby World Rankings in action.
For a full recap of England's win over Argentina, click here.
Let's look at how the following games unfolded:
Italy vs. Australia
Scotland vs. Japan
Wales vs. South Africa
Ireland vs. Samoa
France vs. New Zealand
Italy 20-50 Australia
Talk of an upset was high in Turin after Australia’s indifferent Championship showing, but they ran out easy 50-20 winners over Italy.
The home side did race into a 10-0 lead inside 13 minutes thanks to a try from full-back Luke McLean.
However, the Wallabies hit back with 19 unanswered first-half points thanks to tries from Ben Mowen, Tevita Kuridrani and Nick Cummins.
Cummins added a second-10 minutes into the second period to quell any talk of a ninth international defeat in 12 matches, and then, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Joe Tomane and Israel Folau also crossed to give Ewen McKenzie’s side an emphatic victory.
Italy have now failed to beat Australia in 15 matches over the last 30 years, but Tommaso Allan’s late try at least gave the home fans something to cheer about.
Scotland 42-17 Japan
Scotland enjoyed a comfortable 42-17 victory over Japan at Murrayfield.
The hosts led 11-3 at half-time via a Tommy Seymour try, but the game came alive in the second period with debutant winger Seymour adding a second try after Greig Laidlaw had crossed.
Replacements Alasdair Dickinson and Duncan Weir—plus Sean Lamont—put some gloss on the scoreline with tries in the final 18 minutes.
Kenki Fukuoka scored a brace on either side of Laidlaw’s try, and the visitors only trailed 18-17 after 52 minutes before the Scots ran in 24 unanswered points against the fading Asians.
Laidlaw added 10 points with the boot as Scott Johnson’s side held off the challenge of the Brave Blossoms, who beat an under-strength Wales side at home in the summer.
Wales 15-24 South Africa
The battle between the best team in the Northern Hemisphere and the second best in the Southern went the way of South Africa as they beat Wales 24-15 in Cardiff.
Two converted tries from skipper Jean de Villiers and hooker Bismarck du Plessis inside 17 minutes gave the Springboks a 17-6 lead.
However the trusty boot of full-back Leigh Halfpenny kept the hosts in contention and he kicked all five penalty attempts to reduce the deficit to two points with 25 minutes remaining.
Ten minutes later though scrum-half Fourie du Preez put the game to bed with South Africa's third try of the evening.
It extended Warren Gatland's miserable record against the three Southern Hemisphere giants to one win in 23 attempts as Wales coach and the defeat was compounded by first-half injuries to Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies, Adam Jones and Scott Andrews.
Ireland 40-9 Samoa
Joe Schmidt's reign as Ireland coach began with an emphatic 40-9 victory over Samoa at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The hosts ran in five tries and Paddy Jackson added 15 points with the boot against a side who were ranked one place above them in the world after the poor end to Declan Kidney's tenure.
It was 6-3 after the opening quarter before Peter O'Mahony sparked the game into life with a try but the game was still very much in the balance at 14-6 at half-time.
However the hosts pulled away with Sean O'Brien scoring five minutes after the break and then replacement Dave Kearney adding a brace in the final 15 minutes, sandwiched by Fergus McFadden's score.
It was a fourth consecutive win for Ireland over Samoa following a shock victory by the South Sea Islanders in Dublin in 1996.
France 19-26 New Zealand
New Zealand continued their perfect year by recording an 11th consecutive win in 2013 although they were pushed hard by France in Paris.
The All Blacks prevailed 26-19 as yet again Les Blues raised their game against the Kiwis.
The match was all square at 9-9 at half-time with Morgan Parra and Dan Carter exchanging three penalties and they continued the trend after the break before the opening try.
Winger Charles Piutau poked the ball forward and slid over the line before he turned creator with a superb backhand pass to Kieran Read who crossed for the score.
With both tries converted, the hosts looked out of it but full-back Brice Dulin took advantage of an overlap on the right to score and set up a grandstand finish.
Despite strong pressure France could not find another try in the final 12 minutes which means Philippe Saint-Andre's side have won just once in nine games this year but the coach would take heart from the performance.