The destination of the Six Nations' title and perhaps a Grand Slam to boot moved a step closer at the weekend, as Ireland proved too strong for England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Elsewhere in the championship, Italy scored a last minute penalty try to edge past the Scots at Murrayfield, while the rejuvenated Welsh triumphed against the French at the Stade de France.

Scotland were first up against the Azzurri and with home advantage, had high expectations and hopes of their first victory of the 2015 campaign. Sadly for them, defeat against the determined Italians after a last minute penalty try was awarded to the visitors, probably makes them favourites for the wooden spoon at the end of the championships now.

Scotland had looked to be moving in the right direction after a narrow defeat to the Welsh last time out and led 19-15 as they entered the last few minutes. Sergio Parisse rallied his troops for one last effort though and with his side driving themselves towards the home line, the referee decided that a try had been denied by foul play, and so awarded the penalty try under the posts. That sealed a 22-19 win for the Italians.

The Welsh have regrouped since their opening day reversal at the hands of the English, to confirm their second win of the campaign on Saturday in Paris. They had looked to be in control after Dan Biggar had profited from some wonderful sleight of hand by Dan Lydiate, following an initial break by Rhys Webb, to go over in the corner in the second-half.

France were not beaten yet though and roared back with a try of their own through Brice Dulin. Leigh Halfpenny converted a penalty to put Wales 20-13 ahead and Les Bleus were unable to score again, as the Welsh ground out the victory by 20-13. That puts them back in the mix for the title, especially as they host the Irish at the Millennium Stadium next.

The Welsh will be sweating over the fitness of captain Sam Warburton after the French game, as he picked up a knee injury.

Ireland were always in command against the Red Rose nation, using their nous and home advantage in Dublin to good effect. After accumulating a healthy lead through the boot of Johnny Sexton, as they led 12-3, the decisive moment came when a high kick to the corner was caught by Robbie Henshaw to go over for his first international try.

That put the Irish into a seemingly unassailable lead of 19-3. Perhaps sensing that they had the game already won, they allowed the visitors to come back at them and reduce the arrears through two George Ford penalties, but time was not on England's side and they were unable to pull the match back in the last ten minutes. The game ended 19-9 to Ireland, leaving the destiny of the title very much in their own hands with just two games remaining. The Irish have away trips to Wales and Scotland to come, with victory in both seeing them to a Grand Slam, although they may have to do without Sexton after he looked to tweak a hamstring. England can still take the title if the Irish slip up, with home games against Scotland and France on their agenda.