IT was a busy weekend of rugby both on the local and international scene as the Six Nations began with a bang.

There was nothing more dramatic than Johnny Sexton’s last gasp drop-kick that sealed a 15-13 Ireland win in France, while England’s 46-15 victory in Italy – where two-try No. 8 Sam Simmonds made a huge impact on debut – keeps a potential Grand Slam showdown between the sides on track for the final day of the tournament.

First, though, England must deal with a Welsh side who thumped Scotland 34-7 on Saturday.

There were 24 points for the impressive Leigh Halfpenny and all the worries of fielding so many uncapped players was not a problem.

Also in Cardiff, London Irish racked up a fourth straight win as they scored six tries in beating the Blues 42-21. With confidence rising, they’ve got a huge Aviva Premiership game at home to Sale this coming Saturday.

In National Two South, fourth-placed Redingensians Rams chalked up their 14th win of the season with a 36-14 success at Broadstreet.

They face a third straight away game at Old Redcliffians this Saturday.

Elsewhere, both Reading and Reading Abbey must lick their wounds from Saturday’s Southern Counties North outings.

My boys Reading crashed 31-16 at Thatcham, who proved solid in the scrums and line-outs and had a useful No. 8 in Mark Smith.

Their head coach is John Dixon who, 28 years ago, made his debut at scrum half for us and played for us for many a long season.

Not surprisingly he was really pleased with the result for his side and particularly his pack who pushed us off our own ball on many occasions even though the size of our lads was probably larger than there’s.

At least we did score two good tries and there were some positives in the match, which probably wasn’t the case with our neighbours Abbey, who went down to a shock 23-5 loss at home to second-bottom Gosford All Blacks after parting company with head coach Fungai Mutepfa during the week.

Commiserations also to Berkshire Shire Hall, who lost 17-5 at home to Harwell.