Scotland and Ireland ignited the fireworks at BT Murrayfield and it was the Irishmen who prevailed to get their title defence back on track.
And it wouldn’t be an Ireland win without Ulster’s prolific try scorer Jacob Stockdale getting in on the act.
Last year’s top scorer in the championship opened his account after talisman Johnny Sexton fed him on his inside and raced past two front rowers and sprinted in from 45 metres.
Munster’s Conor Murray had already put the visitors ahead with a try of his own and converted Stockdale’s to give Ireland an early lead.
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) 11 February 2019
The Munstermen really turned up to the party and after Leinster’s Sexton was forced off with injury Joey Carbery was introduced to the field before Keith Earls added a third try.
Amid the outstanding performances of the backs, it was Peter O’Mahony that was given the man of the match award for his contribution of nine tackles, 13 carries and six passes – more than any other forward on the pitch.
Scotland did have a consolation try when former Glasgow Warriors man Finn Russell popped the ball off the floor to one of the current crop in centre Sam Johnson to finish the job.
Meanwhile in Rome there was a heavy contingency of Guinness PRO 14 players involved as Italy suffered a second successive loss in this year’s championship while Wales earned an 11th Test win in a row.
📸 A moment to remember for Sam Johnson as he crosses the whitewash for Scotland at BT Murrayfield for the first time.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) 9 February 2019
Benetton’s Braam Steyn benefited from a lineout maul to score the first try of the afternoon while his Guinness PRO14 counterpart and club rival Edoardo Padovani, of Zebre, got another late on but it wasn’t enough to challenge Wales.
Dan Biggar was replaced by Cardiff Blues’ Gareth Anscombe who put a clever dink through for Osprey’s Owen Watkin who won the foot race to dot it down and finish the game on top.
England’s 44-8 demolition of France produced scintillating rugby however, every player involved in the game plays their rugby in their representative country.