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Police probe 'homopohic tweets' directed at referee

Police are investigating alleged homphobic abuse directed at Owens. Credit: Reuters

Police have launched an investigation into alleged homophobic remarks on Twitter which were directed towards rugby referee Nigel Owens, they said. The comments were posted after he refereed the England v France international at Twickenham yesterday, Dyfed-Powys Police said.

The force said in a statement: "This follows a number of complaints made by members of the public. The tweet concerned has now been removed from the page. The investigation is at an early stage."

England scored seven tries in beating France 55-35 in a dramatic contest, but were unable to overturn a pre-match 26-point deficit as Ireland clinched the Six Nations title on points difference.

England Six Nations title hopes in the balance

Ben Youngs scored two first half tries. Credit: PA

England lead France at 27-15 at the interval in a match they must win by 26 points to deny Ireland successive Six Nations titles.

Ben Youngs had provided the home side with an ideal start at Twickenham, running over for a try within two minutes which was converted by George Ford.

But the French hit back with two of their own, the first from Sebastien Tillous-Bord and another thanks to Noa Nakaitaci three minutes later during a torrid 15 minute spell for England.

Anthony Watson restored parity as the impressive Ford drove France back, and it was the fly-half himself who converted the resulting kick from the touchline to nudge Stuart Lancaster's side back in front.

Ben Youngs touched down for the fifth try of the first-half, as the English turned defence into attack in a matter of seconds thanks to a brilliant run from Mike Brown.

Ford converted another penalty at the death to set up an intriguing second period where England must must extend their lead by another 14 points to lift the title.

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Ireland lead Scotland 20-10 at the interval

There was anticipation in the air as Ireland arrived at Murrayfield hoping that Scotland would not stand in their way of a second successive Six Nations title.

Paul O'Connell scores a try for Ireland. Credit: Reuters

Wales' Rome triumph meant the Irish needed at least a 21-point win to keep hold of their crown and they wasted little time bulldozing over for a fourth-minute try.

A great break from Tommy Bowe took them to within a yard of the try line. And after the visitors kept the move alive, skipper Paul O'Connell found the room to squeeze round a ruck and finish off the touchdown to become Ireland's oldest ever scorer.

Jonathan Sexton added the extras and then a penalty to cement the perfect start.

Sean O'Brien added another try on 24 minutes but Ireland need to extend their advantage over Scotland - who replied with their own try through Finn Russell - by another 11 points in the second half.

Wales storm into 42-13 second half lead

A hat-trick of second half tries from George North has put Wales into a 42-13 lead over Italy after 60 minutes.

George North has been unstoppable for Wales. Credit: PA

The Welsh needed a penalty at the death in the first half to go into the interval 14-13 ahead, but their Italian counterparts have capitulated in the second period.

As things stand, Warren Gatland's side are four points ahead of England in the fight for the Six Nations title.

Wales lead Italy 14-13 at Stadio Olympico

Wales fans lit up Italy's Stadio Olympico. Credit: PA

Wales' Six Nations title hopes hung by a thread at half-time in Rome as underdogs Italy pushed Sam Warburton's men all the way.

Wing Giovambattista Venditti's 25th-minute try gave Italy the edge until just before the break. Kelly Haimona kicked a penalty before going off injured, while his replacement Luciano Orquera landed a conversion and penalty.

Wales created a try for centre Jamie Roberts, and full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked two penalties, but a groggy Halfpenny departed the action six minutes before half-time and the visitors had it all to do in pursuit of title rivals England and Ireland, despite Dan Biggar's injury-time strike edging them ahead.

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