The post-Warren Gatland era got into full swing for Wales with a 42-0 win over Italy that started their Six Nations title defence in impressive fashion and featured one shining example of the attacking play desired by new coach Wayne Pivac.

There was a look of contentment on Pivac's face after one of the five tries scored by his team, in particular, when first-five Dan Biggar threw a flat pass between his legs — while looking the wrong way near Italy's line — to send winger Josh Adams over in the left corner.

"Wayne's World" — as some are labelling Pivac's Wales tenure — certainly looked a fun place to be as his team powered into a 21-0 lead after 31 minutes against opponents also under a new coach in South African Franco Smith.

Capping a dominant display was the sight of George North burrowing his way over the line with three minutes left for his 40th international try to clinch the attacking bonus point, which is common against the Italians these days.

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"It was a pretty good performance," Pivac said. "We got the five points we were after but it wasn't easy, we had to work hard for it.

"I'm very pleased to have held them scoreless. That doesn't happen often at this level of the game."

Italy didn't win a match in the last four Six Nations and, without talismanic No 8 Sergio Parisse likely until the final round of this year's competition as he slips into retirement, the drought could easily extend to five years.

Ireland also got their tenure under a new coach off to a winning start, escaping with a 19-12 win over Scotland in Andy Farrell's first match in charge.

A rampant Scotland's awful discipline when they had the tryline in reach allowed Ireland to avoid a surprise defeat at Lansdowne Road.

Scotland made all the running but their constant incursions into the Irish 22 produced nothing but frustration and heartbreak.

Turnovers and penalties thwarted the adventurous Scots every time. Their best try chance came while trailing 13-6 in the third quarter. New captain Stuart Hogg, given an overlap in the left corner, had only to place the ball but inexplicably spilled it.

Hogg apologised to his teammates.

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"It was a schoolboy error," he said. "I apologised to the boys and I need to move on. We got ourselves into some good positions after the forwards' hard work and effort and I'm bitterly disappointed."

New Ireland captain Jonathan Sexton, playing his first match in eight weeks after tearing right knee ligaments, contributed all his team's points with the game's only try and landed five of six goal kicks.