And so to the rugby..

After last week’s eventful matches, Wales welcome Scotland to Cardiff and should probably expect home field advantage to win through, 2pm start – MinuteByMinute here Meanwhile.. Ireland travel to Paris to face France.. kick-off 4pm – MinuteByMinute here – I’m not making any predictions.. but it’ll be a real upset if Ireland can win that one. Italy host England tomorrow. The BBC’s iPlayer will have the matches here later. And, this time, let’s keep the discussion to the actual games themselves. Update Wales 30 – 15 Scotland. A reasonably solid home win for Wales.. with a little bit of help from the video ref.. And Unluckily for Ireland, France score first on 16mins. But Ireland get a penalty shortly after. Bah 19mins in. Ireland asleep. France score again. 29mins Ireland pull another 3 points back. 37 mins An error-strewn Irish attack ends with a French counter.. and a try. Half-time A tale of missed opportunities and errors for Ireland. France 19 – 6 Ireland. 47mins Lost lineouts abound. But the Irish defence holds. Still France 19 – 6 Ireland. 50mins Spoke too soon. France break through for another try. 58mins Pressure from the Irish forwards eventually tells. Penalty try. 61mins Suddenly Ireland are back in the game. Another try! 75mins O’Gara takes the penalty! Full-time France 26 – 21 Ireland. So close at the end. Over ambitious chip was gathered into touch. But it was [overall] a much better performance from Ireland.

,

  • perci

    peteb I’ve a feeling Trimble/O’Driscoll are going to put on a good show. 7/2 at the bookies, so that’s worth a fiver anyday. Wales looking confident, just scored!

  • moochin Photoman

    I can’t believe that there was no comment about the monumental cock up by the English management allowing Shaun Edwards to go to the Welsh.They will regret that if they don’t already. Gatland and Edwards have coached alot of the top flight players and their combined knowledge will make the Welsh a very formidable outfit.

    Very scrappy game but i think the Welsh will see the Scottish off tho it’s 17-15 at the mo.
    As for the boys in Green….they can only get better right?

  • Pete Baker

    We might have to wait for their next game to find that out, moochin.

  • Moochin Photoman

    We are going to miss Darcy i think and the line out HAS to improve otherwise we could be in for a drubbing today by 2 or 3 tries.
    I hope they prove me wrong.
    Bit of a dubious try there now so much for technology!!

  • Pete Baker

    “Bit of a dubious try there now so much for technology!!”

    It’s always the human element that gets it wrong, as ever..

  • Dewi

    “Bit of a dubious try” – Never ! Twinkling Shane knew exactly what he was doing. Not an entirely convincing performance from us….and this could turn out horribly for Ireland.

  • Dewi

    Penalty try hmmm I’m giving up this prediction lark.

  • Dewi

    C’mon Ireland!

  • perci

    Trimble man o match, camon

  • Dewi

    Shane – Reddan needs to eliminate that step he makes before passing.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Another minute and we might’ve taken the French.

  • perci

    aye overall we had the better game, scrum and pressure good, line-outs bad and somewhat unlucky 3 times with an excellent french wing

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ireland played well in first half, France just took their chances, but we threw it away at the end – should have kept it tight. Murphy out and Bowe in. O’Connell back for Wales – otherwise same agian. Fantastic peformance.

    We will kill Scotland and lightly thrash Wales if we play like that and probably edge the fatboys at Twickers.

  • Dewi

    An excellent French wing who they had dropped for the game. O’Driscoll doesn’t seem the player he was I have to say.
    Genius

  • Dewi

    “and lightly thrash Wales” – You and whose army Sammy?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    just because you got a Jimmy Saville sound-a-like as defence coach and Kiwi who tells the players a few home truths doesn’t mean Wales are going to become a good rugby team. Players, Players, Players as Blair might have said.

  • Dewi

    Sammy – would you like a small wager? A fiver on the game?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    of course I would, but to be fair – Ireland will start favorites with the bookies and so I will get the better end of the deal – so I’ll give you the draw.

  • Ex Pat Pat

    I may have had a few Guinness too many while watching the game but I could have sworn that the commentators (on several occasions) referred to Andrew Trimble as David Trimble? Anyone else notice that or do I have politics on the brain?

  • Dewi

    “so I’ll give you the draw” – generous indeed Sammy- I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth – it’s a deal.

  • esmereldavillalobos

    No ex pat pat, I heard Phillip Matthews do that at least once. If only Andrew could have danced a jig over the French line with BOD, eh?

  • Proud Brit

    Come on France!!!!

    Ireland (Republic of, one should say!) do not represent me as a British Citizen. Why should we be expected to stand for an international / foreign country’s national anthem (if you can call it that) and their flag!!!

    Come on England, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Well, we managed to get to 21 comments before the inevitable flags’n’anthems bullshit started.

    That’s an improvement on last week, which in itself is in tune with what happened on the field of play.

  • LURIG

    This shouting about being a British citizen is hilarious. It really is protesting too much. Step off the boat or plane in Britain from Ireland (North & South,) open your mouth and you are a Paddy. Everyone in the British Forces from here gets Paddy as in Blair ‘Paddy’ Mayne. The British public DON’T recognise Northern Ireland, Six Counties, The Province etc. or Unionists as British and want to see the back of it ASAP. When will people start realising this? Also get rid of that Irelands Call dirge, how embarrassing was that today? Soldiers Song or Danny Boy it has to be.

  • flaminglip

    Come on France!!!!

    Ireland (Republic of, one should say!) do not represent me as a British Citizen. Why should we be expected to stand for an international / foreign country’s national anthem (if you can call it that) and their flag!!!

    Come on England, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Italy and France represent you as a British citizen?

  • Dewi

    Always found it strange that Scotland do so well. They play Rugby in 3 villages in Scotland – Gala , Hawick and Jedfforest. Thus they have 43 players to chose from. They also have the added disadvantage of having to hold a bagpipe under their right elbow whilst they are playing the game. Difficult.

  • RepublicanStones

    you can uncircle the wagons Proud Brit…..the empire is dead !

  • Moochin Photoman

    We had them beat……all we had to do was play it down the middle, keep the ball to hand, play tight from the breakdown and we could have had the try we needed possibly another penalty try.
    But oh no kick the feckin ball away with no time on the clock. Moronic decision. Compare that with the last few mins of the super bowl last weekend, now that was composure under fire.
    O’Gara should have conceded a penalty when caught on the halfway by holding on, cynical perhaps but , he is long enough in the tooth to realise that. Instead they scored another try.
    Some very poor tactical decisions made but what a cracker of a game. I do have serious doubts about O’Driscoll’s captaincy.
    Anyways it’s a disappointing result but certainly an improvement from last week.

  • againstthehead

    Worst result possible. An absolute hiding would have been better. EOS’s job is now secure for another year at least. Sides like Wales and France are in transition – bringing in new coaches, young players and changing their appraoch to the game. Ireland are virtually unchanged from an absolutely horrific RWC.

    Okay we rallied towards the end yesturday, but by that stage the french coach had blooded his young guns – players that may actually be around for the next RWC! Those young french players, along with their coach will have gained a lot from that game – more that couple of 6 nations points.

    I agree with a commenter above with regards to Reddan. He looks great when he makes those runs, but he gets snagged all to often and in addition, his pass isn’t much faster that Boss’s. Stringer may well be knocking on the door again. Jackman was very poor at 2. Out on his feet in the second half and he was throwing basketball lobs from the sidelines. He’s hardly one for the future either. To top it all, Murphy was an absolute joke on the wing. Horgan or Bowe must be in for the next game. A few of you are a bit harsh on BOD. He’s a mouthy pain in the ass but he gives 150% and is immense in defence.

    We should and probably will beat scotland – but it may be a similar game to the Italian afair. Wales at home will be one hell of a game. Home advantage may be enough, but if they get their expansive game going we could struggle. England are very unpredictable, They looked the business in the first 40 against Wales but in the 2nd half they went to pieces. Jury’s out on that one.

    The RWC is 4 years away, now is the time to be blooding the likes of Fitzgerald and Caldwell. Give them time off the bench and build for NZ.

  • Dewi

    I’ve given up predictions but can’t resist – a famous, historic afternoon in Rome anyone?

  • againstthehead

    I can’t see it Dewi. The english pack should hold their own and if Johnny has a half decent game they should be able to play the game in the Italian half. Italy were very poor against Ireland, whilst england had good periods against wales. In addition, Italy was goal-kicking issues. That said, if England get rattled like they did last week, then it could go close.
    If you force my hand, I’d go for a 23-9 england win.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    againstthehead

    RWC? Lets walk before we can run – we have not even won the championship in donkeys. This ranting against EOS is mainly based based on the unrealsitic view of just how good we are. EOS played the team that the majority of his critics have been calling for but they do not have the good grace to say well done Eddie when he changes the selection. Keith Wood who was there for the move from Gatland to EOS still thinks he is the man for the job and he is outside the tent and could piss in he he choose. Yesterday was a brilliant performance with more game time the backs will click ( though I personally would put in Fitzgerald or Bowe) and of course there were mistakes particulalry the shocking decision by Murphy at the end to kick the ball away. This is as good as it gets – and it probably wil get a lot worse when the current crop of excellent players finish. Enjoy.

  • Dewi

    That Kearney fella not bad Sammy.

    “If you force my hand, I’d go for a 23-9 england win” Have faith mun aginstthehead. Italy 36 England 3…..

  • Suzzie

    I think the point “Proud Brit” is trying to make is that she’ll support anyone other the (the Rupublic of) Ireland! ! ! !

  • againstthehead

    I was down in Dublin 2 years ago watching Ireland play SA and Oz off the park. Then came the 6 nations we were proably the best side on show – just lacked the nerve against the french. We were ranked, I think 3rd in the world at one point. Since then it;s been a shambles. You telling me those performances against Scotland, italy, namibia, georgia, france, argentina and italy again are as good as it gets sammy?

    Of course we should prepare for the RWC, that’s what its all about. Yes, triple expressos are all very well but we have 4 years to build, rather than let the walls fall down.

    Looks as though I was a bit harsh on england. They’re doing a workmanlike performance. Lot of potential in that side – just lack confidence. Another couple of years and they will be streets ahead of ireland I’m afraid.

  • Dewi

    Damn that English lineout! – Sammy – get me a ticket for Croke Park will ya?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    againstthehead,

    the RWC was a shambles but lets be honest we should concentrate on the Euro title. Our record in 6N since it started is 2nd to the French. This is unprecedented in Irish rugby history. Of course nobody really knows whether its coach or players ( not even coach and players themselves irrespective of which country you look at ) but EOS has reigned during this period and should therfore as is the convention be left in place without personages with an unrealistic view of the world jabbering at him. This is a fantastic championship with Eng v Wales and Fra v Goodguys stupendous games. If the silly rugby authorites knew how to organise a competiton properly and synchronise kickofs for the final round of games it would be even better.

    Dewi, have had but distributed tickets for game between Engleze’s most violent colony ( former?) agianst Engleze’s first colony.

  • Dewi

    Italy better team – just stupidity in the lineout – should have mixed things up a bit – gone for 4 man or 3 man lineouts. Too scared to win I think.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    I think Italian backs have had 2 good games in a row – but needed to play the fancy stuff when they were closer to Engleze’s line. They cetainly look more dangerous than the Scottish backs.

    Enough there to make Wales a bit nervey as there pack could rumble if confidence is up and if Bortolami is back in.

    It is now probably in Wales’s and Ireland’s interest that Engleze’s beat frogs – these are strange times indeed.

  • Dewi

    Don’t care what England do against Frogs Sammy – bring the French and Irish on! (More worried about the Italians)

  • Dewi

    And please can we all agree that Brian Moore is an annoying shit.

  • againsthehead

    No way Dewi. Moore is a total legend. I love the way he’s goes mental at the english players!! last 2 games have been halarious. Yes, he’s biassed, but he’s a laugh a minute. Other observers make excuses for england misfiring, Moore generally tells it how it is. I guess he’s so bad, he’s good!

    Wales have a great chance – should win their next game and have every chance against Ireland.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    Re. Brian Moore.

    No I can’t agree with you – he’s over-emotional, understandably pro-Engleze and he totally lost it today as they started to fall apart – but he’s my kinda guy as he shouts his mouth off.

  • Dewi

    Sammy – did u see Dirty Sanchez on Scrum Five? Hilarious! Disagree with you both about sweet Brian – its like having the bloke down the pub doing the commentary……

  • moochin Photoman

    Moore is an objectionable prick.
    He is biased but he does know his onions and reads the game very well. He is one of those guys that you’d rather play with than against.
    All that said at least he isn’t a homongenous and boring commentator so Brian can stay!!!

  • againsthehead

    one of the few commentators who actually knows what the heck is goin on in the front rows. Well, at least he lets on he does!
    Greenwood, now he is an ass! and I’m sure we can all agree on that one!!

  • Moochin Photoman

    Agreed againsthehead, Greenwood is useless
    As a former prop myself that objectionable twat Moore came out with the statement “all props are liars” which had me slabbering at the telly!!!

  • Dewi

    Moochin – a former prop who can spell objectionable? Never !!!

  • Diluted Orange

    againstthehead

    Got to say I agree with you about EOS. The 2nd half performance yesterday doesn’t make up for what has been a hugely disappointing period for Irish rugby since the England game at Croke Park.

    More heads than just Stringer’s should have rolled after the WC and IMO it’s criminal that a group of players like what Ireland currently have have not won the 6 nations in the past 7 years under O’Sullivan. Arguably, this is the best group of players that Ireland have ever had and they’ve consistently underperformed.

    What is with his team selections? Why has it taken so long for Reddan to get into the side – after all he plays week in, week out for the best club side in Europe. Geordan Murphy on the wing? Why? He is a full-back – stick Tommy Bowe there. How D’Arcy has not got dropped until his injury forced EOS’s hand is beyond me too.

  • moochin Photoman

    Dewi
    ha it was better than just calling him a gobby cunt i suppose 😉 spell check is a wonderful thing

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    am boycotting all Welsh mdeia until Wales lose – the deferential way they speak about the Wazza and Jimmy Savill really drivies me up the wall.

    DilutedOrange,

    Agree EOS was to slow about Reddan and putting Trimble in instead of D’arse. But Ireland(s) football teams are both shite and have been shite( except when ROI stuck a load of Englezes in the team ) and we dont go round thinking we should beat everyone in Europe. We are punching above our weight, we are 2nd most consistent team in 6n since start. Obviously disappointing we have not won 6n but yesterday’s performance was outstanding and with a bit of luck you never know.

  • Dewi

    “am boycotting all Welsh mdeia until Wales lose ”

    But we are never ever going to lose again!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    Have you borrowed those lines from tomorrow’s Western Mail editorial?

  • Dewi

    Sammy – I’m looking forward to the 17 pages on the Rugby i’m as mad as everyone else here!

  • Dewi

    Desperately trying to change my work stuff so I can get to Ireland for the Wales game. Have a train crash so I can come and investigate will you?

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Another gallant defeat for Ireland, the story of our lives!

    I suppose there’s always the chance of another Triple-Crown. We’ll soon have enough of them for the team to eat their dinners off!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    Can only offer you another chariot derailment on the final day of the championship.

  • Ex-orangeman who saw the light now rejects orangei

    Another gallant defeat.

  • janeymac

    Diluted Orange
    [i]”Why has it taken so long for Reddan to get into the side – after all he plays week in, week out for the best club side in Europe.”[/i]

    Reddan only played 11 games for Wasps last season, so its not as if he has been ignored. Ian Humphreys has played as many for Leicester. Reddan came good towards end of last season. Boss was ahead of him in the Ireland set-up. Previous to Wasps he was behind Stringer in Munster and going on the Munster v. Wasps HCup game, Stringer outplayed Reddan.

    Reddan is a good player, but a bit over-hyped because of his break. He has some way to go with his decision making, his steps and his pass yet. And he is 27. Its a pity Stringer wasn’t on for last 20 mins v. France. That ball would never have gone out at the end as Stringer would have kept the ball with the pack. Reddan passed the ball to Murphy who put it out.

    I agree with you about Murphy & Bowe. EOS really has it in for Murphy sticking him on the wing.

    [i]”Another gallant defeat for Ireland, the story of our lives!”[/i]

    Seems ROG is none too happy with this approach.

    http://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/six-nations-2008/comment-analysis/heroic-efforts-are-no-consolation-for-frustrated-ogara-1286914.html

  • janeymac

    Diluted Orange
    [i]“Why has it taken so long for Reddan to get into the side – after all he plays week in, [b]week out for the best club side in Europe.”[/b][/i]

    The best side in Europe that didn’t get out of its group in HCup recently and is mid-table in Guinness Premiership at the moment?

    How about one of the top clubs in Europe (along with Leicester, Toulouse and Munster)?

  • Dewi

    he plays week in, week out for the best club side in Europe.”

    Ospreys got two fine scrum halfs already……..

  • janeymac

    [i]”Ospreys got two fine scrum halfs already……..”[/i]

    Indeed Dewi, Ospreys are well on their way to winning the 6Ns as well as the HCup this year!

  • Soviet Air Force

    Brian Moore who else are you going to get when you have a budget of £3.4 Billion?

  • Dewi

    “Soviet Air Force” What sort of name is that?

  • Dewi

    That i player on the BBC is excellent – watched Shane’s try 83 times now – hmmmm you might just have a point about that left leg grazing the line……

  • Dewi

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=t94aVr5S2pE

    And that’s your new anthem – these two are brilliant.

  • Moochin Photoman

    Dubious try indeed Dewi, even Jonathon Davies said it at the time.

  • Dewi

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_dEB66Yq4NA&NR=1

    Hell – I’ve got obsessed by another Irish song – wonderful.

    Played scrum half to Jonathan Davies when I was 9 by the way – just used to give him the ball and watch…..

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    the first one is great – the girl on the right could well be ROG with a wig on. No good as an anthem though as there is no mention of killing people in it.

  • Dewi

    Uncanny resemblance Sammy now you say it.

  • Soviet Air Force

    Even clever than

    Nellis Stella RLC

  • Dewi

    It’s not Warren Gatland in charge of Wales – it’s Rafael Benitez

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    I suspect he is looking to the Ireland game – he presumably thinks it unwise to put Hook in against Ireland ( where Wales need to get the basics right ) and he wants to get Jones bedded in – he’s also probably a little worried about Italy’s pack and wants to make sure they play the game in the Italian half. That was one of the reasons he lost the Irish job – he’s too conservative.

  • Dewi

    His own man though Sammy – breath of fresh air. And if things go wrong we can bring Phillips and Hook off the bench…….