The rugby returns..

Unbeaten Wales travel to Croke Park for a ‘grudge match’ against Ireland, kick off 1.15pm – RTÉ predicts “Ireland should win this match..” Later today, 3.15pm, the Calcutta Cup will be contested between England and Scotland at Murrayfield. Tomorrow sees France hoping to hold their nerve at the Stade de France against Italy, kick off 3pm. The BBC’s iPlayer will have the games you miss. 1st Half And first points to Ireland after heavy work by the forwards. 10 mins More open play from Wales but they miss the penalty. 18 mins Another Irish score. 26mins Wales pull 3pts back. Half-time After sustained pressure from Wales they lose a penalty decision because of ill-discipline. In truth, without the errors and missed penalties, Wales would be deservedly ahead. Ireland 6 – 3 Wales. 2nd Half Wales start a man down and win a penalty on 45min. 50min Wales’ better play rewarded by the first try. 62mins Ireland open up, at last. And get a penalty. Wales down to 14 men again. 67mins Better from Ireland, against the depleted Welsh, another penalty. 75mins Stupid penalty gives Wales 4pt cushion. Full-time Ireland too dull for too long. Wales deserved winners of Triple Crown. Ireland 12 – 16 Wales Murrayfield A scrappy non-event of a 1st half ends Scotland 9 – 3 England Full-time More of the same as Scotland grind out a victory on points. Scotland 15 – 9 England. Paris A much more entertaining game at the Stade de France where a superior French side win over the battling Italians. France 25 – 13 Italy. Now France must beat Wales by 20 pts in Cardiff next week if they’re to win the tournament.

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  • PeaceandJustice

    Good luck to Wales against the Tricolour team who play the Soldier’s Song.

  • Pete Baker

    Stop trolling PJ.

    We’ve done quite well on recent rugby posts by keeping focussed on the actual games themselves.

  • perci

    tricky one Wales vs Ireland.

    Wanted to put £10 on Ireland, but think Wales may well do the business, so £10 on Wales.
    Couldn’t then bring myself to lay the bet though 😉

    C’mon Ireland.
    I Think it will be 10 pts victory though either way.
    But to whom?
    Divining rod playing up today !

  • perci

    The more you watch Wales, playing width and using an even-line, keeping the ball in play, you can’t help but think:
    This is how to play Rugby.
    The Welsh transform into 15 backs when they have the ball.
    Unstoppable.

    The Irish line is so deep, its practically 45 degrees, so hardly making any progress in possession.

  • Mick Fealty

    Stupid is right… If we can’t push a seven man scrum over the try line during a sin bin period… well..?

    Shane Williams try my highlight of the match…

    In Ireland’s favour, Kearney looks like a superb new addition… Bit of disorganisation out on the wing… more than once we had some inspirational breaks without any following support.

    Wonder if the game plan is holding the players back?

  • perci

    The ability of Wales to almost “schizophrenically” change from 15 Backs (attacking) to 15 Forwards (defending) — Ireland just has no answer to.

    The French will be the hardest test for them, but go on Wales, another Grand Slam on the cards.

  • perci

    “Wonder if the game plan is holding the players back?”

    Agreed Mick, I noticed a couple of times when Ireland played like Wales,(free-flow ,fast-pace, quick-passing) we had some breaks; almost 2/3 tries.

    Imitation is the best form of flattery!

  • PeaceandJustice

    Rejoice, Rejoice! Wales deserved to win by a bigger margin.

  • Dewi

    Easy!

  • Prince Eoghan

    Half-time Scotland hammering the Sassenachs. Hope it lasts!

    I’m glad Wales won, a better team and obviously the only ones who can win the big prize.

  • Dewi

    Come on ! Defend yourself will ya!

  • Mark McGregor

    Dewi,

    What’s to defend? We were lucky to get off that lightly. Enjoy the Triple Crown.

    Well done Wales, though Ireland’s general improvement throughout so far does give some encouragement for the future.

    Anyone an update on BOD’s injury?

    At least it looks like the Calcutta is going the right way.

  • Mark McGregor

    Dewi,

    You done the math yet? What is it? France need to win both matches with a combined goal difference of 50 odd points or you’ve got it in the bag?

  • Prince Eoghan

    Yeeeeeee and Ha!

    Always good to hammer the Sassenachs!

    It’s put me in the mood for a wee bevvy now.

    Dewi

    Nothin wurse thin hivin naebdy tae argie wi. lol!

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Go on the Welsh, good job done against the IRFU

  • Dewi

    Wonderful day – and I’ve got tickets for Wales France !

  • Dewi

    Come on mun – I need an argument!

  • Phil

    The Scotland v England match has got me f^£&!$g fuming, not because of the result or performance (one poor team squeezed past another poor team) but the complete contrast in national pride shown by the two sets of players and supporters which I believe helped Scotland to a deserved victory.

    Why did the English team come out so early and stand around whilst an impressive show of Scottish patriotism was going on around them? Why was there no response from the so called English fans to say “F£$% you, now you’ll listen to a bit of in yer face English patriotism”? The only time you heard any sort of “English” response was when the band played the drivel that masquerades as the “English” national anthem (you know, the ode dedicated to the woman who’s daughter was gleefully congratulating the opposition at the end). The game was lost before a ball was kicked. Absolutely pathetic and everyone involved from apathetic supporter to spineless administrator who refuses to have a proper English anthem played before games because they don’t want to upset their establishment masters should be ashamed of themselves.

    BTW, Good luck Dewi in Paris next week, Wales are the best team this year by a mile.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    The Irish team wouldn’t even have a team if it wasn’t for the Ulster lads helping them out. They would be lost without the help from Ulster

  • janeymac

    Dewi: Fair play and good luck next week for the Grand Slam. If you want a row – Wales are a bloody disgrace that they didn’t score 3 more tries!

    Phil: Was the English response not the RAF flyover? Taking it up a notch or two from the Braveheart battles!

    Ulster my homeland: Ireland would be lost without the Ulster lads – you make a very good point there for a United Ireland!

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil

    Long time no read, a hearty hello!

    Scotland done a similar patriotic show the last time i believe and won, except the English made a show of turning their backs or something like that. Anyway, Scotland are a poor team, but saying that they were good at the limited play they attempted. A right good disciplined slow burner. Wales done the same to Ireland.

    Ulsters my homlazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Boring!

  • Dewi

    Phil – it’s in Cardiff – I’ve got tickets and I’m already planning the day! Tony – wonderful! – love watching the idiots on the tele when England lose!

  • Dewi

    Gatland

    Go for it.

  • lll

    They’ve just announced that Margaret Thatcher has gone back into hospital this evening. Her bed became available again.

  • Phil

    Janeymac,

    That would be funny if the secretary of state for defence wasn’t Scottish!

    Prince,

    Same to you, been rather busy lately with this:

    http://www.freeenglandparty.org/

    oh….. and bringing another mini-Phil into the world.

    Dewi,

    It’s in Cardiff, eh. Now I’m even more certain that your name is on the trophy. Enjoy yourself down at the bay afterwards and go easy on the Brain’s!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    The little red feckers wrecked by day out

  • Dewi

    Sammy – a fiver to slugger?

  • Dewi

    And Sammy – nice to to see u turn up

  • Dewi

    Before yesterday I thought we had the two best scrum halfs in the world. Now it’s the three best – wasn’t Shane brilliant?

  • Alan

    “Ireland’s general improvement throughout so far does give some encouragement for the future.”

    What?! Ireland were dire – no fire, passion – no imagination. A determination to keep things tight that worked for the first 20 minutes, but resulted in an atrophied back line who hardly saw the ball except in Wales hands.

    Yes, the haemorrhaging line-out has healed itself which is something to be pleased with, but O’Sullivan seems to have no vision or sense of elan. This is boil-in-the-bag rugby masquerading as blue riband.

    The England game is now a friendly – let’s see changes wholesale and focus four years down the line.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Phil

    Nice wee website. Though this is patently untrue;

    >>Firstly, the English taxpayer is spending billions upon billions subsidising organisations like the EU and the other home nations of the UK.<

  • bollix

    sad to say it but wales deserved to win. they showed the most flair and imagination. the irish were a bit too one dimensional about attacking via their forwards.

    kearney did show some good skill at full back though. our backs can be good if they are given the chance to play a bit more. but that wee git williams, i couldn’t believe it when he danced through for his try.

    ireland had 2 chances against 14 men, and they missed them both. very dissappointing. tant pis.

  • Greenflag

    Well done the *&*#@&*@* Welsh 🙁 . The brief Irish spark against Scotland was quenched . It seems we have two Irish teams -the forwards and the backs and they need to be introduced to each other 🙁

    Deserved Welsh win overall but for a few brief moments hopes were raised at 13-12 until that baldy gobshite Jackman gave away a stupid penalty . Hook hooked it over and Wales played hold the ball until the clock ran out !

    Wales for the Grand Slam 🙂

    What happened to England in the Scottish rain ?
    The rain and Patterson’s boot . Not a great game but at least Scotland may avoid the woodener !

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    I will deliver a £5 to your goodself or sluggger? With my various other bets , flights etc it was a very excpensive day out.

    Worse however was having to eat all my words , having told every Welsh fecker who would listen that they were crap and would have a dman fine beating.

    On the postiver side ? well tuzzers like me now realise Ireland are not as good as we thought they were.

  • Dewi

    “Well done the *&*#@&*@* Welsh” – Greenflag you are a real charmer..Ireland actually resisted the onslaught mych better than I expected. The game didn’t really explode though did it – neither side really clicked.

  • Dewi

    “I will deliver a £5 to your goodself or sluggger? With my various other bets , flights etc it was a very excpensive day out”

    You poor dab Sammy – glad to see you taking the medicine though. I’ll let you off the fiver…or double or quits next year?

  • Lafcadio

    a shocking result against a mediocre welsh side – but this is the one that will lose EOS his job, so there is a silver lining

    shocking performance by ireland – no ambition, no clue, no ideas, just nothing, all afternoon. a performance that typifies the standstill EOS has brought ireland to. it was the world cup all over again.

  • Dewi

    Middlsborough v Cardiff or France Italy? Choices – doncha just love them….

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    do you fancy double or quits on whether Munster (Ireland’s Pack) get further in the HC than Ospreys (Wales) if both are beaten at same stage then bet void and I will pay out the fiver.

  • Dewi

    It’s a deal Sammy! Cardiff 2 up – at this rate Wales will be free by Wednesday…

  • Greenflag

    ‘Greenflag you are a real charmer.’

    This is not a compliment GF is used to hearing – the contrary is more often voiced usually in low mumbled behind the back tones – lest GF hear them and be inspired to ‘onslaught’ the voicer !

    ‘Ireland actually resisted the onslaught much better than I expected.’

    You might have expected that. Others would have hoped we were supposed to do the onslaughting 🙁

    ‘ The game didn’t really explode though did it – neither side really clicked.’

    True but that’s what happens sometimes !

    Perhaps Murphy might have livened up the game. We might have won by 20 points but then so might the Welsh !

  • Dewi

    Welsh triple crown and Cardiff City in FA Cup semi-finals! The way things are going ITaly will have a second half comeback!!!

  • agh

    Must say I was very disappointed with the atmosphere at Croker – very very quiet. I’m not sure if it is because 1 side of the stadium is not complete or because the fans are too far from the pitch, but I was genuinely shocked at how quiet it was. Don’t get me wrong – the facilities are excellent it’s very clean etc etc but absolutely no comparison to the Millennium which is just a cauldron of emotion and noise!

    With regards to the game, EOS only had 1 gamepland and Gatland sussed it out fairly quickly. With no plan B, the 14 men of Wales made Ireland look very ordinary. A thoroughly deserved win for a reasonable Welsh side. With 80 000 mad welsh men behind them I expect wales to just do enough against France to sneak a grand slam! With BOD out for next week I think Ireland will struggle at twickers and more pressure to piled on EOS!!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Agh,

    agree about the atmosphere – really poor in Hogan stand. Crowd could have made a difference as team really lethargic. Don’t agree about BOD – not fit and should not have played – relying on reputation for last year or so. O’Connell should not have played either Mick O’Driscoll had been best Irish forward and was dropped.

    We should give the All Black a good hammering on 7th June.

  • agh

    ‘We should give the All Black a good hammering on 7th June. ‘

    I assume you are kidding me? I’m not sure what shape the all blacks are in – I assume they are rebuilding for the next RWC, but even a NZ NPC side would smoke Ireland at the minute. I’d go for a 30-40 point defeat!

    BOD was lethargic, but he was still strong in defence. We’ll have a completely new partnership for next weekend – one of Eddie’s policys – don;t develope a squad!!

    I was in the cusaac stand – silence was deafening!

  • Dewi

    “We should give the All Black a good hammering on 7th June”

    Dear Dear me Sammy…I think I’ll store that in a special place to bring out as and when needed…..

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    I will stick by my policy of confident predictions as it served me so well for the Wales game.

    Even I, as an Eddie suporter think his days are numbered but the upcoming tour is hardly an enticement to any potential replacement. Declan Kidney and Bradley are possibles but I would hate to see Munster loose Kidney. But we should stick with an Irish coach if possible – if Engkand dont sign up Jake White then I suspect the IRFU will sound him out.

  • JB

    Well done to the touch judge for getting the ball hitting the line and then try flag correct.

    Ref correct with sin binning. Gratuitously stupid move Philips and then the Irish guy who gave away 3 points leaving a try needed rather than a drop goal or penalty.

    Also well done TMO on Horgan’s knock on. One angle looked try but two knock on.