Six Nations 2011 – Final Weekend

OK – Wales are 42 points behind England on goal difference with one game to go. So we need you to win by 41 and beat France in Paris to win the Championship. Stranger things have happened. But. Not. Often.
So…Trimble and Sexton back.
Zulus? Rorke’s Drift? – what’s Liam Toland on about?

Come on Ireland, fix bayonets . . . “At one hundred yards! Volley fire, present! Aim! Fire!”

Gatland loves George North (in for Shane).
On the video: “What do you offer that Shane doesn’t?” – “Size” – cool….
So what’s Lievremont up to? (I still think France will win the World Cup btw…)
And in the Prediction Contest:
Abucs on 21 saying 3 away wins.
Articles on 20, 2 homes but England to beat Ireland….
John on 19…….3 home wins.
Have you ever been so excited?

, , ,

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Final Weekend”. Thanks be to Jeebus 😀

  • Dewi

    Pigeon Toes…Great World Cup on the way !

  • He he he,

    I cant see “Men of Harlech” being sung at the Aviva Stadium somehow.

    Ireland v England

    When you read Toland’s article, you get the impression that he knows everything, Ireland can not fail to win and it is all a done deal. A journalist who is an armchair manager can have it both ways. If Ireland win, he can pat himself on the back for predicting it. If they lose, he can start the process of Kidney’s assasination.

    I would agree with him about some of what he is saying. The English centre is vulnerable in defence, particularly now that Tindall is injured. His replacement, Matt Banahan is a giant back at the height of 6’7″ but what you gain in size and power, you often lose in agility. Last year, Mark Reason of the Daily Telegraph described Banahan as a “Stone age man with a hand like a stone age tool” That’s journalists for you. Still, BOD will be pursing his lips.

    As for Kidney’s half-back selection, it looks like attacking running rugby (Sexy rugby – not ROGby)

    I have asked myself who needs to win at the Aviva more. England or Ireland? Ireland because their season is otherwise destroyed. England can benefit from losing, just as the great team of 2003 did when they missed grand slams narrowly in previous years.

    Like the England – Wales match last week, I think this is difficult to predict. Ireland will have to play better than they did against Wales. I think they have been saving themselves a bit for this one. If they can get most of their players back in form, they will just about be too much for England on this occasion. The latter are a young team still very wet behind the ears. Their day will come but perhaps not tomorrow.

    Ireland to win by about 5 points.

    Wales v France

    The grand ego decider that everybody has been waiting for. I have said all I will about France’s manager. He is their biggest liability. Wales will hope that the French players are still unsettled and demoralised after his outburst last Sunday but they also need to up their game.

    I would be surprised if lightning struck twice, so I am going for a French win.

    France to win by 10 + points.

    Scotland v Italy

    If you ignore Scotland’s performance against Wales and Italy’s against England, you could make a case for saying that these two sides have acquitted themselves very well throughout the championship.

    Both sides put in their best performance of the competition last week. However, Italy have reached their high point whereas Scotland will still be hungry. For that reason alone, I think the Scots will be very likely winners.

    There could be a few records broken today. Scotland have not scored a try on their own ground since when?

    Scotland to win by 10 points.

  • Dewi

    Samoa last Scottish try?

  • Right on Dewi,

    I was thinking of the six nations though. I’ve just checked the records. Apart from that one try against Samoa, it appears Scotland have not scored a try at home since Feb 2009 when they beat Italy. Even then, that was only one try.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Max Evans’s one was a beaut in Twickers.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    SM,

    ‘ is the same as ‘

  • Dewi

    at home – sammy – me and thee owe Slugger a fortune….let’s stop gambling…

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Dewi,

    “at home – sammy – me and thee owe Slugger a fortune….let’s stop gambling”

    Yes, I know you were talking about at home …. I was just adding..

    I still owe £20 (hope Mick is not reading this) and I think we have a tenner on who finishes highest between Wales and Ireland? Or did we just bet on outcome of game?

  • Dewi

    dunno – but it’s usually bad for me – i’ll just give Slugger £50 – it’s more fun than the license fee!

  • Dewi, Dewi, Dewi,

    Your piece is entitled

    “Six Nations 2011 – Final Weekend”

    Call yourself a Celt, if England win we’ll never hear the end of it.

    But you’re possibly right, if Ireland win it will quickly be forgotten across the water.

    In sum as good an explanation of relativity as i’ve come across recently.

  • Mark

    According to Conor O Shea , the last English team to play in a stadium they had never played in before were each given a talk on the history of Croke park and the 1920 Bloody sundy shootings with Michael Hogan shot dead . This ploy obviously worked because England were crap that day and Gorden’s boys took a terrible beating .

    I don;t think a history of the absolute bollicks the IRFU have made regarding the Aviva stadium would be a good idea unless we could shoot a few builders and bankers on the pitch before the game .

    Poor old Johnny Sexton – make or break for him . The way Kidney has mismanaged the young outhalf in the lst 6/7 weeks show his weakness as a coach . The Ireland team that won the grand slam could have been managed by Heinz and we would have still won it .

    O Driscoll and O Brien can inspire the Irish . I see Tommy Bowe has been voted Ireland’s most sexiest man with Colin Farrell coming a close second although I’d say colin has tackled few more hookers than Tommy ever did.

    Should be a great day …my mother emotionally blackmailed me into giving her my ticket , fuc? it – she deserves it , she a great old dear . And she’ll be drapped in a tricolour with not a stain of blood on it .

  • Dewi

    “I see Tommy Bowe has been voted Ireland’s most sexiest man”
    I’d shag him if he asked nicely!
    “In sum as good an explanation of relativity as i’ve come across recently”
    What are you on about articles?

  • Mark,

    my mother emotionally blackmailed me into giving her my ticket

    That was very kind of you, Mark. I dont know if I would have been so unselfish.

    I’m feeling quite sorry for myself. I had neither a ticket nor did I know anybody that I could blackmail.

    Dewi,

    ” I’d shag him if he asked nicely!”,/em>

    Are there no sheep near where you live?

  • Dewi

    Don’t knock it if u ain’t tried it Seymour….

  • I can now see why the Welsh are favourites for the sex notions tittle,

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Really enjoying your posts seymour – u ever post on the UAFC?

    I’d agree whole-heartedly with the loss of tindal – he’s been in great form. Banahan will no doubt be exposed by BOD. I’d expect Ireland to start with a very open, off-loading game. How long we keep that up for, who knows. No doubt we’ll revert to type pretty quickly and enter a kick fest…

    For me, the game will be won and lost in the tight 5. If we can match England in the set-piece and breakdown we should win. However, the scrum has me very worries. Johnston is no mug and they must have focussed on the scrum all week. Okay, they are withour Sheridan but they’ve plenty of apes to annialate a rubbish irish scrum. And that means penalties….

    I can’t really see were England’s tries will come from – apart from rolling mauls and 5m scrums. Although, a lot of pressure is on Earls at FB. He had a good game last time out. I’d expect flood to pump a few balls up in the air and target earls with banahan.

    Ultimately, I’d expect the game to come down to penalties. Can Ireland keep their discipline? Both sides have quality kickers and probably even better kickers on their benches!!! I think Ireland can just sneak it but too close to call. A lot depends on the Irish scrum, Earls and Banahan.

  • Mark

    Seymour,

    It’s always the mother that has the really good blackmailing dirt . Why did you sell my golf clubs on e bay etc . No no , she went down to Spain last week with the blue rinse brigade to play golf and maybe snag herself a Sean Connery type in Puerto Banus . It pissed rain all week and she came home depressed – not as depressed as my old man when he heard he was going to the match with her and not me ….

    Dewi ,

    I always found the problem was getting the hind legs into the back of the wellies . Its also very hard to get a sheep to take a sleeping tablet . I did know one lad who claimed to know where their G spot was but he left to join the Orange Order in Fermanagh as he said they can’t run as fast and don’t have the same morals as the Southern counterparts .

  • Greenflag

    Ewe know it’s final day of the six nations when hard to get sheep , wellies , balls up , hind legs , G spots , keeping it up are all mentioned in a thread the subject of is men playing a game with odd shaped balls .

    baaaaaaaaaaah .

    Ireland will win by at least 10 points . Scotland will lose to the Garibaldis and Wales will bate the French to a close win.

  • lamhdearg

    England by 10, anyone watch Ulsters win last night, the most exciting end to a rugby game i have ever seen. mark, ref orange order, why?, no need for the little bit of irish nit (sorry nat) bile.

  • The Welsh like winning much better when they have come from behind.

  • Mark

    Lamb / dearg …

    It was a joke …. pre match nerves , what can I say ? If I have upset you , the sheep of Fermanagh or indeed the Orange Order , I apologise unreservedly . I did hear its hard to get a sheep to use one of those camera phones …… lol ( couldn’t resist – Irish bile etc )

  • Dewi

    Internaional days are hard work – it’s like an afternoon shift – two till ten….Anyway this site is fab have a look at Wales Ireland 1965:
    http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=40892

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Dewi,

    top site.

  • HeinzGuderian

    I,shall be cheering England !! ;;-)

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    HeinzGuderian

    Do you consider England your National team?

  • Dewi

    Come on Ireland!

  • lamhdearg

    com’on England!,

  • lamhdearg

    shaky first ten from England, put in before Irelands pen was not straight.

  • Dewi

    great decision from Sexton

  • lamhdearg

    only one team at this

  • Martin Johnson will be giving them a bollocking and a half right now.

  • Munsterview

    Mark : “If I have upset you , the sheep of Fermanagh or indeed the Orange Order…..”

    I thought that goats were the OO ‘thing’ ? Still waiting for ‘Big Maggie’ to spill the beans….or oranges as the case may be, on that one !

  • 24-3
    Brain Moore saying game over and for once i agree with him

  • Henry94

    This is some performance. Brian O’Driscoll just broke the try scoring record. Delighted for him.

  • lamhdearg

    wallace, wonder game

  • Mark

    Munsterview ,

    The goats are lighter on the loafers than the sheep and at the moment I’m watching 15 white goats getting roasted by a rampant Irish Rugby team …… Grand slam me arse……yee haah……….

  • Mark

    You can come out from under the bed now Heinz , it’s nearly over !!!!!!!

  • andnowwhat

    How smart has O’ Gara’s play been since he came on?

  • andnowwhat

    FAN BLOODY TASTIC

  • lamhdearg

    well done Ireland.

  • lamhdearg

    Dewi
    not out of reach.

  • Dewi

    articles, abucs and John all on 21 points b4 the last game. In that order they go H,A,H,…..

  • andnowwhat

    Hopefully this is the right direction for the world cup

  • perseus

    put £22 on IRE to win @ 11/8
    Just won £30
    Magic Ireland …
    we are soo in the running nowadays
    roll on World Cup , only NZ look dangerous 🙂

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    We have better players and beat them easily – unfortunately 3 or 4 of our boys are near the end – incduding Wallace and O’Callaghan who were outstanding.

    Wallace is arguably Ireland’s best forward of the last 20 years – incredibly he looks better then ever.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Great win but you have to wonder why we weren’t playing England for the grand slam. We’re the best team in it when we cut out unforced errors and play a high tempo game.

    England were poor but they will do better than us at the world cup if we don’t stop making unforced errors. O’Driscoll, Sexton, Trimble and Earls played very well.

  • Greenflag

    Ireland should have won by another 10 points . Not good from England .

    Could have been another Grand Slam today but for messing up against France & Wales .Ah well there’s nexy year and the World Cup . Johnson used all seven benchers and they still never looked they could upset the Irish .

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    superb display – in every area of the game, England were outplayed.

    Most notably, the Irish scrum really lifted their game and I think the scrum at the start of the match set the scene for the entire match. Total smashed England off the ball – the English pack just looked bewildered.

    Some masterful work at the breakdown – particuarly holding the english up in a maul rather than going to the deck. First time I’ve seen a side really employ that as a defensive tactic and it worked a treat. Hats off to the defensive coach.

    Sexton was superb and dictated the game very well. Young and flood started the tournament in fine form but have went off the boil. ROG was excellent when he came on.

    Can’t fault any Irish player or the tactics – got it all spot on for a change. England should couldn’t match the intensity and lacked a cutting edge out side – although the Irish defence was very well organised.

    Overall, a dreadful 6 nations for Ireland with 4 horrific displays. However, that displays highlights what a very good side we are when we play with intensity and confidence. We clearly don’t take pressure well – and tend to freeze when we’re favourites. Today, we had nothing to lose and showed what we can do. An excellent finish to a very poor campaign but gives us a masive injection of confidence for going down to New Zealand for the RWC.

  • lamhdearg

    Dewi 50p 10p?, or all in you stride

  • I mentioned last week how they were holding players up off the ground and they kept at it this week.
    Stunningly inept performance from England….i particularly liked how their scrum half Ben Youngs was substituted from the sin bin…a ruthless decision fromJohnson who must be bitterly disappointed.
    I think the refs will really have to look at the delays in put in’s at the scrum and how they are so obviously crooked put in’s. I fear the game is turning into rugby league as regards the scrums which as we saw with todays first scrum,is a crucial area of the game.

  • Well done Ireland today. What a first half performance!

    Glad to see BOD get the 6N try record.

    I did not feel much of a stir in relation to the other two matches. Scotland deserved to get something out of the championship and deserved their win but I was pleased to see that the Italians at least turned up. They will be able to look back on their six nations campaing with satisfaction.

    As for Wales – France, it was rather a bore. Funny to see Wales this time on the wrong side of a touch judge’s point of view to see off Hooky. Never mind. The Men of Harlech were never going to overcome the Men of Garlic.

    Ireland are used to beating England at the moment. I think that once the Guinness cans empty tonight, there will remain a residual amount of dissatisfaction about what might have been if their players played with more intensity in the previous four matches.

    England were beaten badly today but they still won the championship and deservedly so. They might yet benefit from this defeat. The average age of the team is still only 25. If they use defeat the way their forbears did 10 years ago, they will eventually become a great side.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Seymour Major,

    Were you not taken in a little by the hype surrounding England?

    We simply have better players than England – though their age profile is a bit healthier.

  • Dewi

    As this is rugby it’s in the blood to periodically introduce rule changes.

    Can I suggest that next year all wins are awarded 1 point, and draws ignored,

    Had that been the case this year I would have been a clear winner having predicted 12 of the 15 games.

    I look forward to retaining the championship next year.

  • lamhdearg

    hard luck Dewi

  • lamhdearg

    Bad luck Ireland.

  • lamhdearg

    Well done England.

  • Dewi

    blah….big problems for Gatland – perhaps people might understand why Hook is risky at No. 10.
    Predictions: Articles and John on 22 points. Off to add up the tie-breaker….

  • Dewi

    OK I make it 589 points scored which means John is the winner – congratulations!

  • Dewi

    Full results:
    Dewi 19
    GreenFlaG 19
    articles 22
    John 22
    Seymour Major 18
    Intelligence Insider 18
    Alisdair Thompson 12
    abucs 21
    Reader 20
    John D 14
    WM 10
    iwsm 19
    Aherp 14
    Al 13

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    ‘ in a little by the hype surrounding England?

    We simply have better players than England – though their age profile is a bit healthier.’

    A good question and a hard one to answer. Certainly, in their first 2 games England were very very good. The battled to a decent win against France but struggled against a poor Scottish side. Ireland put in the best performance of any side of the Championship by a long way to blow England off the park but England didn’t exactly help themselves.

    Only England can take any tangible positives out of this tournament. They sent out a young side that won a big game in Wales and banked 3 homers, including a battle against France. They are by no means a great side but if they can sort out their centres then they could do okay.

    Ireland are an enigma. If you compare ROG’s cameo to last week, you have to think there’s something going on in the man’s head? Pressure really seems to effect this Irish side. On a positive note, Ireland have shown that they have the game to beat anyone on their day. Even the All Blacks would have struggled with the intensity displayed yesterday. As a word of caution you have to remember that we were at home and under no real pressure but it’s still a massive positive on the back of 4 dismal performances.

    On the other hand, you could always argue that it has let the coaching staff and the players off the hook. For 4 games, Ireland were appalling – wrong tactics and dreadful execution. Does 1 performance paint over the cracks?

  • Dewi

    Can Ireland keep things together for the World Cup? (remember the shambles last time…) . First half would have been too much for any team. Worth a small World Cup wager…

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    the future’s bright, the future’s orange,

    “Does 1 performance paint over the cracks?”

    Overall this was a disappointing campagin for Ireland simply reinforced by yesterday’s excellent performance which we only saw in glimpses against France and Scotland and Wales – and hardly at all against Italy.

    We appeared in the other games to be less than the sum of our individual parts but yesterday we largely played up to that sum.

    Our bench looked a bit threadbase yesterday, but with Kearney and an in form Fitzgerald and of course Ferris and perhaps Touhy, Ruddock to be factored we look to have a reasonable balance of experience youth.

    Based on what we have seen in the 6N and in the Heineken Cup Ireland have the best first 15 players in Europe. I’m not sure how many English players would get into our team and suspect more of ours would get into theirs.

    Dewi,

    re. “World Cups and wagers”

    I dont normally get excited about the world cup simply because we are rarely at the level to be taken seriously and I still think that is probsbly the case but our route to a possible final depends on us beating teams we have beaten in the last few years – Australia, Wales and France or England. Doable but unlikely – I put an each way bet on them at 40/1 about 2 years ago – but then again I do that every time.

  • john

    Just saw I have won. Im delighted never win anything, usually make a mess of the election predictions. Cheers Dewi for all your work Ill be waitng for my big prize to arrive in the post. Delighted for Ireland but work still needs to be done the 4 previous peformances were poor but hopefully this result gives the boys the confidence they need prior to the world cup.

  • The one thing that i’ve noticed during this 6 nations that none of the teams seem to have been looking to pass/offload the ball in the tackle and thats not necessarily because they were wrapped up (man and ball) in the tackle.
    It creates time and space thus creating more scoring opportunities….it’s something they will have to look at…support runners and lines of support for sure.

  • Slightly off topic but quite important: The BBC website, prior to the Irel-Engl match referred to Ireland’s chief honcho Mary McAleese as “Ireland’s chief honcho Mary McAleese”. This refreshing lack of respect for Ireland’s chief honcho is good. For Ireland to solve her financial woes, people like McAleese, Mary Robinson, Mick McDowell and Dick Spring should have their massive pensions abolosished.

    Meanwhile no doubt Brian O’D will be watching the Dubs in action today. Hopefully, he will bring the entire squad with him.

  • Dewi

    Yeah Mooch – you almost think it’s a fashion thing – like that horrible new phrase “counter-rucking”.
    John – your prize is the wonderful honour the holder is held in. Bear it with pride and respect.

  • I actually think it’s more of a cautionary thing…fear of unforced errors…..perhaps the coaches are over coaching?

  • whats that other phrase…”contesting the gain line” err thats what the games about which by the way we did very very well yesterday.

  • Can Ireland keep things together for the World Cup? (remember the shambles last time…) . First half would have been too much for any team. Worth a small World Cup wager…

    Ireland did two things yesterday. They put in a game of massive intensity and they cut out the errors.

    They will not be able to put in that level of intensity for every match in the World cup. They have to save it for the right opposition but they might be able to produce some better form and reduce the errors.

    The good news for Ireland is that Australia are very beatable. Ireland weakest link is the scrum but so is Australia’s!

    Perhaps it is the wrong time to speculate. Some key player(s) could be out because of injury before the tournament (remember Geordan Murphy in 2003 – Ireland’s second best back at the time). There are some World cup warm up matches to look forward to. You never know, I might even be able to get a ticket for one.

  • Well done John

    Right to the wire.

    Given the PRIZE,the wonderful honour the holder is held in, I think we can deduce Dewi is both Celtic and Iambic.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    The fox and the chickens

    After the fox at Twickenham the previous week an RFU spokesman confirmed, that after a recount, the English chicken count was considerably down on earlier estimates as a result of the discovery of a large number of the unhatched variety being found on the Aviva pitch.

    The spokesman added that this was unlikely to impact on the enumeration of fowl which had already taken place for the World Cup later in the year.

  • Dewi
  • http://www.rte.ie/sport/rugby/sixnations/2011/0321/ireland_worldranking.html

    Ireland is now ranked fourth uber alles in der weldt. One swallow, pride and falls.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Dewi,

    this is a brilliant story – presumably a rebel song – which generally goes down well with your lot.

    Any further details?

  • Dewi

    …looking but nothing yet….

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Dewii,

    Support for your ridiculous World Cup tip with Jason Leonard and Tony Ward both going for France as dark horses.

    Good Program

    http://www.rte.ie/sport/rugby/sixnations/highlights.html?2927438,2927438,flash,255

  • BOD and Paul OConnell having a laugh at the grand slam video…..

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    who’s starting up a thread on Ulster and Dungannon for the weekend?

  • lamhdearg

    united island sports only, unless its to criticize the n.i football bigots.

  • Future,

    I dont know about Ulster and Dungannon but i would agree that there should be a Rugby thread this weekend. It is, after all, Heineken Cup weekend.

    Where’s the rugger blogger?

    Dewi, can we take your attention away from sheep for a couple of minutes?