Six Nations – Another boring weekend.

OK – in the prediction contest we have two joint leaders, Johnny Boy and Reader. Neither have gone for Tommy Bowe as top try scorer so it’s still very open.

Today it’s Wales v Italy and Ireland v Scotland. Tomorrow England travel to Paris.

In the Western Mail Michael Owen hails the best Welsh team he has ever seen.
I agree – we just need to click- could be today.

Is International Rugby good for Andy Robinson’s health? …he likes Ireland’s choke tackling.  From the Scotsman:

We have a lot of respect for the way that Ireland play the game,” he said. “I think the ‘choke’ tackle is an excellent way of defending. It has brought something different to the game so I have no issue with the way they are defending, but I want it to be interpreted and refereed in the right way, as per law.
A maul occurs when there are players from both sides involved, and a tackle is completed if an attacking player even puts his knee on the floor. It’s a great way of defending but with every way you defend there is an action to it, but also a reaction and a way of breaking it down.

It will be interesting to see how Eoin Reddan plays. He seems up for it from the BBC – who also quote Kidney’s concerns at world rankings:

The seedings for the 2015 World Cup pool stages will be determined by the International Rugby Board world rankings at the end of the year and Ireland have eight matches to ensure they finish inside the top eight and thus avoid the nightmare scenario of being drawn in a group alongside two major nations.
Among those games are a three-Test series in New Zealand – they have never beaten the All Blacks home or away – England at Twickenham and South Africa at the Aviva Stadium in November.

That’s pretty tough.
France v England? – Ashton in the Independent is worth a read.
Enjoy your weekend.

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  • john

    Ireland and the IRFU are stupid regarding the rankings. Last time round despite being head and shoulders above Scotland for years they found themselves in a head to head with Scotland for 8th place. They won and just avoided the nightmare of having 2 ‘big teams’ in the group. I really dont know how that happened seeing Ireland had the best 6 nations record of all time at the time. Now its happening all over again. Looks like all those lack luster performances in the build up to the world cup are coming back to haunt us and our chances of improving ranking is looking grim with the next matches including Englnd 3 tests against New Zealand and a game against South Africa. Welll done boys talk about making life hard. The football is the same we should be arranging summer tours against san marino, andorra and lietchenstein. people say the rankings are a joke and inaccurate – maybe but the fact is they are used for seedings so why not play the system and not fight it. Norway did and ended up being seeded at the next football wc, thats Norway one of the most limited football teams in Europe.

  • Greenflag

    Oh oh 0-3 to Scotland -early days

  • Greenflag

    pheeeew

    22-14 and another 40 minutes 🙂

  • Dewi

    Please answer in a totally unbiased way…..was the ref in Wales Italy useless?

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

    worse than useless. Clancy is a muppet at all levels of rugby. A whistle-happy eejit.

    You putting up a list of leaders in ur fantasy rugger?

  • Dewi

    Reader and Johnny Boy leading on 20 points, Tochais close behind on 19. There’s a few of us on 17 points. You, FBFO, are on 14.

  • lover not a fighter

    The ref certainly upset Jonathan Davies on the beeb.

    I think this is one of these observations that is best judged by being at the match.

    Television coverage while being good does not always give you the full picture.

    Perhaps Clancy just needs a bit more experience and a little guidance. In time he may turn out to be a good referee.

  • Dewi

    I was there and it was justv the volume of penalties that was frustrating. 25 penalties in an 80 minute game, which was not particularly nasty, is a lot.
    If all the penalties were justified then surely yellow cards for continual infringing should have been dealt out. The one he gave was for what seemed an innocuous enough offence.
    Trying to be fair but such an apprach destroyed the rhythm of both teams.
    Ireland looked good though.

  • lover not a fighter

    Dewi.

    France’s performance(and the result) against England today will have a big influence on how the French mentality will be against wales.

    A big win and and a storming performance from France will set up a big collision against Wales.

    Hoping for two hard contested games.

    The Ireland new boys did well and as Kidney is so conservative it is good that when changes are forced that the changes do well.

  • Mick Fealty

    Spot on re the new boys. I always feel disappointed watching Scotland. They seem have adapted least well to the professional game though there were some glimpses of brilliance from their backs they are still missing something vital.

  • Greenflag

    What is wrong with Scottish Rugby ? Does anyone know ?
    Glimpses of brilliance are not enough . Ireland could have won by another 10 points yesterday and that was without O’Connell, O’Brien and Murray and of course O’Driscoll .

  • Greenflag

    @b Dewi ,

    ’25 penalties in an 80 minute game, which was not particularly nasty, is a lot.’

    An understatement Dewi . Mad I’d have said . Do the numbers. On the basis of a minimum of 90 seconds per kick thats 37 minutes of penalty kicking in an 80 minute game or almost 50% or one half game of rugby and one half game of penalties 🙁

  • Greenflag

    Some wry comments from Paris

    ‘There’s your man Nikolas Sarkozy up in the stands, looking like a man shivering at a remote bus stop.’

    BBC Sport Brian Moore

    “It doesn’t matter to me that referee Alain Rolland can speak French. It just means he gets it wrong in two languages.”

  • Dewi

    Irish refs having a poor weekend.

  • Mark

    Great result for England and well deserved . Heroic defending at the end . One positive aspect about this years six nations is just how competitive the matches have been . Next week’s match between Ireland and England could have been a triple crown decider but for Welsh brillance at Twickenham .

    England’s Tom Croft was outstanding today . He scored the match winning try and his lineout play was world class . A far cry from his antics during the World Cup which proves that man management is by far the most important ability a manager can have .

    Lancaster has proved he can handle the players Johnno couldn’t so why not give him the job …….

  • Mark

    Nice to see the Ulster boys finally ( joke ) pulling their weight yesterday …..

  • My passing thoughts:
    1: this has been one of the “best spectator value” seasons for a while;
    2: that’s because there’s better parity, no obvious and outstanding primacy;
    3: don’t rubbish Scotland too much;
    4: Italy are getting a bit too good for comfort (and their attendances show a encouraging upward trend);
    5: France/England was the best match so far. The “new England” are going to be very good next campaign, and probably the ones to beat;
    6: Twickenham ought to be a cracker (see previous on that topic).

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

    Bowe, Trimble and Besty scoring for fun these days – need ferris to get his finger out!! Even court has bagged a try this championship!!!!

  • john

    Ireland, France and England really have got some weird triangle going on. Ireland cant beat France, France cant beat England and England cant beat Ireland. Its been like that for nearly 10 years – I guess Ive just jinxed Ireland for next weekend now lol.

  • Dewi

    Strangely Malcolm i have found this season a bit disappointing – we could win a Grand Slam without really clicking…and it costs £72 to watch blasted Irish referees give 25 penalties..not good!

  • Jimmy Sands

    The competition unfortunately is effectively over (bar the mathematical possibility of England overhauling Wales). It may be time to revisit the scoring system. The Heineken points system would have left four sides in contention next weekend

  • Folks,

    I disagree with the notion that there is no excitement left just because Wales are odds on favourites to win the title. This time last year, England were in a similar position. Was the excitement over?

    Not by a long chalk. England came to Dublin with pre-printed grand slam T shirts. I dont think the Welsh will be as silly. They have Brains to fall back upon!

    If you want to know what a boring competition is really like, spare a thought for Women’s rugby. The English Women are just about to land their seventh successive six nations title.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Jimmy

    I really don’t think this competition needs to be tinkered with – the argument is particularly untimely, coming as it does during one of the most enjoyable editions of the tournament in memory.

    Perhaps the best, and most unique aspects of the Six Nations, is the complex lattice of rivalries that exists between the various nations. The various nations want to beat each other, for reasons that have nothing to do with points.

    For example, barring some unlikely mathematical happenings, purely in points terms, the game at Twickenham is probably a dead-rubber – but absolutely no-one feels that way about it.

    I admire the self-correcting strain in your thinking, but I think your idea betrays a slightly materialist interpretation of a tournament which is rooted in traditions that are far from materialistic.

  • Everything changes, but it all remains the same …

    Forty years on from Max Boyce complaining about “blind Irish referees” (prompted by a JPR Williams try that wasn’t, as I recall), Dewi is still moaning to the same theme. Bless!

    Mess with the league scoring at your peril. This is atavistic stuff.

  • It seems to me that Dewi’s boredom with the Six Nations last year has led to no blog being written in advance of this year’s six nations.

    What a contrast from last year, eh Those first two games today were full of thrill. Did Dewi find Zebo’s kick boring?

    Absolutely mouthwatering stuff leaving a prospect of megathrills in next week’s match between Ireland and England.