The wonder of rugby ;-)
Ahem apologies for my foul-mouthed ranting.
Didn't watch Wales v. Ireland but caught the dodgy try. Not happy to see this sort of gamesmanship, it seems worse than dodgy things going on in the scrum somehow.
Anyway good luck to England and Scotland, hoping for an entertaining game.
PS: Glad they caught the fox before the game began
Unlucky Scotland - way too many English handling errors/loose ball and painfully slow and ineffective distribution at times. Wonderful try saving tackle from Paterson. Not sure why Barclay was binned.
Nice to see that England can grind out a victory rather than waltzing passed everyone...although one of the worst weekends rugby i've watched for years TBH.
Lucky they didn't ask the England team to catch the fox they would have dropped him with their error count today.
Just watched the England & Itay matches while ironing. Well! Neither goes down as a classic, but I had my heart in my mouth for the Italians in the last 10 minutes and that was after I knew the result! The french kept making small breaks and looking like they were about to tear the italian defence to pieces, but it never quite came off. Not sure of that was the mixture of French flair and fumbling, or the Italian defence, but either way they so completely deserved that win - they were unlucky against the irish, and deserved better against wales, but this time they got a massive win and deserved it. The roar around the stadium at the end was incedible and I bet there's a few sore heads in Rome today! Bergamasco isn't the greatest kicker, but he must have some guts to take those kicks towards the end, especially after missing easier kicks earlier in the game. They honestly must go into the scotland game with a better than even chance.
Struck me that England played against Scotland the same as they played in the first half against France, almost too complicated, trying too hard and not getting the basics right, only this time it didn't improve after the half time rollicking from Johnson. Not pretty, and a win's a win, but they'll get battered by the southern hemisphere unless they can tighten up the loose play in time for the World cup.
Scotland always raise their game against England; they played really well; it was a very scrappy game, not particularly well refereed. With tighter interpretation at the breakdown (and stopping the Scots forwards having a breather every 2 minutes) I think England would've won more convincingly...
...and speaking of 'not well refereed' ...oops, Wales snatched a very dubious try Having said that, the number of times Ireland have got the rub of the refereeing green over the years (and I'm not talking about games against England; remember the try against Italy that was a knock-on? That won them the game) they can't whine too loudly when they get a shocker against them.
Italy were fantastic and deserved teh win over France; whatever has happened to the French? They have such talent...
Probably too late to get another coach before the RWC - and who would want the job now anyway? They should still get out of their pool but they are likely to be thrashed by NZ before losing to England (again!) in the QFs.
Best hope is that the players pull themselves together and ignore what ML says as he's clearly lost the plot. They need a better captain, Dusotoir is a good player but doesn't seem to inspire his team. Other players need to buck up and play with some pride for the jersey. Chabal must NEVER play for France again. No confidence now that they will be able to beat Wales and it won't be a huge consolation even if they do.
Scotland played a lot better yesterday, must be dispiriting to still be without a win. England were lucky to play not v. well and still grind out a win.
Grand Slam still on, curse you John Inverdale!
Most top teams play to the ref - if a ref is known to be lenient in some areas of the game, then players will exploit this. It's a dangerous ploy as refs talk to each other and sometimes a team can come unstuck if a ref decides to change their interpretation after guidance or even instruction from an international or national body. However, most teams will push the rules to breaking point to gain an advantage - this isn't cheating.
Deliberate and outright cheating - well, in the heat of the moment in front of 80,000 supporters and a multinational audience there is always the temptation to stick a hand in or go over the top... I'd argue that most outright cheating in rugby (Barring the scrummage) isn't premeditated... it's a spur of the moment decision and if the players get away with it the ref and his assistants should have spotted it and applied the appropriate sanctions..
Now refs also bend the rules to suit their purpose - I saw nothing that Barclay did wrong to warrant a sin binning - but he'd been told to shut up by the ref on a couple of occasions on Sunday as he was trying to ref the game himself (So was Croft incidentally)... I feel the ref binned him for 'previous' and not the offence he was actually binned for.
Saying all that - I'd hate it if Rugby Union went down the route of League and had frequent and interminable stoppages whilst the on-field ref consults the video ref seemingly every other decision.
So Super Saturday looms again. I just hope we might actually see some fluent running rugby, although that seems a rather forlorn hope based on what has gone before. I think the non slam matches may well offer the better entertainment.
Italy, a drop goal in the dying moments to seal whichever team in Eng/Ire, and I'd like to see Wales overcome a dissillusioned France.
Hasnt been much between the teams, generally no more than one try in it. Ireland will be up for the game but dont really have the front five to win enough good ball. Hope that Ireland will win by scoring more tries - but as Sexton is starting, I suspect England win by kicking more pens.
I predict Italy/Scotland and France/Wales will be draws.
Southern Hemispere teams will be pretty happy with the standard of the 6N this year.
V. busy, project about to go pear-shaped, may miss the games tomorrow
Scotland for the wooden spoon, England for the championship, not sure if they'll get the Grand Slam.
No idea about France v. Wales but ALLEZ LES BLEUS anyway!
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