NEW YORK, NY – Once again, with so much rugby on TV this weekend, we had break up the Wrap-up into a few sections, if we didn’t this article would be longer than War & Peace. With that in mind, you can get your Vegas 7s coverage here, now lets jump straight into all of the 6 Nations action.
6 Nations: The Italians and French often see each other as cousins because they are geographic neighbors, connection and history to the Latin language and ambivalence toward the English Isles. Well Italy showed how French they can be as they went into Murrayfield half-heartedly. Scotland‘s success starved fans were treated to a try-fest as the Scotland players were merciless in their domination of Italy. The often maligned Scottish backline showed some real killer instinct led by Man of the Match Grieg Laidlaw and brilliant tries by Sean Maitland, Tim Visser and Matt Scott. Even when Italy looked like they were about to score, it was quickly turned into points for the Scots as witnessed by the the Stuart Hogg’s intercept try and Sean Lamont’s try.
France continued their fickle form as they looked very disinterested in providing their fans with a good show like the Scots did. In an abortion of a rugby game, Wales pulled away in the last 10 minutes to win. I recommend no one use this game as an advertisement for rugby. No good can come of it. The win ends Interim Head Coach Rob Howley’s 9 game losing streak since he took over for Warren Gatland due to injury and Gatland’s British & Irish Lions commitments. Though Wales had not looked poor in all of thier loses during the streak, they finally found the composure necessary to see out a match and secure a victory. To his credit, France Head Coach Phillipe Saint-Andre(PSA) did not make excuses for his side. PSA was direct and uncompromising as he admitted that his side played poorly and did not deserve a win.
In the big match of the weekend England refused to yield to Ireland in the rain in Dublin.The match was passionate but both sides were very stout in defense and the winner was the team that made most their penalty kicks, which were England. Ireland were hit hard with 1st half injuries to Simon Zebo and Johnny Sexton. Brian O’Driscoll was not able to celebrate the birth of his first child, Sadie (which occurred 5 hours before kick-off) with a win. To be fair, O’Driscoll seemed to take a knock early in the 2nd half that affected his play. England to their credit were composed and never lost shape or drifted from their gameplan. The match remained on a knife’s edge all day. If not for the rain, their might have been some tries. Here are the scores:
Scotland 34 – 10 Italy
France 6 – 16 Wales
Ireland 6 – 12 England
6 Nations “B”: In case you are unaware, the 6N “B” is officially called the European Nations Cup now but like to keep things old school around here. RWU friend, Pedro Leal, and his Portugal teammates found it tough on the road in Tbilisi against Georgia. Georgia remain the heavy favorites to win this year. Romania may have something to say about who wins this year as their victory over Russia at home, means when their match-up with Georgia will be the decider. Belgium and Spain fought to an entertaining draw according to reports.
Georgia 25 – 12 Portugal
Romania 29 – 14 Russia
Belgium 21 – 21 Spain
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