Six Nations - 2011



  • Chabal is no longer the player he was - am surprised he's been picked let alone starting. But I guess against Italy it gives him an opportunity to do something ahead of WC selection as theoretically, France should turn Italy over easily - if he doesn't perform against Italy then he's out of contention. Medard coming back at full back will help as well as Poitrenaud was awful against England - well out of sorts compared to last season.

    I see my lot have selected Hook at fly half again - not sure about that, but at least we have the ever reliable Wellies on the bench to pick up any shit Hook leaves behind (although I hope he doesn't!!). It should be the closest game of the weekend and and I fear we could lose if we don't play well or give too many penalties away (although Ireland have been guilty of that as well) - and Ireland have a very good away record in Cardiff.....
  • Hope that the standard improves, lot of mistakes in the games so far.  Wales Ireland could be a good game, the Ireland team is not far off from the best 15 - Kearney and Ferris the only notable absentees - but the form hasnt been there yet.  Maaybe old age is catching up with too many of them.
  • I suspect a lot of the Irish team will be retiring after the World Cup, bos1.

    Wales v. Ireland is the hardest to call as both teams have had good games and bad games. And Ireland have a good record in Cardiff, as Wales do in Dublin!

    France should beat Italy but maybe Italy are due a good result, would be typical if the first "big" team they beat in the 6 Nations is France.

    Can't see anything other than an English victory against Scotland and probably by a large margin.

  • While the standard hasn't been too high, I thought there have been some exciting games so far.  Is that reduced standard in the basics the price of teams trying to play a game that doesn't come naturally - the open running game which is favoured by the SH?

    I'm pretty nervous about Sunday's game.  Scotland may not have won at Twickenham for 25+ years, but they always raise their game for an England encounter.  And England are bound to slip up at some point as all teams do.  The good thing though is that of the press coverage I've seen, all the England players and coaches are saying how much they respect the Scots and it's going to be a tough game etc, so at least they wont have antagonised them.  I'm sure behind closed doors it's very different though. 

    Predictions - France, Ireland, England.

  • Forza Italia!

    Allez Les Bleus!

    Good luck everyone else!

    *settles in for afternoon on the sofa* image

  • image

    Well done Italy, thoroughly deserved win and special well done to Mirco nailing that last kick.

    France need to do something and quickly as they are playing like they don't know each other.

    Off to sulk now image

  • Well I didn't expect that!

        And now onto the main course.......

  • With you on that one job Italy
  • F*** off John Inverdale!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Can you not spend 5 mins NOT talking about how England are going to win the Grand Slam and the World Cup?!?!?

    They're not playing until tomorrow, how about spending a bit of time talking about Wales and Ireland?

  • Ahem image 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 image

  • 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. image

  • Thought that we deserved better than that. Some woeful refereeing decisions - again in this 6N!  Why couldn't we have played  like this against Wales & Ireland or are we keeing our powder dry for the World Cup lol.  Not very confident about next week's game against Italyimage  Hats off to England for grinding it out 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.

  • an interesting weekend

    fantastic job Italy! France were well out of sorts and deserved to lose. and what a cracking rant from Lievremont - top drawer stuff - but he has to take some blame as well.

    my lot were lucky - a refereeing blunder of epic proportions and Ireland rightly should feel aggrieved and I trust the Scottish linejudge is off to the opticians this morning. but these things do happen - many a game has been won on a dubious touchdown, forward pass, knock on etc that has escaped the ref - it's the nature of the game. Unless we want to become American Football with dog knows how many referees, it will continue to happen as well.

    I don't know what was up with England - they looked out of sorts. Scotland tried their hardest but themselves weren't great. So many turnovers and handling errors from both sides. But well played the fox!! Anyone know if he escaped??
  • 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 image 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...

  • *Gallic shrug*

    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.

    BOUF image

    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! image

  • interesting weekend.
    Well done the Italians, England were sh*te but at least we rogered the jocks, which is what that game is all about - Oirish were very unlucky but actually the ref clearly asked the right question of the lino... the lino got it very very wrong. Can't blame the welsh player - in the heat of battle....!
  • What, so it's the lino's fault when a player tries it on? Not sure I accept that version of events. Certainly, it should have gone to the video ref though. Thing is, in football you have 22 players trying to gain an advantage, some bending the rules, others downright cheating, and then the ref gets the blame. If ref and lino have eyes in the back of their heads, then that's fair enough, but they don't. Let's put the blame where it should lie - with the player. Fair enough, he tried something and got away with it, but he should take the opprobrium. I'm English, btw, so neutral on the outcome of the game.
  • I disagree that the players should get the blame - sure, they tried it on and got away with it - that's the nature of sport, not just rugby. I'm probably not even certain that the players - Rees and Philips even thought of it that way. the saw an opening and went for it - much like Scotland tried in the following game and didn't get away with it as the ref was on the ball that time.

    think of Neil Back sticking his hand in the scrum a few years ago to pull the ball out which probably won the game for England - the referee and the line judge missed it but the whole of the crowd and TV audience spotted it. no difference there in my mind to what happened on Saturday.

    top level sport is all about making little differences and sadly, "cheating", deliberate or accidental, is an ingrained part of that.

    but - I agree that the video ref should have had a say, but I'm not sure what boundaries the 4th official has. I think he can only rule on whether a touchdown can be awarded or not, not on some other passage of play leading up to that point, which is down to the 3 guys on the pitch. should the 4th official have more power - judging on forward passes, knock ons, squiffy lineouts, scrum feeding etc?? the game would never flow if that happened as there'd be way too many referrals upstairs
  • 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.

  • IF the 4th official was given the power to backtrack on a contentious try, not just adjudicate on whether the touchdown was valid, then that might be a way forward. that would help look at decisions like Saturdays, and previous ones where there has been clear knock ons or forward passes leading up to the try.

    it was pretty clear than BOD and O'Connell were trying to point out to the ref that something was wrong - hence his decision to consult the linejudge who called it wrongly - perhaps if he'd had the power to refer it upstairs it would have stopped the controversy as he could have disallowed the try.

    but as corinth says, to question every decision is not in the best interests of the game - only perhaps where tries are scored as they can make huge differences to the outcome.
  • <boingggg>

    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.

  • I'd like to see Italy win again but I suspect Scotland will sneak through

    Ireland v England will be fascinating and could go either way but sadly I'll go with England although I'll be rooting for Ireland

    France v Wales could also go either way but I suspect after last week's loss and in Paris, France will be out for a win and we'll see a different side out to prove that they are still in contention for the WC. sadly a W for France but one can hope.....I just hope we don't get a dicking
  • 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 image

    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! image

  • So all over for another year image

    Bit of a mixed bag in the end and I think unless you're an England fan there's probably not a lot to be happy about.

    Abiding memories for me will be Bergamasco kicking the last minute penalty to beat France and BOD getting his 25th and record-breaking try.
  • I don't know Nemo. If I were an Irish fan, I'd be pleased that my team can put on such an intense performance and hope to see more of it when it matters come September. It was the performance of any team of the tournament.

    I watched the England game in the pub. It was painful! Not helped by a know-it-all-know-nothing-ref who called offside and forward pass everytime the Irish did something. Now, he was right some of the time but it did get a little trying.

    Enjoyed the Scotland/Italy game and swung from supportingg one or the other. Good win in the end for Scotland. And well done France. I was a few beers down by the final game so can't really comment.

    Overall, pleased England won the championship but disappointed they couldn't handle the pressure of the occassion and had nothing to offer against that fantastic Irish attack. Looking forward to the WC although don't think any NH side will be contesting for the trophy
  • why the hell couldn't Ireland play like that all tournament??? they were immense but sadly it might also be the last gasp from what is an ageing squad.....a great game to watch if you weren't English image

    my lot tried against France and came off a good 2nd best on the day - we weren't that bad, just not good enough.

    and well done Scotland for getting some tries on the board at last!

    hey ho - all over for another year but at least we have the WC in Autumn to keep us interested....
  • Well done Ireland - proof positive that England, though an exciting prospect are nowhere near the finished project yet.

    Two things dismayed me about England's performance. (Well, not really 'dismayed' as I reverted to 'Plastic Paddy' status on Saturday and was quite happy) 

    1. The Irish had clearly worked out England's game plan before the game kicked off in the pre-match tactics talk - And England stuck with 'plan A' for far too long when it clearly wasn't working and was never going to work in a month of Sundays.  The blame for this (If blame is the right word) must lie with the coach - he should have spotted that England were getting nowhere fast and changed things around a little quicker than he did

    2. Too many England players seemed to freeze out there Saturday- well boys - it's only going to get bigger from now on.

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