Wednesday, February 8, 2012

6 nations preview from a bitter, bitter man

Even though I’m not quite finished sulking over last week’s loss to Wales, I suppose there’s matches on this weekend, so whatever, here are my predictions. And wayhey! It’s post number 200. However did I get here?

The ‘action’ if that’s what we’ll call out, kicks off in Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Stuart Lancaster , caretaker coach, is apparently ‘excited’ by England at the moment. No there’s a man that’s easily pleased. This match promises all the excitement, tension and display of skills that were evident in the Scotalnd/England match i.e. not very much. England have a load of youngsters on a learning curve, and I know Italy beat France here last year. But that’s the bloody French. Italy will only win this England somehow manage to hand it to them on a plate.

Playing the French is difficult enough for Ireland at the best of times, never mind when they’re at home, nevermind when you’re still trying to pick yourself up from being stabbed in the back by your erstwhile Celtic ‘mates’, Wales. Then to add to that, they gone and put the match at 8.00 pm, it’s going to be freezing cold, and even the French are saying the pitch is going to be like concrete. So what can we expect from Ireland? They weren’t terrible against Wales, just inconsistent, so I suppose it’s fortunate in a way we get to play the team whose middle name is ‘inconsistency’ next. We have to work on our tackling and our defence. We seemed to stand off Wales a bit, and not get stuck in to the rucks and mauls. So we need to change all that, and get the Leinster style of the backs running angles onto the ball going. It’s an awesome French side if they play to their potential though, and it’s hard to see us doing much apart from damage limitation.

Wales round up the weekend by entertaining Scotland on Sunday. In team news, Bradley Davies’ attempt at Greco roman style wrestling moves on Donnacha Ryan have been viewed dimly by the IRB, who gave him a 7 week ban. For Scotland, Dan Parks spat the dummy, and flounced from the International scene – probably milliseconds before he was axed from the squad anyway. Wales are going to gobble Scotland up and spit out the bits, with only the Scottish scrum providing a modicum of roughage. Scotland are awkward enough to keep the score the right side of respectable.

On Thursday night Leinster will take on Treviso, with a few youngsters on board, but still a handy enough looking team. !5600 tickets have been sold –that’s massive!

RBS Six Nations
Saturday , February 11
Italy vs England 16:00
France vs Ireland 20:00
Sunday , February 12
Wales vs Scotland 15:00

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