Sunday, February 5, 2012

6 Nations round up - Ireland need a hug right now...

We need the right Donnacha (Picture )

France’s performance on Saturday has me wondering if I’ve tipped the right horse for the 6N. The ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’ (as my colleague refers to them) were in typical erratic form, scoring four trys without ever looking like their hearts were in the match. When they put their minds to it, they were devastating, imagine if they’d concentrated for the other 75 minutes! Italy have a fantastic team 1-8 ,they would win an 8 man form of the game hands down. But it’s the seven bystanders behind the scrum that are their problem. The French front five are looking a little elderly, and are eminently there for the taking. Saying that, Picamloe was massive, and Malzieu, Rougerie, Fofana and Dusatoir were all top notch.

I was hitting the fast forward button in the Scotland England match to try and get the game going. Scotland’s problems are Italy’s problem. The secret to beating Scotland (covers page) is to give them the ball. They have not a notion of what to do with it, either handing it straight back, or toiling diligently away with scant effect. In fact, both teams treated the ball like a live grenade, to be disposed off as quickly as possible. England at least have the excuse of youth and inexperience, but really, all they had to do was put in a few tackles and let the Scots self destruct. Ross Rennie was just about the only player on the pitch who showed any penetration – has he ever played fly half do you think? 

The last match of the weekend was the best by a country mile with both sets of fans on the edges of their seats and with their hearts in their mouths up until the last second. Ireland need a hug right now for the manner of the loss, but they got beaten by a better team.  Kidney has to keep on weeding out the passengers, DOC for a start, and use his bench better. Murray and Sexton are still building up a relationship which means we go in fits and starts some times, but I can’t think why Donnacha Ryan didn’t start to help match the dynamism of the Welsh forwards. North, Faletau, Priestland and Phillips were all superb for Wales. Tough for Ireland, but it’s no disgrace to be beaten by that team. Completely deflating though.

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