Wednesday, March 14, 2012

6 Nations - Scots to sack Rome, Ireland to paint the town green, and the Welsh be slammin'

"the piglet" (picture )

It’s superlatives Saturday this weekend in the 6 Nations, with the biggest, the baddest, the bestest matches -and Italy take on Scotland.

Yes, its wooden spoon time in Rome, who wants a glitzy cup when you can be a proud owner of a hand crafted object made only from natural materials? How horrible that both Italy’s and Scotland’s season’s are so often defined by this match. Scotland have to come good sometime, and I think this is their time, although it goes without saying that it won’t be pretty.

This weekend, Irish people get to celebrate that special day when we can all let our hair down, and get somewhere the wrong side of locked. Yes, it’s the day we call ‘Saturday’! But seriously, taking on England at Twickenham on Paddy’s Day, how sweet is that? With the way the economy is, the proper London Irish (aka half of London) are likely to be out in force, and in the mood for a party. It’s going to feel halfway like a home match for Ireland. And we’ve had the obligatory off field sparring, with Stephen  Ferris branding England  ‘Arrogant’. Thinking of players like Ashton and Hartley, where does he get that idea from? We pooped England’s grand slam party last year ( and cost Nike a bit of money and a few blushes ), so they they’ll be in the mood to settle that score, and they harbour the faint hope of Championship this year anyway.  With all due respect to our bigger neighbours, any year we beat England is a good year. This is a hard one to call with Ireland picking up a bit of form in the last few weeks, and England even more so. We still have big names missing, but have players ready and able to fill those boots. My heart says Ireland, my head says Eng..Eng..Eng feck it Ireland! Ireland it is.

Wales are going for the Grand Slam against a French team that is frankly, not to put too fine a point on it, getting on my tits. Saint Andre nicknamed Le Goret ("the piglet") in his playing days, has aptly taken up where his predecessor Lievremont left off, in making a pigs ear out a of silk purse. I thought that with a decent coach we’d finally see the real France emerge, but plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. That’s not to say they won’t win this match, hammer Wales at home, and hand the championship to England. Apart from anything else, that will totally bugger up my office draw, with no one at all backing England. I should have listened to my non rugby watching colleague Mary when she described them as ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’. Wales have looked a bit creaky the last few weeks, and the French have everything they need except a backbone to do the job, but for the style of play Wales showed when they beat Ireland, they deserve to win this match, and should get slammed up again on Saturday. I’ll take my tips from Mary more often.

RBS Six Nations
Saturday , March 17
Italy vs Scotland 12:30
Wales vs France 14:45
England vs Ireland 17:00

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