Thursday, February 20, 2014

Saturday is judgement day!

This weekend is about as juicy as it gets for rugby fans in Europe. Three big matches that could pretty well decide the 6 Nations this weekend.

Starting off at the Millennium Stadium, with a Welsh side still to find their mojo this year, taking on a French side from whom you can only expect the unexpected. Wales have dropped Mike ‘Street Fighting Man’ Phillips from their starting lineup which should settle things down a bit, and improve their tempo. Speculation behind the reasons for Welsh coach Warren  Gatlands’ persistence with Rhys Priestland is rife, maybe what goes on tour stays on Rhys’ phone! France have been uneven so far, sparkling and overwhelming, and also shaky and uninspiring. Two from two so far, but only  playing at home so far . Wales must start firing soon, Ireland was the kick in the pants they needed , and I think they’ll redeem themselves on Friday with a win.

Ireland v England at Twickenham is butterflies in the stomach stuff. For Ireland, a win would set them up for the Championship, and beating England never hurts that bad. For England, a loss and this 6 Nations is a write off, they’re playing in front of their home crowd, they really, really don’t want to lose this one. They were competitive but let one slip through their fingers in Paris, and then not particularly ruthless against a dire Scotland side. They’ve got good players, but not the finished article yet. Ireland are looking settled, they have a really good win under their belts against Wales and look organised and confidant. Scary stuff, I really want this win, and I think we’ll get it, I’m backing Joe Schmidt to have hatched the right plan.

Finally, Scotland face the unenviable task of trying to avoid the wooden spoon in Rome this weekend. ‘All over the place’ is where they are at the moment, if you play well you the coach drops you, the Italians’ wouldn’t be building Hadrian’s Wall to keep this lot out. I can’t see past more woe and soul searching for Scotland, with Italy to finally get their campaign on the go.

RBS Six Nations
Friday , February 21
Wales vs France  20:00
Saturday , February 22
Italy vs Scotland 13:30
England vs Ireland 16:00

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