Sunday, February 5, 2017

Bright weekend for Scotland, various levels of dim for everyone else!

 Rob Kearney

Oh dear, what started with such great promise, ended the weekend with such woe for Ireland.However, it would be remiss of me not to congratulate Scotland on an excellent first half performance that set the platform for their victory. Here's me running the Scots down for their inconsistency, meanwhile it's Ireland that are starting to get that tag. It was an exhausting match to watch, I'm not a passive viewer, I was on Henshaw's shoulder putting in the big hits, right behind Kearney on his good run, heaving in the maul - I'm due about half an irish cap at this stage!

Rather than conducting a gruesome post mortem of where we went wrong, I'd rather concentrate on our bright spots. Our scrum was excellent, I thought Paddy Jackson had his best game for Ireland, and Rob Kearney showed patches of his old brilliant form. but out lineout was toast, as was our defense. But, if we can nearly win a match by only playing well for 30 minutes in the second half, we could still do a few things this year.

In London, Les Bleus turned on the pizzazz, shredding the English defense at will, but oh, that last pass, that foot in touch... saw them leave with only a losing bonus point. England looked very ordinary in the first half, but pulled themselves together sufficiently in the second to scrape the win.

In Rome, as in all the matches, it was a tale of two halves, with Italians repelling the Welsh with ease in the first half, only to fall apart in the second. Their cause wasn't helped by their abysmal discipline, going blundering into ruck after ruck, off their feet, offside. Wales at lest got a a decent score on the board after a flat performance of their own.

So after round one, Ireland, France, and even Italy are out of the Grand Slam, but really the championship still looks wide open.

Saturday 4th February
RBS Six Nations
Scotland 27 22 Ireland
England 19 16 France
Sunday 5th February
Italy 7 33 Wales

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