Sunday, March 19, 2017
Saturday night chez moi was a happy place - children smiled, pets frolicked, and my wife got a pithy, erudite summary after the Ireland England match. Life just looks better when you beat England!
Ireland came onto the field with a new steel to their play, and blew England away with their focus and intensity. It's hard to think of a facet of play that we weren't clearly ahead of the English. O'Mahony played possibly his best match, and after that it gets hard to call out one player above the other, they all tried so hard. however, Marmion deputised for Murray with aplomb, Ringrose is developing brilliantly, and Luke McGrath had a great little cameo.
England meanwhile, had few stand out players, Itoje maybe, but their backline was anonymous. Too much focus on clattering Sexton off the ball.
England were the best team in the tournament, and deserved to claim the title, but their intensity dropped off for this match once the title was in the bag.
That leaves Ireland in second place, one up from third last month, but really quite a bit of work to get consistency in to our results.
Scotland played out an emflatic victory over Italy, a match that had all the the hallmarks of contractual obligations. The highlight, unfortunately was the comically inept goal kicking of Italy no 10 Carlo Canna.
Finally, France and Wales played out pretty exciting match, that just seemed to go and on, and on and on...twenty minutes on after time was up. Ref Wayne Barnes dithered away, giving 12 penalties to France, but only one yellow card for Wales, and no penalty try. Both sets of fans thought he was biased!
Saturday 18th March
Scotland 29 0 Italy
France 20 18 Wales
Ireland 13 9 England