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Round One Six Nations Review

Al was at a wedding this weekend (no not his own, he’s still trying to talk Mrs Al into a 2015 honeymoon in Japan) so A.D and Rory knocked some heads together – mostly their own – and took a look back at the first round of Six Nations 2011.

A.D: I was playing the France Club side on Friday night and was travelling all day Saturday so unfortunately missed all the games first hand. However, the highlights are pretty good! Wales vs. England had some slick moments of passing, France vs. Scotland was explosive and Ireland vs. Italy had…erm… well I bet they ate well…
Rory: As the only one of the SRBlog team who saw all of the games, I thought it was a pretty good start to the tournament, drama-wise. I thought the Friday night game was a bit boring and despite everyone’s attempts to wind each other up in the media and on twitter the niggle never materialised, save for an ugly and now unpunished trip. Saturday’s games were a lot more exciting and Italy were unlucky not to claim their first Irish scalp. Scotland scored three tries too!

Hero of the Weekend

A.D: I’m going to be jingoistic here and say Richie Gray was outstanding. Like a huge blonde-barnetted Albatross he stretched out a wing to stop a certain try and when he carried ball he made huge yards.
Rory: I would agree with Gray, he was the one player this weekend that really had a great individual performance.
A.D: It was either him that was the hero or the entire French scrum…

Villain of the weekend

A.D: Either Euan Murray or Ronan O’Gara. Murray because he scrummaged like an empty toothpaste tube and RO’G because he stopped the world’s most boring game of rugby from at least being mildly interesting. Why couldn’t he have let Italy win?!
Rory: I actually found that game more fun than Wales v England. It was interesting to hear that Mallet effectively had to create Bergomasco as a kicker, so he’s not doing too badly from that point of view. If Italy had a top line kicker they would have won that match and probably deserved it. Many to the east of Cardiff would tell you the villain should be Jonathan Davies for his trip on Chris Ashton, but I haven’t seen it enough times to have an opinion. He wasn’t cited though, so he can try tripping up Nathan Hines and see how far it gets him.

Moment of the Weekend

Rory: I was hoping it would be when the ball fell out of Chris Ashton’s hands as he dove over the line like a bellyflopping Jesus but sadly that never happened.
A.D: I’m sorry to say it was Harinordoquy’s try. The flick between the legs from Trinh-Duc was spectacular and the big man did well to cut his feet and lollop in from 25m.
Rory: Damn, we are in agreement again. I didn’t actually begrudge the French their tries because they took them in such spectacular fashion. Ok they were down to sloppy turnovers by Scotland but they were finished with pure skill from the French rather than crap defensive mistakes by us. Italy’s try was a close second I think, for booting that game into overdrive. Ansbro setting up Lamont for his try was for me a good omen and worth a mention too.

What We Have Learned

Rory: That Italy do have a back division, and Sergio Parisse is their greatest asset as a rugby nation. That Scotland have backs too – and now we can score tries away from home! That De Luca can be trusted at 12, some of the time. I was most surprised to learn that there are some loonies on the Internet who think Sean Lamont is a suitable candidate at inside centre. That the French are back playing with Le Flair and you underestimate them at your own risk.
A.D: To take Murray’s bible off him the night before a game so he gets some sleep and doesn’t scrummage like my mum; to make sure Parks has his kicking boots against England because they will concede a penalty every 7 seconds; to avoid running at Ireland’s O’Brien; to tackle Bradley Davies and Andy Powell, aka the only ball carriers in the Welsh pack; and to put money on France.
Rory: For the World Cup too maybe?

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3 Responses

  1. Lads – I thought it was a great game. Your boys struggled a wee bit, but that 9-10 combo of Frances really gives them a hell of a platform. I did enjoy it when the Scots went up the middle with those huge forwards. You’re right – Gray is like some Serengeti beast on the loose when he gets going. Very keen to watch the rest of the Scottish games here from NZ.

    And I too was hoping Ashton would spill that ball. Pleeeeeease!

  2. As an internet loony I feel entirely justified in arguing for Sean Lamont at centre (admittedly outside would seem more sensible). NDL lost the ball for the first try and had a fairly mediocre game. The holes in the centre line were one of the major problems for Scotland, and may continue to be so. The scrum is worrying too: any more thoughts on that?

    I have to agree though you can’t begrudge France the match: lovely rugby.

  3. I think our scrum will bounce back in Edinburgh, they will have been working hard on it all week and will look to target Wales’ second choice front row I should think, even though they gave a good fist of it against England in the scrums. Watching the first half of the Paris game back, NDL made just as many little half breaks as Ansbro – both were gaining ground and distributing well, which is what I would like to see from both centres not just one of them as is usually the case. Max (oddly) had a lot more action from the wing too. I could be tempted by a Walker/Lamont swap but otherwise would leave the backs as they are…

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