Once again we sat down to discuss the latest Six Nations happenings, with no-less cheer than usual but possibly a little extra in the way of satisfaction after a heartening display from Scotland and a heart-warming performance by Italy.
Hero of the Weekend
A.D.: What are the bets that ‘The Twickenham Fox’ is already on Twitter?! In a rugby sense the hero of the weekend was probably, for us, Max Evans for finally scoring that special try that he has been promising for months.
Al: Is it not nice to be looking at Scottish players for once! Sure the guys lost but there was a number of good performance across the park. Jackson seemed to get to grips with the international game properly, Ford was good in the loose (although lineouts were a mess), Jacobson equally effective and Evans try was a beauty.
Rory: What about Paterson for his couple of breaks and that try-saving tackle?
Al: I thought his time at the top table of rugby had gone but he showed on Saturday that he can still be effective and a fit Mossy is a useful tool both in attack and in defence.
Rory: Scotland came pretty close to having a whole bunch of heroes. Gray was fantastic again, Mossy, Ansbro and Jackson all had good games. Barclay played brilliantly at the breakdown but couldn’t keep his mouth shut which I think got the ref’s back up.
A.D.: Elsewhere it’s hard to look past Masi who was a constant threat to the French, or Bergamasco for having the heart to wobble over a winning kick despite having another mostly dreich day with the tee.
Villain of the Weekend
Rory: Peter Allan?
A.D.: Jonathan Kaplan and the ball boys will never get a Guinness for the rest of their lives.
Rory: If you look at it with thistle-tinted glasses it makes up for all of George Clancy’s crap decisions that we’ve had to put up with. File under hero? I think you could put Ross Ford in both categories too. He had his best game in years in the loose and in defence, but the lineout was one of his worst (and that is saying something).
A.D.: Marc ‘Dust off that tombola!’ Lievremont probably has ‘Wanted’ posters all up the Champs Elysee.
Al: If I was French I’d have at least 15 to pick from! As it it I’m going to go for a Frenchman, Poite, who was good for 40 minutes of Sunday’s game and then lost control in the second half. It’s probably harsh but the one thing I ask for is consistency and the final straw for me was penalising Scotland for a squint scrum feed (he was correct to do so) but 30 seconds later watches an England feed go straight into the second row. His decision to yellow card Barcs was absurd and he ruined a good performance with 15 crazy second half minutes. Thank god for dodgy calf muscles!
Rory: On a personal note I am annoyed with the English No. 12 for not playing sufficiently well to allow me to write the Shontaynee Hape People headline that has been gestating for quite some time.
Moment of the Weekend
Rory: That lineout? As with Sean Lamont’s against Wales I would go with Mossy’s try saving tackle against Foden as the moment of the Calcutta Cup. Now the English fans will know how we felt when Monye caught Thom Evans. Overall though I would say the final whistle in the Italy vs France game was probably the moment of the tournament so far. If Italy had played like that against England and Bergamasco kicked a few more penalties throughout, they’d be on for a Grand Slam!
Al: Too many choices this week. Be it a Scotsman screwing the Irish out of victory (was it wrong to laugh?), a Scotsman showing cracking skill to open a resolute defence (step forward Mr Evans) or a Frenchman calling 15 other Frenchmen cowards! Irony heaped upon irony. However is surely has to be the Italian victory, well deserved and a joy to watch. Welcome my Italian friends to the 6 Nations proper….now can you go back to being crap again for this weekend!
A.D.: The Italian victory over the French was hugely significant, but unfortunately for Scotland it was mainly because it put us rock bottom of the table. We played some good rugby ourselves and even scored but with the Italians probably happy to play the match today we have to overcome their confidence. We still can’t scored at home and Italy have done quite well at Murrayfield (I still shudder thinking of World Class Phil’s mad half hour). Next week we will have a ridiculous amount of moments to look at!
What We Have Learned
A.D.: We have been recited, by the letter, the quick lineout laws in an Irish accent for the last few days. So we have all learned that.
Rory: If I was a Welshman I would argue that it was a normal lineout that was formed with 2 Irishmen and 1.3 Welshmen, then all that stuff about the ball goes out the window.
A.D.: We’ve learned Evans is most definitely a winger.
Rory: Finally! Just think in the World Cup we could have a Jackson Morrison Ansbro midfield with Evans, Lamont and A.N. Other at fullback (and not De Luca on the bench). Also, that we learned that you write off Chris Paterson’s pace or skill at your peril. Which I just did, so I’ll have to go with Chris Paterson at fullback.
A.D.: I’ve learned that I am really nervous about the Italians. Like O.M.G. totes nervous!
Rory: I have learned that even large hairy props like yourself sound ridiculous saying “totes”.