Skip to content

Eddie O'Sullivan reviews the weekend's 6 Nations Action

Eddie O'Sullivan reviews the weekend's 6 Nations Action
It was a belter of a 6 Nations game, probably the best of the tournament to date and England’s victory blows the Championship wide open again. It was the tightest of games but few will argue that England deserved their narrow victory.

England dominated long tracts of the game but ironically it was without the ball. Their defence and discipline limited Ireland to very few scoring opportunities, despite the fact that Ireland dominated territory and possession, particularly in the second half.

A 3-0 lead for England at the half was a scant reward for the opportunities they had created. As early as the 7th minute, Jonny May lost the ball over the line when it seemed easier to just touch it down for five points. Owen Farrell also hit the outside of the post with a very kickable penalty.

Ireland started the 2nd half like they realised at half-time England had left the door of opportunity ajar and hit a purple patch that turned the game on it’s head. Just two minutes in Rob Kearney sliced through the English defence from a well- rehearsed move and Sexton added the extras. Within a few minutes Sexton struck again with his only penalty of the game and Ireland had a seven point lead and the game by the scruff of the neck.

Unfortunately it was the final score of the game for Ireland and had they scored again at that point it could possibly have given them enough momentum to go on and win the game.

But England responded almost immediately with a penalty after sustained pressure that should have probably yielded a try. Sexton overcooked the restart and from the scrum on half-way, Chris Robshaw released man of the match Mike Brown, who drew Rob Kearney and put Danny Care under the sticks for the decisive score of the game.

There were still twenty- three minutes remaining and it seemed there was plenty of time for Ireland to turn things around. But the English defence and discipline was outstanding for the remainder of the game. Ireland had plenty of possession but they were unable to unlock the English defensive line.

Ireland threw everything at England up until the final seconds of the game but England‘s work rate and intensity deservedly saw them home.

On Friday night, the cockerels finally came home to roost in Cardiff. At last, Wales delivered a performance in the Championship and France’s weaknesses were finally exposed. Wales didn’t play particularly well but they didn’t have to. France were woeful in almost every department and it is a long time since a French national team looked so clueless and rudderless with the ball.

Wales scored a try in each half and Leigh Halfpenny exploited French ill discipline to kick five penalties, which saw them win comfortably. Even with 70% possession in the 2nd half France failed to register a single score. After that performance the French team is now officially in crisis.

Scotland scraped home in Rome by the smallest of margins with a last minute drop-goal. It was an entertaining game with both teams scoring two tries. The winning drop- goal was an excellent strike by Duncan Weir after the forwards had worked field position.

Scotland celebrated like they had just won the Championship, which is a reflection on where Scottish rugby is at this point in time. This game was almost certainly the “Wooden Spoon” match and Italy now seem destined to finish the Championship without a win.

For more rugby opinions check out m Back to Blog

More Stories