Six Nations Update

Posted on March 24, 2011 by

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Ireland 24 vs. England 8
Having beaten England 6 out of the 7 last times, the Irish hoped to continue their dominance and stop England once more. But with the Grand Slam on the line, England looked poised to brush the Irish to the side and put their thoughts into the upcoming World Cup. After suffering a brutal loss to Wales, Irish Head Coach Declan Kidney switched back to Jonathan Sexton and it proved to be the best call of the tournament. Sexton drilled three penalties in a row with the third coming from another recalled try from BOD after a forward pass. The English were constantly on their hells and Ireland kept pounding away. Tommy Bowe scored off the brilliance of a Sexton run after a quick tap and go, which truly proved that he is the fly half of the future for the Irish. His speed and open field ability truly sets him apart from the great Ronan O’Gara, and Irish fans don’t need to worry as his kicking consistency will only improve over his career. Sexton notched one more penalty after Toby Flood finally got England on the board with one of his own bringing the score to 17-3 at half. But just before half English scrummy Ben Youngs showed his frustration by throwing the ball into the stands preventing the Irish to have a quick restart and received a yellow card. To start off the second half, the Irish quickly began pounding the English back onto their heals. With the Irish inside the 22, Donncha O’Callaghan botched a pass to O’Driscoll who scooped up the ball with one hand and finished it himself. BOD has now set the 6 nations try record at 25, and this number will only continue to grow for this Irish great. The Irish prevented the Grand Slam for England but they still clinched the tournament after the Welsh lost to the French in a blow out.

Wales 9 vs. France 28
With the English loss, Wales had a chance to clinch their first 6 nations championship since 2008 when they won the Grand Slam. After a poor performance in Italy, the French looked like a completely different team in the first half. Their counter rucking prevented a clean ball for Welsh scrum half Mike Phillips, which slowed down the game completely for Wales. But the Welsh got on the board quick with a converted penalty from James Hook only to see Morgan Parra match it minutes later. The French pack finally stepped up this tournament when Lionel Nallet saw an opening and stole the ball from the Welsh and marched 40 yards down to score the first try of the game. To start the second half, the Welsh were back on their heals and the French never stopped the pressure. James Hook took just a second to long to clear the ball from deep in his own zone and Julien Pierre blocked his kick. Lionel Nallet quickly scooped the ball up and scored once again. Perhaps the worst call of the game was handed to the Welsh when James Hook was given a yellow for a dangerous tackle when he picked up the French flyhalf and dropped him to the ground. A perfect form tackle penalized because of the great acting from another Frenchmen. Moments later, off a French lineout Francois Trinh-Duc chipped a ball over the Welsh defense and Vincent Clerc snatched it out of the air and dove in for yet another try.

Scotland 21 vs. Italy 8
The bottom two teams of the tournament had much to battle for, as Scotland did not dare lose to the far weaker Italian team. Andrea Masi led the charge for the Italians as he took it all the way with a quick burst of speed. Into the start of the second half, Scotland pounded away at the Italians until sub Nick De Luca scored a try for the Scots on their home field for their first time since 2009. Ten minutes later the Scots were back at it as Nikki Walker shook two tacklers off him and scored another try. The Italians showed some life when Luke McLean sprung free only to be caught by Chris Paterson who forced a knock on. The Scottish prevented humiliation by winning one game, but it proved they have much to work on before this upcoming world cup.

-dmac

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Posted in: Soccer/Rugby