Thursday, April 05, 2007

Six Nations weekend review

February 12, 2007

I'm still behind the 8-ball with work, and worse -- haven't seen any rugby in weeks. I did, however, listen to the BBC's live online audio streams of the Six Nations test matches while I was working.

On Saturday morning, England followed-up their "world beating oresomeness" of last weekend with a stink-bomb in Rome, beating Italy 20-7. Online BBC video highlights here.

Afterward, Scotland beat Wales 21-9 at Murrayfield in a boring kicking contest that Rugby Planet called "abyssmal." Best part of that audio broadcast were the Welsh post-match callers to BBC's Scrum V program calling the Welsh performance the worst-ever and demanding that Wales' coach Gareth Jenkins get the sack! Online BBC video highlights here. This morning the South Wales Echo is reporting, "Wales shirts selling for as little as £15."

On Sunday, the best game of Round Two lived up to expectations. France led Ireland in Dublin 13-3 after 14 minutes, but didn't score again until 65 minutes later. The Irish, playing in front of 83,000 fans at Croke Park, fought hard for most of those 65 minutes and clawed-back to take a 14-13 lead. At the 77th minute the crowd was deafening as Ronan O'Gara slotted a penalty to carry Ireland to a 17-13 lead. But on the ensuing kick-off, well ... here's how Rugby Planet describes it:

France got the ball back from the kick-off and went right where David Marty accelerated ahead into the Irish 22 and Yannick Jauzion carried it on. They won quick ball from the tackle and Pierre Mignoni fed Beauxis who threw a long pass to his left - to Vincent Clerc in a centre position. The wing darted between John Hayes and Neil Best, swerving past groping Denis Hickie and away from stretching Paul O'Connell to score as Shane Horgan approached, horror on his face.

Final score at the death-knell: France 20 Ireland 17. Fighting Irish hearts everywhere were shattered. Nevertheless, they continue to prove to the rugby world that they can toe it with anybody in world rugby. Online BBC video highlights here.

The tournament resumes in two weeks. We'll take a closer look at the standing and schedule later this week...


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