The first week of the Six Nations is over and it was definitely what we anticipated, and we even got a bit of a shock in there too.
Here’s an overview of all the weekends Six Nations clashes.
Italy Vs. Wales – (7-33)
Italy hosted Wales at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday in their Six Nations opener; which turned out to not be quite the start that Conor O’Shea was hoping for, as Wales took Italy to a 33-7 defeat. The result does not say it all though, as the game lacked top performances from either side.
Wales seemed to dominate in the first 15-20 minutes of the game but failed to score a try, which has questioned their tenacity when they are in the driving seat. However, Italy proved quite the opposite as they appeared more clinical when their chances came through.
With Italy leading at half time, much is being asked of O’Shea as to what happened in the second half, which turned out to be a bit of a shambles for the Italians. Wales took advantage of prop Andrea Lovotti’s yellow card and grabbed 2 tries when Italy were a man down, which then proved pivotal.
Overall, Wales have showed potential in their first game, which is definitely what Howley will have wanted as they face an England side who are yet to be knocked off their winning run after their opener against France at the weekend.
England Vs. France – (19-16)
England were at home against France on Saturday in a game which was definitely what Eddie had anticipated it to be; a war. The reigning Six Nations champions were certainly tested at Twickenham, as France came with their top game. The first half had a lot more potential considering the quality on both team sheets, with the teams going into the dressing room at half time drawing 9-9 after a poor performance from England.
England appeared better in the second half but were yet to find last years form, as they were slow getting back into things after the break. Ford came into action after a quiet start to the game and made his impact. Although, it was all still to play for as the game was more open than England fans would have hoped for at this point.
France made it their game yet again after Slimani got over the line after a series of fancy French offloads. Lopez was successful with the conversion, which made the game 16-12 and got English hearts racing. Eddie made a few changes that reassured his fans, as replacement Te’o used his size to get over the line and grip England a much needed try. The conversion was enough to seal the victory for England and keep their unbeaten run going strong, but Eddie will definitely not be happy with his sides performance.
Can England get back to their top form and beat New Zealand’s world record of consecutive unbeaten games? They only need 3 more wins.
Scotland Vs. Ireland – (27-22)
This battle between two home nations definitely did not let us down on Saturday as Scotland beat Ireland at Murrayfield. Ireland were under a bit of pressure going into the tournament, with their strong finish to 2016 after beating the All Blacks in November. This seemed to play into Scotland’s hands as they survived a quality 80 minutes to seal a 27-22 win over the Irishmen.
Scotland set off on the right note, gaining a 14-0 lead which had Schmidt asking questions of his side. Ireland got a try back but lacked on the conversion as Jackson saw his kick drift wide of the post.
All was not lost for Ireland, as they found a new lease of life after the break, switching the game around after a Henderson try and Jackson finding his accuracy again; converting the kick and putting away a penalty prior to Henderson breaking over the line. Ireland went on with dominance, as they gained confidence; almost snatching another try, only to see an interception from Maitland which put the Scottish at ease; for now anyway.
Jackson later broke through the Scots in a quality run which allowed him to make following the conversion. Scotland’s tenacity led to them putting away 2 more Laidlaw
Scotland will be over the moon with their teams performance as they look to get the 2nd place spot or even snatch the trophy off a dominant England side. But will Ireland recover from their defeat against Italy.