Tag Archives: England

Six Nations 2010 – Match 15 – France vs. England

Following results elsewhere, by the time this match started it was clear that England were playing for honour, and the possibility of passing Ireland in the table, whereas France were playing for the Grand Slam. France had already won the championship, though.

It’s worth noting that in the Women’s six nations (unfortunately, it was nowhere to be seen on the TV), England won the Grand Slam with a points difference of 141, conceding only 15 points in the championship.

France won three games. The Women’s Rugby world cup is being held in England this summer, with matches in both Guildford and Twickenham, most of the matches are to be played in Guildford.

France opened the scoring with a drop goal from Trinh-duc in the first few minutes. Very soon after England started to apply pressure, with quick hands to and from Ashton allowing Foden to sprint down the line and score. Toby Flood, Johnny Wilkinson’s replacement, kicked the conversion from the touchline. 3-7.

This was to be the last English score of the half. England conceded three penalties before the half was out. 12-7, Morgan Parra kicked all three.

The second half was a scoreless affair, and eventually Flutey was substituted for Wilkinson, who was on the bench. About five to six minutes later, Wilkinson forced a penalty, which he kicked over to bring the score to 12-10 at the 67th minute.

With the Grand Slam in site, France closed the game down, the time ticked away and France secured the victory and their ninth Grand Slam.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 France 5 5 0 0 135 69 10
2 Ireland 5 3 0 2 106 95 6
3 England 5 2 1 2 88 76 5
4 Wales 5 2 0 3 113 117 4
5 Scotland 5 1 1 3 83 100 3
6 Italy 5 1 0 4 69 137 2
Table Built: Sunday, 21 March 2010 09:04 UK

Six Nations 2010 – Match 11 – Scotland vs. England

The annual Calcutta Cup Match takes place between England and Scotland each year. Its name originates from the end of the 19th century when the Calcutta (Rugby) Football club was forced to close in 1878 due to a lack of new blood, the departure of an English regiment from the area and the rise in popularity of polo (source)

The club withdrew their remaining 270 silver rupee coins from the bank, had them melted down and made a cup, which they donated to the RFU in England for it to be used as the union saw fit for ‘the best means of doing some lasting good for the cause of Rugby Football’.

The RFU were unwilling to promote a club competition for fear of introducing professionalism to the amateur game, and so it became the totem for the match between England and Scotland.

England took the cup from Scotland in 2009. Since 2005 it has changed hands every year, with the home side taking it.

This year, the match was played at Murrayfield, and Scotland opened the scoring, kicking a penalty to lead 3-0.

Wirhin a couple of minutes, Scotland had another penalty but missed touch and Cueto cleared. With ten minutes played, the ball came from the scrum and found Ugo Monye on the far side of the field. The ball came back across, and a poor pass from Johnny Wilkinson to Dylan Hartley went into touch.

At 15 minutes, Johnny Wilkinson kicked a penalty to the sound of some very unsporting boos and whistles. This is not good form, after all, it’s not soccer. I’m not just saying that as England was on the receiving end, I feel the same on those occasions that we hear booing at Twickenham.

Scotland responded with pressure on England, and there was a sustained period of play metres from the English line. England conceded a penalty and Dan Parks kicked it over. 6-3 Scotland.

At the 30th minute England was awarded a penalty, which Wilkinson kicked over. There was a bit of a tiff between Dylan Hartley and a Scottish player (didn’t see who) at this point, just before the penalty kick. The Scot had grabbed Hartley’s head, and Hartley lashed out. This resulted in a talking-to. 6-all.

In the 36th minute, Scotland put together a threatening attacking sequence. This broke down and we had a lengthy scrum with multiple collapses. It took almost three minutes for the ball to come out of the scrum, and even then that scrum collapsed as the ball left.

Just before half time, Dan Parks kicked a drop goal, 9-6.

England did get the restart and rather frustratingly kicked away possession after the clock went red.

In the second half, Scotland began by conceding a penalty, which was duly converted. The scores were level on 9-all.

Wilkinson went in for a tackle, he bounced right off and bashed his head. He spent quite some time on the floor. The tannoy announced that Wilkinson would be subbed and a cheer went up. It sounded to me like a small group relatively near a microphone, but that was not a worthy reaction. In rugby the opposition is shown respect (until they do something to lose it). The reaction of the majority, the appreciative applause was much more in keeping with the spirit of things. Of course, it may have been that the cheer was for the arrival of Flood and not the departure of Wilkinson, but that wasn’t how it seemed to me.

Within a couple of minutes Toby Flood had his first penalty kick, successful. 9-12.

James Haskell conceded a penalty almost immediately, not releasing the tackled player. This time the English spectators were unsporting to the kicker. An annoying trend. 12-all at 52 mins.

Scotland had a good sequence of attack, and metres from the line Brown clashed heads with Ugo Monye. Brown walked off, but Ugo Monye went off on a stretcher wearing a neck brace. He got the customary applause as he went off.

In the 60th minute, England were in posession at the Scottish end, the scrum went down again and again, but after a few attempt Easter got the ball out just before the posts. England gained advantage and passed the ball wide to attempt the try. Losing posession the play was brought back for the penalty. Flood kicked the ball over to a chorus of whistles. 12-15.

England almost immediately conceded a penalty, narrowly escaping a yellow card. Dan Parks’ kick went short, but Scotland chased and threatened a try. This came to nothing, but England conceded another penalty which was kicked over. With a little over ten minutes left it was even-stevens at 15-all.

Scotland seemed to find a new spur at this point, and looked really dangerous. England were on the back foot. England contained the attack with eight minutes to go, but the response was not quick-ball, it seemed rather ponderous in comparison to the previous Scottish play.

With four minutes to go, what was the best couple of minutes for both sides, Scotland conceded a penalty for holding back a player. Toby Flood, kicking to a whistling crowd, just misjudged and the score remained 15-all.

Scotland came back with a dangerous looking run down the wing, fortunately for England he was brought down and he knocked on in the process. England had the scrum, and collapse after collapse saw the clock go red. There were far, far too many collapsed scrums in this game – the referee didn’t do well in this regard.

England drove the ball forward and Toby Flood went for a drop goal. It wasn’t to be. Scotland gained possession and kicked to touch. 15-all. The Calcutta Cup remains with the team who last won it, in this case, England.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 France 3 3 0 0 77 39 6
2 Ireland 4 3 0 1 86 72 6
3 England 4 2 1 1 78 64 5
4 Italy 3 1 0 2 39 58 2
5 Wales 4 1 0 3 80 107 2
6 Scotland 4 0 1 3 60 80 1
Table Built: Saturday, 13 March 2010 19:00 UK

Six Nations 2010 – Match 9 – England vs Ireland

The last game of the six nations weekend was England vs Ireland, and this is a match with silverware, the millennium trophy.

Both teams had something to prove. England, though they have two wins from two, the match against Italy last week was far from convincing. Ireland had a humiliating defeat against France.

Going into the match, though I wanted an England win, I feared than Ireland would had a greater hunger, after all, England did win two weeks ago.

In the first few minutes, Bowe for Ireland scored a quite spectacular try following passes to the wing and a footrace following a kick. The Irishman grounded the ball but this was not converted. 5-0 to Ireland.

In the 10th minute, Johnny Wilkinson saw that the referee was playing advantage to England and tried for a drop goal. It was not successful, but Wilkinson had a penalty in hand. Here the ball bounced off the posts into Irish hands.

Ireland weren’t able to capitalise and England piled on the pressure. Wilkinson chipped the ball over, but nobody got up in time to put the ball down.

In the 16th minute, England got on the scoreboard with a penalty kick from Wilkinson. 3-5.

In the 23rd minute, Ireland was awarded a penalty as an English front row player popped up when going forward. The Irish kick in the torrential rain was short.

In the 30th minute Ireland kicked a successful penalty. This was from what (to me) looked to be a questionable decision about the tackler not releasing.

Soon after, Ireland had another break, the ball went loose, and thankfully Danny Care could get back to touch down and hold the score to 3-8.

In the 37th minute, Wilkinson kicked a penalty to bring the score to 6-8.

A decent lineout for England with a short throw went nowhere. The play went to the ground, and the ball turned over.

Ireland attacked in the last minute of the half, but England stopped the attack and kicked to touch. 6-8 at half time.

The second half began with a penalty kick for each side, first Ireland, then England a few minutes later. Neither was successful.

In the 50th minute England came.under pressure. Ireland did not get quick ball, and England was awarded a penalty, which they used to remove the danger.

In the 54th minute there was a controversial decision, an Irish player infringed for the second time (the first was not addressed by the ref), England players, including Haskell and others reacted and the penalty was reversed. Immediately afterwards, Ireland scored a try, and the score went to 6-13.

England replied with and attack on Ireland, and earned a scrum at five metres. The scrum took several attempts, and eventually a penalty was awarded for a collapsed scrum – not a penalty try, though. England applied pressure and scored a try directly under the posts, after a tricky TMO decision. The try was duly converted and it became all square at 13-13, with a little under 20 minutes to play.

Brian O’Driscoll received a big knock to his head from the knee of a team-mate, he looked a bit dazed and as a precaution he was stretchered off.

In the 66th minute, Ireland gave away a penalty for offside. Wilkinson kicked and missed. The score remained at 13-13.

In the 70th minute, Care made a run, the ball found Wilkinson who put in a drop goal. England went ahead for the first time, 16-13.

So far, the standard is better than it was against Italy, but it doesn’t currently look enough to counter France.

In the 74th minute, Ireland’s Tommy Bowe nipped through the England line, having received the ball from a line-out. It was a great try, and the conversion took the score to 16-20. England would need a try or two penalties.

England applied the pressure, and metres from Ireland’s line the attack collapsed and Ireland won the scrum. As is usual in the modern game, the ball was not straight, and Ireland got the ball. The ball found touch and England had a line-out.

There was a series of messy plays and the ball was turned over, 16-20 to Ireland.

So, the millennium trophy to Ireland, and only France can still win the Grand Slam. Ireland is still in contention for the triple crown.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 France 3 3 0 0 77 39 6
2 England 3 2 0 1 63 49 4
3 Ireland 3 2 0 1 59 60 4
4 Wales 3 1 0 2 68 80 2
5 Italy 3 1 0 2 39 58 2
6 Scotland 3 0 0 3 45 65 0
Table Built: Saturday, 27 February 2010 18:00 UK

Six Nations 2010 – Match 6 – Italy vs. England

It was a win for England, but not a convincing one. After last week’s display against Wales, Italy should have been a more reasonable proposal for England. Italy were showing handling errors, positional errors – and England should have been all over them. Unfortunately, England’s ball handling left a lot to be desired and they simply could not take advantage as they should have done.

The game was one of aerial tennis, without direction to the kicks. Possession seemed to be kicked away without many serious efforts to chase it down and put pressure on the receiver, or to kick for touch to gain territory. It was kicking without purpose. Johnny Wilkinson’s kicking in particular wasn’t up to its usual standard – he missed kicks which seemed of a difficulty level that on any other day he would have found easy. Frankly, it was all a bit dull and not a good advert for the tournament.

The final score was 17-12, and with no bonus points on offer in the six nations, that’s good enough.

The tournament continues in two weeks time. On Friday 26th, at 8pm, Wales play France, then on Saturday at 1:30pm, it’s Italy vs. Scotland. This is followed by the Millennium Trophy match of England vs. Ireland.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 France 2 2 0 0 51 19 4
2 England 2 2 0 0 47 29 4
3 Ireland 2 1 0 1 39 44 2
4 Wales 2 1 0 1 48 54 2
5 Scotland 2 0 0 2 33 49 0
6 Italy 2 0 0 2 23 46 0
Table Built: Monday, 15 February 2010 07:47 UK

We watched the England game at Adams Park, shortly followed by the Guinness Premiership game of Wasps vs Sale. This was spookily similar in shape – a win for my team, Wasps, but there were handling errors which really should not have happened for a team of such calibre. There were fewer ‘interesting’ kicking decisions than England, but they still existied. Varndell had some good moments, and was responsible for a high kick which saw him streaking down the field after the ball

The score was 22-16 in favour of Wasps, thus Sale received a bonus point.

Team P W D L F A BP PTS
1 Leicester 14 9 1 4 294 177 7 45
2 Saracens 13 10 1 2 241 192 2 44
3 Northampton 13 10 0 3 288 204 3 43
4 London Irish 13 7 2 4 286 189 5 37
5 Wasps 13 8 0 5 233 223 3 35
6 Gloucester 13 5 1 7 252 264 4 26
7 Bath 13 4 2 7 207 213 5 25
8 Newcastle 13 4 3 6 180 209 3 25
9 Harlequins 13 4 2 7 222 292 4 24
10 Sale 12 4 1 7 193 234 5 23
11 Worcester 13 2 4 7 189 231 4 20
12 Leeds Carnegie 13 2 1 10 163 320 5 15
Table Built: Monday, 16 February 2010 8:06

Six Nations 2010 – Match 2 – England vs Wales

The first half of the second game was lower scoring, but much better than Ireland vs. Italy. For most of the half, both sides managed to defend well, with only penalties getting through – it was 6-3 nearing half time.

Then England had a good sequence of attack, putting pressure on the Welsh, inching toward the line with phase after phase. Haskell took the ball over on the last play of the half, the try was converted and England went into half time with a 10 point margin, 13-3.

England started the second half well, with a try from Danny Care – two tries whilst a welsh player was in the sin bin following a silly trip – one try before the break, one after.

Danny Care scoring
Danny Care brings the score to 18-3, converted to become 20-3

After a sustained attack, Wales scored an excellent try, and converted to make the score 20-10.

James Hook got an excellent try in for Wales to take it to 20-17 – and then Delon Armitage got an interception, a very flat (but definitely legal) pass saw England running for the line and James Haskell got a second try. The conversion and a subsequent penalty saw England win 30-17.

A tight and tense match, good play from both sides and an England victory. Fantastic.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 Ireland 1 1 0 0 29 11 2
2 England 1 1 0 0 30 17 2
3 France 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 Wales 1 0 0 1 17 30 0
6 Italy 1 0 0 1 11 29 0
Table Built: Saturday, 6 February 2010 18:50 UK

As an aside, I really like the ‘centenary’ shirts which England were wearing – much better than some of the recent shirts, especially the ‘Miss World Sash’ shirt!

Update: Highlights have been put up on youtube.