Tag Archives: rugby

Six Nations 2013 – Week 3

England have been doing well in the six nations, and, though I may live to regret saying this, a Grand Slam seems on the cards. The remaining game that really has me worried is Wales.

It’s been an exciting six nations so far, the first weekend was something special with highlights being England smashing Scotland, 38-18 – and then the Italy-France game was great (for Italy) with a 23-18 win. France were not up to scratch, but there was a possibility they might snatch it back at the end.

In the second week, Scotland beat Italy and Wales beat France – with Ireland vs. England being a low scoring, but tense match in the slippery wet.

Today we have Italy vs Wales – I expect Wales to win, though I’ll be hoping for an Italian win, as a strong Italy makes for a better competition, I tend to will Italy on whoever they play (except England, and will do so until they’re contesting for the top slots, when I’ll reassess).

Then, it’s England vs. France. On current French form, I’m expecting an England win – but France will have had two weeks to build up a head of steam, and will come out strong hoping to avoid a whitewash. With that in mind, I have a nasty suspicion it’ll be a lot closer than one might suspect. As long as England don’t let it slip, a close game will be just the slap in the face needed to ensure that the Grand Slam is not taken for granted.

Tomorrow, it’ll be Scotland vs. Ireland. I think Ireland will nab it here.

Right now, the table looks like this.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 England 2 2 0 0 50 24 4
2 Scotland 2 1 0 1 52 48 2
3 Wales 2 1 0 1 38 36 2
4 Ireland 2 1 0 1 36 34 2
5 Italy 2 1 0 1 33 52 2
6 France 2 0 0 2 24 39 0
Table Built : 2013, February 23 (Saturday) at 10:02am GMT

By the end of tomorrow, I expect England to be on top, followed by Wales/Ireland (probably that order), then Scotland, then Italy with France in the wooden spoon slot.

I *hope* to see Italy move up in the rankings though. I *fear* that England might let it slip today and a determined France, eager to save face will nab the win.

I shall be on the edge of my seat!

Kick off today is 2:30pm for Italy/Wales, and the England/France game is 5pm.

In the women’s six nations, the women have suffered their first defeat since 2009 (a 25-0 loss against Ireland), and they’re currently third in the table behind Ireland and Italy. Coverage for England Women against France will be on the red button with kickoff at 7:20pm. It is at Twickenham, immediately after the Men’s game if you’re near Twickenham, the game is free to watch, the gates are open to all.

Six Nations 2011 – Third Week

With matches against Scotland and Ireland to come, England is at the top of the Six Nations table (with Scotland vs. Ireland to play today).

It can still go pear-shaped, the performance against France wasn’t that great – but hopefully it will shake things up a bit before the Calcutta cup match in a fortnight’s time. Ireland’s dodgy start to the championship will have compelled them on to pull their socks up – beating Ireland in Dublin won’t be an easy ask (I hope I’m a little bit wrong about that).

It’s Ireland vs Scotland today, a match which should be of some interest to supporters of England. I’ll have my fingers crossed for an unconvincing Scottish win. Scotland as it’d make Ireland mathematically incapable of passing England – unconvincing as it’d mean both teams are still vulnerable.

Next week, I’ll want to see Ireland beat Wales for the same reason – and who better for Italy to beat than France? (though that’d be surprising).

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 England 3 3 0 0 102 41 6
2 Wales 3 2 0 1 67 48 4
3 France 3 2 0 1 68 60 4
4 Ireland 2 1 0 1 35 36 2
5 Scotland 2 0 0 2 27 58 0
6 Italy 3 0 0 3 40 96 0
Table Built: Sunday, 27 February 2011 08:11 UK

Six Nations 2011 – First Week

So, the opening games of the Six Nations have been played. We saw Wales take on England in Cardiff, Italy take on Ireland in Rome, and France take on Scotland in Paris.

We also saw the tournament start on a friday for the first time.

Let me put my cards on the table, I really dislike Friday games – it makes it very hard for the spectator to get to the game from work; though I don’t see it going away thanks to the TV people – and there are enough people who can get to the game to make it worthwhile to run then.

I settled down to watch the game, having seen a bit of the ‘One Show’ and Bob Geldof playing the ‘anyone but England’ card (okay, he didn’t say that, exactly, but….) I don’t mind a neutral supporting either team for any reason, but long term anti-support just seems wrong. That said, it’s anyone but Quins. Hypocritical, moi?

The anthems began, and the Welsh really do a good sing-song. The Millennium stadium at Cardiff is a great venue for Rugby (though I’ve not been there for a six nations game) – and the noise with the roof on must be incredible.

Use of ‘God Save the Queen’ for England seems wrong – especially against another home nation. England should have its own anthem, with God Save the Queen being used for the British teams (e.g. the Olympics), or when two home nations play, after the country anthems.

The trouble is that there is no anthem for England.

The game itself was tightly fought, and there was some showboating from Ashton as he dove in for an English try – I do hope that someone has a word about that. Score first, then celebrate. He could have easily dropped the ball. England thankfully emerged victorious.

In Rome, the game was pretty turgid. The two teams held each other for about 65-70 minutes and mistakes were made often. The last 10-15 minutes were electric, with Italy nudging ahead to 11-10. Could this be a major upset? It wasn’t to be, there was some superb work from Ireland and a drop goal took Ireland ahead. It’s a pity that Italy didn’t take the points at the 70 minute mark, instead they opted for scrums and kept pushing for the line, eventually losing the ball.

The Scots went to France seemingly full of confidence, but it wasn’t to be. Their scrum wasn’t up to much, and it went down again and again – after roughly four minutes the referee had no choice but to award a penalty try to France. Even Andy Robinson said that was the right decision (compare and contrast with the usual response of a defeated football manager, blaming the ref).

So, going into the second week, France top the table on points difference, with England and Ireland following. Scotland hold up the bottom of the table.

Next week, England host Italy (England should win), Scotland host Wales (Welsh win?) and Ireland host France (I suspect France will win, though Ireland have wounded pride to make up for).

Will my predictions come to pass? We shall see.

Team P W D L F A PTS
1 France 1 1 0 0 34 21 2
2 England 1 1 0 0 26 19 2
3 Ireland 1 1 0 0 13 11 2
4 Italy 1 0 0 1 11 13 0
5 Wales 1 0 0 1 19 26 0
6 Scotland 1 0 0 1 21 34 0
Table Built: Sunday, 06 February 2011 11:40 UK

Women’s World Cup Final 2010

It’s been a fun competition, and I’ve been there for essentially all of it. I’ve seen most of the games (not the 5-12th playoffs, and I missed some games in Guildford) – but essentially I’ve seen the whole thing. Live. This is something I could not hope to say about the Rugby World Cup – it’s been great.

New Zealand 45 - 7 France

The idiot-produced banner was wrong. There has been some excellent Rugby, New Zealand have been on top form, often scoring at will (unfortunately, it has made their games one-sided). The England vs. Australia game was excellent. It can be viewed online – have a look at Holly Waterman’s run in the 41st minute (2nd half), it’s brilliantly nimble, and closely followed by some great work from Maggie Alphonsi. There were some really good saves – when Fiona Pocock made a brilliant break for the Australian line, in the 18th minute, the Australian, Nicole Beck, put in a huge hit and prevented the score. Unfortunately Pocock was injured in the process, and had to be stretchered off. Both women showed great skills.

There are games at Guildford to decide places 5-12, but the main event is at the Stoop. There are two games, France vs. Australia (the third place playoff) and the main event, the final – New Zealand vs. England.

Martin Johnson sat just behind us at the Women's Rugby World Cup

New Zealand have a history in this competition, having won it for three tournaments on the trot (out of a total of five tournaments). To be honest, they seem to have been scoring at will against so many opponents, they look so strong, I’d be thrilled if England beat them, and a little surprised.

England 15 - 0 Australia

England haven’t been shabby, though – they’ve had some great performances, both individually and collectively. I hope they can rise to the situation.

Though I wouldn’t bet against New Zealand, I really hope to be proved wrong. I’ll be cheering for England…. C’mon England, it’s a home world cup!

The venue for 2014 is has yet to be announced. I’m hoping for Kazakhstan, it’d be an interesting reason to see a new country!

We’re into the Premiership 2011!

The premiership as begun – and Wasps had an ‘interesting’ start. Harlequins opened the scoring almost immediately with a try from Nick Easter, and Wasps were chasing the game from the get-go. Penalties were kicked from both sides (Van Gisbergen missing one, and getting two others, Nick Evans had two successes for Quins). Then Andy Powell scored for Wasps, bringing the score to 13-13.

Five minutes later, Varndell took Wasps ahead, if memory serves, this was on the back of some work from Flutey.

Wasps stayed ahead until halfway through the second half, when Quins edged ahead with a score of 26-29.

Thankfully, with four minutes to go, Van Gisbergen scored a penalty bringing the score to 29-29 – and Quins attempt at a drop goal missed the mark.

Neither team could score again, and the match ended in a draw, which is reasonably rare.

Elsewhere in the premiership Irish beat Saracens and Sale beat Newcastle. Surprisingly, the new entrant to the premiership, Exeter, beat the Cherry and Reds by 22-10. Well done to them.

Still to play are Leeds vs. Bath and Northampton vs. Leicester, but as things stand, the table looks like this:

1 London Irish 1 1 0 0 33 16 1 5
2 Sale 1 1 0 0 35 18 0 4
3 Exeter 1 1 0 0 22 10 0 4
4 Harlequins 1 0 1 0 29 29 0 2
5 Wasps 1 0 1 0 29 29 0 2
6 Bath 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Leeds Carnegie 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Leicester 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 Northampton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 Gloucester 1 0 0 1 10 22 0 0
11 Newcastle 1 0 0 1 18 35 0 0
12 Saracens 1 0 0 1 16 33 0 0
Table Built: Sunday, 05 September 2010 08:32 UK