Saturday, 16 February 2013

The story thus far...

I must say, I do find the “fallow” weekends during the Six Nations intensely frustrating. When you’ve just enjoyed 2 weekends of adrenalin-fuelled hysteria there’s nothing worse than the prospect of a momentum-killing free weekend during which various long-ignored DIY projects and other domestic obligations re-appear on the radar.

Time, then, to ignore the pleas of Mrs F and console myself with an update of where we are in this most fascinating and unpredictable of tournaments…

Italy: down to earth with a thud in Edinburgh after their day in the sun in Rome against the French, summed up by the fate of little Luciano Orquera – everything he touched in Rome turned to gold, whereas at Murrayfield everything he touched turned to…well, you know where I’m going with this. Another 2 games at home - I wouldn’t bet against Italy winning one of those.

Scotland: the earth stopped spinning on its axis on Saturday as the Sweaties scored four tries. Four tries. Scotland. Must now fancy their chances at home to Wales and Ireland.

Wales: a win, a win, my kingdom for a win but no one should pretend that victory in Paris was anywhere near good enough a performance. Wales are big and powerful but so far lack last season's light and shade. Tough trips to Rome and Murrayfield are followed by a mouth-watering Cardiff finale against the English. It won’t be dull.

France: it would be easy to fall back on the lazy old cliché that you never know which French team will turn up, but this lot simply put the ‘m’ into mysterious, the ‘e’ into enigmatic and the ‘c’ into crap. Next stop: Twickenham. And the thing is, you just never know – if Morgan Parra is restored to the team and the French forwards actually fancy it, you just never know…

Ireland: it will be interesting to see how the Irish line up at Murrayfield next time out. Will they stick with the tried and tested or will Declan Kidney shed his conservatism and introduce some of the youngsters we saw in November against Fiji? Injuries and suspensions (ahem, Mr Healy) may force his hand.

England: let's not get carried away but Chris Robshaw & Co are developing into a half-decent outfit and now go forward as tournament favourites. They need to kick on now and iron out a few wrinkles, including adding a sprinkling of pace to the back three. If all goes to plan we'll head to to the Millennium Stadium with the Grand Slam still up for grabs and, simply put, from a Welsh perspective England winning a Grand Slam in Cardiff is unthinkable.

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