So here’s the official TF verdict on round 1 of the 2016 RBS Six Nations:
ENGLAND – hardly a brave new world. Unspectacular, effective and a familiar propensity for giving away stupid penalties.
SCOTLAND – apparently the best side Scotland have had for years. The players clearly didn’t get the memo.
WALES – Warrenball 2.0. Plenty of bish. Lots of bosh. Subtle it wasn’t.
IRELAND – could easily have folded when faced with the Welsh 2nd half onslaught but held firm - encouraging, considering the experience missing from the team.
FRANCE – may one day discover that exciting, running rugby and robust forward play are not mutually exclusive. When that day comes, watch out.
ITALY – there’s only so often one can commend Italy’s bravery. Ultimately bottled the chance to beat France in Paris.
Team of round 1:
15. Medard (Fr) 14. Nowell (Eng) 13. Campagnaro (It) 12. Roberts (Wal) 11. Vakatawa (Fr) 10. Priestland (Wal) 9. Murray (Ire) 1. McGrath (Ire) 2. Hartley (Eng) 3. Lee (Wal) 4. Kruis (Eng) 5. Biagi (Ita) 6. Stander (Ire) 7. Hardie (Sco) 8. B. Vunipola (Eng).