Monday, 25 February 2019

Six Nations 2019 - Round 3 verdict

What the heck do I know - all three predictions for the weekend wrong!!!

France 27-10 Scotland
A much improved France ended up winning reasonably comfortably against a largely inaccurate Scottish team who were just missing too many players to be properly competitive. In Ramos, Ntamack and Penaud, France appear to have unearthed a few unpolished gems, while Gael Fickou, finally selected in his proper position, held the midfield together admirably and Demba Bamba looks some prospect at prop. Now if they could just get rid of Huget, Bastareaud and Vahaamahina, France could be back in business.

Wales 21-13 England
Full credit to Wales for hanging on when under pressure and finishing England off clinically (thanks in no small part to the introduction of Dan Biggar) - but let's not beat about the bush - England could and should have won this game. For once I agree with Warren Gatland - England choked when the pressure came on. Eddie Jones should be a worried man - the sight of Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell, with England 3 points down and with 10 minutes to play,  still kicking the ball to the opposition - suggests that the team is still very much playing in a tactical straightjacket, which doesn't auger well for the World Cup.

Italy 16-26 Ireland
"Don't worry' said my son, "England will still win the Six Nations as Wales will lose to Ireland." Not if Ireland play like this. I acknowledge that injuries are playing their part, but Ireland look a long way off being the world's best team right now. Italy played some great stuff and will genuinely fancy their chances at Twickenham in two weeks, whereas Ireland will just be mightily relieved to have escaped Rome with a barely deserved bonus point.

TF Team of the week:

15. Liam Williams 14. Josh Adams 13. Jonathan Davies 12. Gael Fickou 11. Jacob Stockdale 10. Dan Biggar 9. Tito Tebaldi 1. Dave Kilcoyne 2. Guilhem Guirado 3. Demba Bamba 4. Cory Hill 5. Alun Wyn Jones 6. Peter O'Mahony 7. Tom Curry 8. Ross Moriarty

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