1. 2016 RBS Six Nations Rugby Table - The Rugby Forum
    Table updated after last fixture of the weekend

My view on Day 1

Discussion in '2017 RBS Six Nations' started by stormmaster1, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. stormmaster1

    stormmaster1 Guest

    Here's my biased view on the 4 teams seeing action on day 1. I'm English, so you'll have to excuse me mostly focusing on the negatives.



    Ireland:



    Some great play in the first half, particularly at the breakdown. Some of their best moves came from turnovers (e.g. O'Driscolls chip in the 22 was off the back of a flowing move where they turned over a decent looking Italian attack in the Irish half), but in the second half the Italians matched them and they were denied space for their talented backs to run into. O'Gara looked great, Reddan looked great, the pack was pretty good overall. Murphy looked out of sync with the rest. He would do some good stuff, but he didn't seem to have the same awareness of exactly where his support runners would be. I wonder if this is partly due to lack of previous game time and not playing club rugby in Ireland.



    Overall the Irish didn't put their chances away and ended up looking fairly average. PLenty of positives, but lots to work on.



    Italy:



    Shoed that they lack a little cutting edge in the backs, but their pack can go toe to toe with almost any side. Very good defensive effort, and their second half display was great. Lots of heart, lots of physicality. I still think they are the worst side in the 6N but they have shown it's not by much. If they improve on this in Rome England will be given a real test.



    England:



    Some of the best rugby played by England since 2003 happened in the first 40 mins. Backs were breaking the gainline, going forwards in the contact area and hitting spaces too. Forwards were disrupting Wales' lineouts and the front 5 were beasting their Welsh counterparts in the contact area. lots of turnovers. When moves slowed down the forwards could drive and regenerate mmentum. Only snag in the first 40 was not taking their chances. Had they done so they would have won. 2nd half display was as complete a capitulation as i have ever seen. The last decent thing we did with the ball was our last penalty score. Thereafter the shape went, our forwards didn't do any hard work, we didn't attack the welsh ball carriers. Stupid passes and woeful kicks with no chase. Awful. And noone put their hand up to take any responsibility (Johnny needed to settle the backline but didn't seem to try, Vickery's contribution was noteable by its absence). The final Welsh try was merely a way of confirming the result which had looked inevitlible for at least 5-10 mins before the first Welsh try. We didn't lose because of Balshaw, we lost because 22 players weren't good when it counted. Yes we lost players, but why not play an organised tight driving game when in trouble?



    Wales:



    Wales were poor. That was a poor performance, but a great result. Wales will know they were lucky not to be out of sight by half time. Forwards were poor for most of the game, but at least they made the most of poor English mistakes. They won because of the 3 Cs. Composure, Character and Cover defence. Cover defence kept them in it (e.g. numerous clean breaks and Sackey's non-try), they had the character not to fold, and the composure to play on and take opportunities. A poor performance but a great result. Wales are a team that runs on confidence, a win like this could give them the confidence to put in perfromances to test France and ireland.
     
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