Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Six-Nations Rugby Week 4: Living Dangerously

It was a typical Scottish strangling job - tackle and ruck like demons, stifle all open play, and kick penalties from all points of the compass. And we nearly succumbed to it. The Scots played with more passion than us, we had expended too much for the English match and this always seemed like an anti-climax. In the end a bit of luck and a bit of class saw us through. O'Gara took his lucky break well and kicked his penalties while Hickie made a great tackle. The rest is silence.

The England/France match was much more interesting. The England pack demolished the French and if they'd had some decent centres, they'd have won easily. Catt made one sublime break for Flood's try but otherwise was limted and Tindall is just a great lumbering lummox. Even Lewsey at full-back was off form. But the half backs were brilliant - Flood and Ellis were lively and creative in all they did and Wilkinson was not missed. The revelation was Geraghty when he came on the replace the injured Flood. In appearance and style he reminded me of Richard Sharp - that great running out half of the mid-Sixties. So now it seems that England have 3 quality out-halves - actually four if you count the injured Hodgson.

Wales have hardly won a match since they sacked their Grand Slam winning coach. Their performance against Italy was limp in the extreme - and Stephen Jones seems to have deteriorated drastically since he returned from France (mind you the dig in the snitch he got from Bargamasco can't have helped). They will be eating from the Wooden Spoon next week.