The three matches played this last weekend in the 2015 RBS 6 Nations were, in order, Scotland v Italy, France v Wales and Ireland v England.
Scotland v Italy
As I was in Buenos Aires this weekend, about to go on the cruise on which I am giving astronomy lectures, I saw absolutely nothing of this game, so all I know is the final result, with Italy winning xxx to xx with a score right at the end of the match to clinch victory. I am not sure how the Scots are going to react to this defeat, after showing such promising signs against both France and Wales, to lose to Italy at home must be a bitter pill to swallow.
France v Wales
Wales went to Paris hoping to build on their scrappy win over Scotland two weeks ago in Edinburgh. I tried to follow the match over a very slow internet connection, but it was so slow that even the automatic updates were not working properly. So, although I was aware of the score at the match went on, I can’t profess to knowing any of the details of the match apart from what I have read in the press since then.
But, from what I can gather, Wales deserved to win and it now takes Wales onto two wins out of three matches played, and remarkably is the fourth win in a row that Wales have had over France, and the fifth in the last nine visits to Paris.
Ireland v England
This was the big match of the weekend, even for a Welshman like me, as it was possibly going to be the Championship decider with both countries going into the match with two wins from two. ESPN, which seems to be part of the standard cable package in Argentina, were showing the match live (pretty unusual for a US Sports channel), and so I was able to see this match live in the bar of a hotel in Buenos Aires.
Ireland thoroughly outplayed England, and deserved to win. I have to say, the Irish must be rating their chances of retaining their 6 Nations crown very highly, and what has impressed me about their team for the last 6 months is that their coach changes the team’s tactics depending on their opposition. This is very different from Wales, who have one way of playing (which is a little worrying), and Ireland let us not forget beath both Australia and South Africa in the Autumn tests. They really have become the dominant side in Europe in the last 12 months, and it is going to take some performance by Wales to derail them in two weeks’ time.
Wales v Ireland in two weeks’ time
There is now another two weeks before the 4th round of the 6 Nations, and Wales’ next game is a home match against Ireland. I expect the Welsh media to be going into overdrive hyping up this game, as it is massive for both countries. If Ireland win then they would not only be on to surely retain their 6 Nations crown, but would also still be on for a Grand Slam. If Wales manage to win, they would be three wins from four, which would put them joint top of the table, something I am sure they were not expecting was possible after losing our first match to England. Even though I will still be in South America for the match, I thankfully should be able to follow the build-up in the press ove the next two weeks, and I also hope to be able to see the match live in Santiago on the 14th.