Sunday, 14 March 2010

Six Nations Week 4: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

Brian O'Driscoll winning his 100th cap for Ireland.  A truly world class player, even though he had a pretty quiet game against Wales.

Paul O'Connell's fantastic performance in the line-out and the loose.  A superb game for the ginger giant.

Tomas O'Leary.  A brilliant try-scoring performance by the Ireland scrum half.  Man of the match O'Leary was instrumental in several key plays and set up Keith Earls for his second try.

Tomas O'Leary dives in for his try

The Scottish crowd singing 'Flower of Scotland' loudly and proudly before the Calcutta Cup game against England.  The atmosphere in Murrayfield was electric right from the opening blast of by the lone bagpiper.

Andy Robinson-cam.  Watching the Scotland coach flail his arms around in exasperation whilst yelling expletives provided a few rare moments of entertainment in an otherwise uninspiring game.

Saying that, Scotland number eight and man of the match Johnnie Beattie played a strong game in attack and defence, along with his fellow back row Killer Bs, Kelly Brown and John Barclay.

Ben Foden's impact from the bench.  A breath of fresh air mixed with a steamroller.  Come on Haskell, Deacon and chums: take note of how Foden smashed towering lock Alastair Kellock out of the way when he was running from deep.  Oh and well done Johnno for hauling Armitage off and giving Foden a run.  Ben has got to start against France.  In fact: Ding ding - all change.

France's pocket rocket wing Marc Andreu, who, at 5ft 5", flew under the Italians' radar and over the whitewash.

In fact, France totally demolished Italy in their 46-20 with a classy display.  The French backline was in dazzling and fluid form, and their forwards weren't half bad either.  Scrum-half Morgan Parra, full-back and man of the match Clement Poitreneud and Imanol Harinordoquy get special mentions for their excellent performances.  Again.

The Bad

Jonny Sexon's woeful scattergun approach to goal kicking.  The Ireland fly-half had about as much accuracy as a drunk bloke blasting his pee towards a urinal.

Lee Byrne's yellow card.  Wales conceded two tries when the full-back was warming the sin bin and Byrne was decidedly below par upon his return to the field.

Wales' set piece:  Line-out: Poor.  Scrum:  Poor.

England missing tackle after tackle after tackle after tackle (repeat to fade)...

Just when they thought they were getting a bit better, Nick Mallet's Italy found themselves 40 points behind France after being clinically taken apart.  At least Italy were able to restore a degree of respectibility in the last 20 minutes, when France had already switched off and were no doubt starting to plot England's demise next weekend...

The Ugly

Dan Parks' stupid sideburns.  Who does he think he is?  Zorro?

Fancy Dan

Scrum time between Scotland and England.  Zzzzzz.  Do you enjoy watching burly forwards in tight fitting tops flopping down onto the floor?  Yeah.  And so it seems did referee Marius Jonker.  The scrums were painfully tedious to watch and it often took more than two minutes just to restart the game.  Yawn.

Ugo Monye being stretchered off.  Apparently he's OK, but it's never a nice sight seeing anyone stretchered off the field.  Still, maybe you should have a rest next weekend Ugo, and let Northampton's Chris Ashton have a go?

So there's only one week left in this year's competition.

I can't wait until next weekend's finale: France v England at the Stade de France. 

Although I bet Johnno and pals will try to make it as tedious an affair as possible.  We will see.

1 comment:

  1. Bamberio, I cannot think of the last time I saw an England side miss so many tackles since Jonah Lomu made road-kill out of English back's in the 1995 RWC. ON one hand, the Killer B's really run with reckless abandon, but there were a lot of missed tackles.

    At a certain point, it was hard to tell if it was the front row's fault, or Saffa ref Jonker...the constant re-sets of scrums really slowed the game to a snail's pace...and as a prop myself, I cannot even begin to tell you how much it sucks to constantly have to re-do scrums. It was ridiculous.