The Six Nations Rugby tournament is probably the second biggest Rugby competition after the Rugby World Cup (although I'm sure anybody south of the equator would argue the toss over this!) Played between northern hemisphere national teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy. The 6 Nations
was previously known as the 5 Nations (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France) and originally as the Home Nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) starting way back in 1883.
Involving some of the oldest grudge matches in Rugby the 6 Nations seems to thrive on exciting, physical Rugby. As well as the 6 Nations title itself there are also several smaller prizes played during the course of the Six Nations the most famous
of which being the Calcutta Cup played between England and Scotland.
The 2015 Six Nations finished with what was one of the closest results of any Six, Five or Four Nations for that matter. A last day that saw 3 teams fighting for the title and it being settled on points as Ireland lifted the crown. Would we like
similar for this year? You bet we would. However there was a slight niggling doubt that perhaps it was so close not so much because the poorer teams had got that much better but because the top teams were stuck in a kind of doldrums. It was a
niggling doubt that came to fruition as the Northern Hemisphere were destroyed in the 2015 Rugby World Cup later on in the year. Ireland the Six Nations champions soundly beaten by Argentina at the knock-out stages, the less said about
England the better! But enough history, on to this years Six Nations and the general consensus among the experts is that there will only be one winner, Wales. Whilst England and Ireland have undergone a lot of change and France are well...France, the Welsh have a settled
mature look and all the smart money seems to be on them, although their first game away to Ireland could perhaps be their biggest challenge. England under new management in the form of Eddie Jones and with only 2 home games are a basket case, literally anything could happen. For the
neutral the excitement could come in the form of Scotland who looks the most maverick in terms of attacking play, they've definitely got their heart set on trys and just how well they do this year could be dictated in the large part on the opening day home Calcutta Cup match.
No matter what the Six Nations is my favourite sporting tournament of every year so all that is left to do is chill the Guinness, put your feet up and get ready for the action.
When it comes to watching your 6 Nations rugby live on the internet the BBC have lost exclusive rights to the tournament in the UK and are now sharing it with ITV. The good news is that both channels are free to air as long as your are in the UK. Both the BBC and ITV provide high quality streamed content (Ever wish that that you had a UK Internet Connection?). You can find out more details on the BBC's 6 Nations Coverage by following the link.
The Six Nations has a huge following all over the world, especially in the southern hemisphere (maybe they admire our kicking game in secret) so there will no doubt be countless other places online showing the Six Nations matches live. Check out the live sports schedule on the day of games.
Sat 6th Feb 14:25 - France 23 - 21 Italy (BBC)
Sat 6th Feb 16:50 - Scotland 9 - 15 England (BBC)
Sun 7th Feb 15:00 - Ireland 16 - 16 Wales (ITV)
Sat 13th Feb 14:25 - France 10 - 9 Ireland (BBC)
Sat 13th Feb 16:50 - Wales 27 - 23 Scotland (BBC)
Sun 14th Feb 14:00 - Italy 9 - 40 England (ITV)
Fri 26th Feb 20:05 - Wales 19 - 10 France (BBC)
Sat 27th Feb 14:25 - Italy 20 - 36 Scotland (ITV)
Sat 27th Feb 16:50 - England 21 - 10 Ireland (ITV)
Sat 12th Mar 13:30 - Ireland 58 - 15 Italy (ITV)
Sat 12th Mar 16:00 - England 25 - 21 Wales (ITV)
Sun 13th Mar 15:00 - Scotland 29 - 18 France (BBC)
Sat 19th Mar 14:30 - Wales 67 - 14 Italy (BBC)
Sat 19th Mar 17:00 - Ireland 35 - 25 Scotland (ITV)
Sat 19th Mar 20:00 - France 21 - 31 England (BBC)
There is one golden rule in TV, if you need a pundit to tell you how exciting something is then there is every chance it's just not that exciting. This was very true of the first week of the 2016 Six Nations. Those of us hoping for
a Northern Hemisphere backlash into exciting rugby after the World Cup shambles were left a little disapointed. Of course there were some highlights, Italy very nearly turning over France away from home and a very rare draw in the
Ireland vs Wales game but at the end of the day the first weekend was definitely a slow burner. At this stage the teams have more to lose than to win so hopefully next week things will pick up and we'll see a little more running with the ball.
France vs Italy 2016 Six Nations Highlights
Scotland vs England 2016 Six Nations Highlights
Ireland vs Wales 2016 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations 2016 Week 2 Round-up
Week 2 and things started to heat up a bit. Despite a lack of free flowing rugby the French, Irish slug match resulted in a very close game with France just edging it depsite falling 6 points behind twice. Two first half injuries have cost Ireland
any chance of winning the Six Nations having only 1 point from their first 2 games. France meanwhile are two for two, but far from convincing. The Wales vs Scotland game was far more entertaining, an early try for Wales seeming to get
things going, matched by a try from Scotland within 15 minutes. What followed was a see-saw affair before Scotland just seemed to run out of steam towards the end. The last game of the weekend looked like it might produce an upset with Italy taking an early
lead but once England got ahead it was virtually one way traffic scoring some nice trys in the process.
France vs Ireland 2016 Six Nations Highlights
Wales vs Scotland 2016 Six Nations Highlights
Italy vs England 2016 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations 2016 Week 3 Round-up
Week 3 and the reason why Wales were strong favourites before this years Six Nations started finally comes to the fore. It also proved just how random the French team but the end result
was that next weeks game between Wales and England is very likely to be a tournament decider. In the other games Scotland finally got a well deserved Six Nations win coming out comfortable winners
against an unusually lack lustre Italian team who normally play much better at home. The final game of the weekend saw England power past Ireland in what was a very close game until a couple of quick tries
settled the game in the second half.
Wales vs France 2016 Six Nations Highlights
Italy vs Scotland 2016 Six Nations Highlights
England vs Ireland 2016 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations 2016 Week 4 Round-up
Week 4 and it's all over, I don't think anybody saw that coming! In what is a polar opposite to last years last round nerves this years tournament has been sewn up early. A dominant first half performance by England over Wales
was enough to take them clear at the top of the table and with only France standing a chance of stopping them, their defeat to Scotland on Sunday was enough to hand England the Six Nations trophy. All that is left now is to see if they can
complete the Grand Slam when the play France in Paris in their last game.
Ireland vs Italy 2016 Six Nations Highlights
England vs Wales 2016 Six Nations Highlights
Scotland vs France 2016 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations 2016 Week 5 Round-up
England secure a first Grand Slam since 2003, Scotland continue to impress but lose narrowly away to Ireland and Wales produce the most one sided
contest of the whole Six Nations by demolishing a lack lustre Italy on Welsh soil. Overall then English fans will be delighted with how the 2016
Six Nations went but I feel for the neutral who will feel a bit let down after the drama of the 2015 tournament.
Great start to the tournament, Wales ran out of steam in the second half against England. The score in the Italy Ireland match flattered Ireland a little bit and then Scotland put up one hell of a
fight away to France. It looks like it's going to be a really competitive Six Nations, Ireland and England will be the early favourites but that can all change next week with Wales or Scotland likely to come right back into the frame.
Wales vs England 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Italy vs Ireland 2015 Six Nations Highlights
France vs Scotland 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations 2015 Week 2 Round-up
What can you say about Scotland? Narrowly beaten by France and now narrowly beaten by Wales. Have they improved? Of course they have but they are just left in the unfortunate position of being the nearly men, if only they could convert more of
their try scoring positions they'd be right up there. In the other games England did what was expected of them at home to Italy, all be it after a very sticky start. Ireland were once again rock solid, not spectacular but they ground down a French team that
just never seem to get it right away from home. No doubt what is going to be the game of the 3rd weekend of Six Nations action, Ireland vs England looks like being a championship decider.
England vs Italy 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Ireland vs France 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Scotland vs Wales 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations 2015 Week 3 Round-up
So much for Ireland vs England being a championship decider, after this weeks games it looks like we are in for another "decider" in round 4 when Wales play Ireland. Round 3 was a bit of a disappointment in this
years Six Nations. Whilst England failed to turn up in Ireland (what happened to the running rugby of previous games?), Ireland did a workman like job on them, France proved what a true Yo-Yo team they are, this time under performing at home
to gift Wales a shot at the Six Nations title. Wales took full advantage of what was on offer. By far the best game of the weekend was Scotland versus Italy, I'm not sure how many people would have thought
that before the games started? Kudos to Italy for what is only their second ever away win in the Six Nations tournament, only the most die hard Scot would argue it wasn't well deserved as once again Scotland failed to make the most of
Scotland vs Italy 2015 Six Nations Highlights
France vs Wales 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Ireland vs England 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations 2015 Week 4 Round-up
It looks like nobody actually wants to win this years Six Nations! By beating Ireland ( and well beaten at that) Wales have opened up thee championship giving themselves, England and Ireland a chance of
taking the trophy in the last round of games. All things being equal it looks like the 2015 Six Nations is going to go down to points difference.
Wales vs Ireland 2015 Six Nations Highlights
England vs Scotland 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Italy vs France 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations 2015 Week 5 Round-up
The best last day of a Six Nations in recent history? We had it all and who'd have thought that a disallowed try by Scotland would prove to be so pivotal in deciding who would take home the trophy? The day
started with the best Welsh team in history (seriously Welsh BBC pundits, you need to take a step back) annihilating Italy to put themselves right in with a chance. The Ireland did the business against Scotland, their best performance
of this years competition by the way. And that set us up for a grand stand finale at Twickenham, and one of the best England France encounters I can ever remember. Kudos to both teams. The end result was
Ireland taking the trophy for the second year in a row, England 2nd and Wales 3rd, all teams finishing on the same number of points. Similar again next year boys would be spot on.
Italy vs Wales 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Scotland vs Ireland 2015 Six Nations Highlights
England vs France 2015 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations 2015 Results
Fri 6th Feb 20:05 Wales 16 - 21 England
Sat 7th Feb 14:30 Italy 3 - 26 Ireland
Sat 7th Feb 17:00 France 15 - 8 Scotland
Sat 14th Feb 14:30 England 47 - 17 Italy
Sat 14th Feb 17:00 Ireland 18 - 11 France
Sun 15th Feb 15:00 Scotland 23 - 26 Wales
Sat 28th Feb 14:30 Scotland 19 - 22 Italy
Sat 28th Feb 17:00 France 13 - 20 Wales
Sun 01st Mar 15:00 Ireland 19 - 9 England
Sat 14th Mar 14:30 Wales 23 - 16 Ireland
Sat 14th Mar 17:00 England 25 - 13 Scotland
Sun 15th Mar 15:00 Italy 0 - 29 France
Sat 21st Mar 12:30 Italy 20 - 61 Wales
Sat 21st Mar 14:30 Scotland 10 - 40 Ireland
Sat 21st Mar 17:00 England 55 - 35 France
A decent start to the Six Nations this year with the undoubted star game being France vs England, a true game of 2 halves and one that just
goes to show how close games can be at this level. In the other games Wales and Ireland had similar games, slow to start but once they got going they
were both clear winners over Italy and Scotland respectively. Here are video highlights of all the games:-
Wales vs Italy 2014 Six Nations Highlights
France vs England 2014 Six Nations Highlights
Ireland vs Scotland 2014 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations Week 2 Round-up
I think we can all agree that Ireland vs Wales didn't really live up to the build up, I was expecting an extremely tight almost title deciding game. Instead the Welsh barely turned up and in the battle of brains over brawn the brains won out comfortably. I'm going to be careful not to say too much though because I went overboard on Wales last year and was made to look a right tit! The other 2 games were pretty much standard and this week was always going to be the most predictable with England and France taking comfortable wins over Scotland and Italy. Six Nations 2014 Round 2 video highlights are below:
Ireland vs Wales 2014 Six Nations Highlights
Scotland vs England 2014 Six Nations Highlights
France vs Italy 2014 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations Week 3 Roundup
I was away on a ship that advertised as having a local pub. Unfortunately the pub only became a pub when there wasn't a music quiz on for the geriatrics so I missed all of these games! Gutted.
Wales vs France 2014 Six Nations Highlights
Italy vs Scotland 2014 Six Nations Highlights
England vs Ireland 2014 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations Week 4 Roundup
Ireland destroy Italy, nothing much new in that because Italy have to be one of the worst away teams I think I've ever seen, the difference between their home and away performances is something to behold. Other than
that there was a very tight game between France and Scotland that the French just edged (another team very poor away from home) and finally England beat Wales to secure a Triple Crown and maintain their hopes of lifting the
Six Nations trophy. The final day of matches should prove to be a cracker with England hoping to generate a cricket score against Italy (a whole different prospect with the Italians at home) in order to put pressure on
Ireland who travel to France in the last game of the day. Whilst Ireland are in pole position on points scored it could still go either way.
Ireland vs Italy 2014 Six Nations Highlights
Scotland vs France 2014 Six Nations Highlights
England vs Wales 2014 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations Week 5 Roundup
The Six Nations 2014 ends with a dream result for the Irish and especially Brian O'Driscoll who ends his final game with a Six Nations trophy. It was one of those days that had to involve the pub
and we were there for an early start to watch England destroy Italy. It's just a shame that a few defensive slips and the decision to make so many replacements later on could have cost England an even bigger victory. Wales did show
them how it was done with a thumping victory over a Scottish team that looks like it's going to need a lot of work. That just left the final game of the tournament, could Ireland get that ever so rare
victory away to France. Being St Patrick's weekend we soon found out why so many tables had been reserved in the pub (yes, a pub where you couldn't find a seat all day because people had reserved
tables, won't be going back there again!). Five minutes before kick-off the Irish hoards descended and we were treated to a game that could have gone either way, right up until the final minutes when
France had a try disallowed on video ref evidence. It was a great day, topped of by winding up a few of our Irish cousins but it just goes to show what a great sport rugby is and what football fans
could learn from the rugby crowd. Congratulations Ireland.
Italy vs England 2014 Six Nations Highlights
Wales vs Scotland 2014 Six Nations Highlights
France vs Ireland 2014 Six Nations Highlights
Six Nations 2014 Results
Sat 1st Feb 14:30 Wales 23 - 15 Italy
Sat 1st Feb 17:00 France 26 - 24 England
Sun 2nd Feb 15:00 Ireland 28 - 6 Scotland
Sat 8th Feb 14:30 Ireland 26 - 3 Wales
Sat 8th Feb 17:00 Scotland 0 - 20 England
Sun 9th Feb 15:00 France 30 - 10 Italy
Fri 21st Feb 20:00 Wales 27 - 6 France
Sat 22nd Feb 13:30 Italy 20 - 21 Scotland
Sat 22nd Feb 16:00 England 13 - 10 Ireland
Sat 8th Mar 14:30 Ireland 46 - 7 Italy
Sat 8th Mar 17:00 Scotland 17 - 19 France
Sun 9th Mar 15:00 England 29 - 18 Wales
Sat 15th Mar 12:30 Italy 11 - 52 England
Sat 15th Mar 14:45 Wales 51 - 3 Scotland
Sat 15th Mar 17:00 France 20 - 22 Ireland
Well as far as starts to the Six Nations go I think most people would agree that the 2013 tournament would take some beating! To get the worst out of the way first the poorest game was definitely the England
vs Scotland game. Scotland turned up with much hype over how close these games have been for the past 3 years but it was as easy a win for England at this level as you are ever likely to see. But don't let that fool you into
thinking it was a "bad" game, there was a lot of running rugby, the English centre was very impressive and compared to some games in previous tournaments it was a fantastic match! Just a shame that it couldn't match up to
Wales against Ireland and Italy versus France. The Welsh, Irish game was the ultimate game of 2 halves. The Irish blitzed the first half and then seemed to enjoy sitting back in the second whilst Wales took lunking great chunks from their
lead. Alas, it wasn't enough to stop Wales creating a new losing streak record of 5 home games lost in a row. I said before the tournament I couldn't see where the Welsh optimism after the Autumn internationals was coming from and I stick to that now.
Yes they did well in the second half but only after the Irish slowed to crawling pace. The Sunday game of Italy against France was the game of the weekend for me. I'd tipped France as favourites for the whole tourament before this game and how wrong could I be?!
Italy deserved everything they got, it's not worth writing about, if you didn't see it hunt down the highlights on the web!
Six Nations Week 2 Roundup
Do we blame the weather or was week 1 just an anomoly? Who knows but week 2 of the 2013 Six Nations was a shocker. England out battled and kicked a fairly tame Ireland, Italy did what they always do away from home and the Welsh returned to winning ways against the
worst French performance I can remember in recent history. But I really can't be bothered
writing too much about the actual quality of the rugby, instead just watch the rather short highlights. Ireland vs England. Scotland vs Italy. France vs Wales.
Six Nations Week 3 Roundup
Not a lot of great rugby was played again this week but we there was plenty of gritty action and we got to welcome France to the 2013 Six Nations tournament.
Wales started to look good against an Italian team that are always a difficult opponent at home, if anything it looked as though
the Italians were suffering from not having their captain and usualy number 8 on the pitch but kudos to Wales for taking advantage. The Scotland vs Ireland game
was one of the most one sided games in Six Nations history! Posession and territory heavily dominated by Ireland but then Scotland won the kicking match and actually won the game! I think the Scottish commentary team were in shock!
England vs France was all about France showing up and putting in any sort of a performance and for the majority of the game that's exactly what they did. The first half was very tight and
then thanks to some dodgy substitutions England were given the opportunity to build a meaningful lead and ran out comfy winners. The biggest disappointment of the game was Chris Ashton again, I don't know what it is with that bloke but he appears to be believing his own hype, constantly
winding up opponents with "footballer" style niggles and then generally being shit when he gets the ball. But anyway, week 3 done and it's only England that have a chance at the Grand Slam although Wales and Scotland (yes Scotland) are still in with a chance of taking the Six Nations title.
Week 5 from the 2013 Six Nations shall forever be known as the day when things went back to normal. Italy produced a storming home performance (to be fair to them on the back of a great away day versus England) to beat the Irish and spoil what may be Brian O'Driscoll's last game for the Irish. Scotland were well beaten by the French who although picking up their
first win of the tournament were unable to avoid the wooden spoon, something I'm sure which will delight the Italians. Finally we have the title decider and as we said earlier, things back to normal, an English international team froze completely and went rapidly from Grand Slam hopefulls to 15 blokes bumbling around a pitch looking lost. For rugby fans at least the last set of games
produced some good rugby with some tries because to be honest the previous 3 sets of fixtures had been dire as I'm sure will be reflected in the TV viewing figures when they get released. To attract new fans to rugby there has to be more of a flow to the game and it seems with how the rules are being
interpreted in the northern hemisphere at the moment that's just not happening. Anyway, congratulations to Wales for turning around their tournament and running our deserved winners, I'm sure I called that back in week 1...(or maybe not ;))
2013 Six Nations Results
Sat 2nd Feb 13 13:30 Wales 22 - 30 Ireland
Sat 2nd Feb 13 16:00 England 38 - 18 Scotland
Sun 3rd Feb 13 15:00 Italy 23 - 18 France
Sat 9th Feb 13 14:30 Scotland 34 - 10 Italy
Sat 9th Feb 13 17:00 France 6 - 16 Wales
Sun 10th Feb 13 15:00 Ireland 6 - 12 England
Sat 23rd Feb 13 14:30 Italy 9 - 26 Wales
Sat 23rd Feb 13 17:00 England 23 - 13 France
Sun 24th Feb 13 14:00 Scotland 12 - 8 Ireland
Sat 9th Mar 13 14:30 Scotland 18 - 28 Wales
Sat 9th Mar 13 17:00 Ireland 13 - 13 France
Sun 10th Mar 13 15:00 England 18 - 11 Italy
Sat 16th Mar 13 14:30 Italy 22 - 15 Ireland
Sat 16th Mar 13 17:00 Wales 30 - 3 England
Sat 16th Mar 13 20:00 France 23 - 16 Scotland
For this years Six Nations I'm going to do something a little different with my weekly round ups. I'm going to try and sum up the whole weekends action in 1 word so to get things
started I'd like to offer up the word "tight" for the first week of the 2012 Six Nations. Although being fair I could have quite easily used the word "crap" up until the point where
the Ireland Wales game kicked into life. France fail to seam roll Italy in quite the fashion everybody was expecting with France playing at home, Scotland vs England was the worst game
of rugby I can remember watching in a long time. But all this was made up for when Ireland and Wales put together one of the best games of international rugby union in the last 10 years, only ending with a
spectacular last minute win for Wales.
Six Nations Week 2 Roundup
For this weeks "Word Of The Week" I think we are best off sticking with Cold! Just when you thought it couldn't get any colder
than the Italy versus England game we found out that the France vs Ireland game was going to be postponed due to a frozen pitch, bad time all around.
In the games that did take place England eventually came out on top versus Italy despite the Italians leading at half-time due to 2 late tries. England had to thank another Charlie Hodgson charge down and the
excellent kicking skills of Owen Farrell for their win. Despite being poor in both games England are now 2 wins out of 2 but with more sterner challenges to come. In the other game
Wales took on Scotland and despite a brave effort by the Scotts ended up winning comfortably 27 points to 13. There was one major downer though and that was the injury to their winger and
arguably player of the tournament so far George North. The man mountain had to go off with ankle damage and it's not clear yet whether he'll play any further part in the 2012 Six Nations.
Six Nations Week 3 Roundup
There is only 1 possible word that would fit this weeks Six Nations round-up, Irony. The irony of an England team finally turning up and showing what they are capable off only then to lose. Really? Two weeks
of utter rubbish that resulted in wins and then 1 weeks where we get entertaining, skilful, free flowing rugby and they lose! On the positive side for Wales it is going to take a
very good team to stop them doing the Grand Slam. Will the French be able to stop them, I have a sneaky feeling not. In the other games Scotland put in a real shift against the French and were unlucky to go down
23 points to 17, a game that also saw a couple of nasty injuries. The first game of the weekend saw the usual Italian away team turn up, how a team can play so different home and away is anybodys guess? Either way they got
steam rolled by the Irish 42 points to 10. At least we got to see some great rugby this week, to be honest the first 2 weeks of the 2012 Six Nations were not exactly ball breaking excitement were they?
Six Nations Week 4 Roundup
Seeing as how we were treated to 3 fantastic games this weekend I think it would be rude to choose any other word than Awesome (in a fake American accent) to describe what we saw. Things started off well
with a game that was supposed to be a Welsh annihilation of the Italians but it never really turned out like that. The Italian tackling in the first half was a thing of beauty, but it was no real
surprise to see them tire later on in the game and the Welsh run out clear 24 points to 3 winners. It was still a brilliant game and for 60 minutes it could have went either way. The same could be said of the
Ireland, Scotland game. When Scotland went 6 points up early doors I'm sure many Irish fans were worrying that their bogey team were going to haunt them once again. It wasn't to be the case in the 2012 Six Nations though
because a free running Ireland team were scoring tries where the Scottish were restricted behind the game line most of the time. After 80 minutes we'd all witnessed a real belter of a rugby match with the 32- 14 score somewhat
flattering the Irish. Then finally we get to the game of the weekend. At last we see an English team not kicking the ball away at every opportunity. At last we get to see and English team playing the French at their own game.
It was one of the best games in the Six Nations for many a year, you'd be much better of finding a highlights video than reading about it, so that's what I suggest you go and do!
Six Nations Week 5 Roundup
Lets end this years Six Nations with our final word....DRUNK. That sums up things perfectly. I can remember Italy getting a deserved win against the Scottish but from that
point onwards things got a bit blurry. But apparently Wales won the Grand Slam and England one with ease against the Irish. Who'd have guessed it. Same
again then next year lads ?!
I have an admission to make, I decided to kick of the 2011 Six Nations by having a few friends around the house so the memories of the Wales ?? England game might be a little jaded! OK, very jaded. I think it would be fair to sum it up as this though, England started well, invited Wales back into the game but just about deserved to hold on for 26-19 win, fair? Perhaps most importantly for fans of running rugby the 2011 Six Nations continued where the Autumn Internationals left off. Sure there was plenty of kicking away possession in the first half an hour but once both teams settled down we were treated to some great rugby and some cracking tries. The second admission is that the fuzzy head didn??t help things on the Saturday either. Italy vs Ireland was a belter for different reasons. Talk about close to an upset? The Ireland game was littered with errors and it helped give Italy a sound footing in the game, the Italians just love playing at home and they came oh so close to a first ever Six Nations win over Ireland with a try in the last 5 minutes. Ireland were dire, no other words for it and they can thank o??Gara for saving any blushes with a drop goal in the last couple of minutes to give them a ??closer than close?? 13 points to 11 victory. If only Italy would have converted the try. The final game of the first weekend saw Scotland taking on France. Passion, pace, running and impact ?? another great game of rugby. Scotland seems to have lifted themselves a level above recent Six Nations efforts and had France under plenty of pressure for a lot of this game. However the French class told in the end and despite a great effort by Scotland France ran out 34 -21 winners. Scotland should not be too downbeat, with a little bit more of a cutting edge they could have caused a massive upset. So what can we conclude from the first weekend of the 2011 Six Nations? Ireland look off their game, England can be still be sloppy but France look bang on form and perhaps ready for back to back grand slams? We??ll see.
Six Nations Week 2 Roundup
England vs Italy - England on top all the way through and a proper good old fashioned stuffing. In Ashton England have one of those rare talents that always seems
to find himself in the right place at the right time. Strangely enough even though Italy were shocking at the line out all through the game it was actually the source of their
consolation try late on. It's hard to understand how Italy can play so differently home and away in the Six Nations? England on this form will take some stopping. Scotland vs Wales was a much more competitive affair all around (not hard) and one that managed to throw the form book on the bonfire. After Scotlands
performance against France the previous week great things were expected of them, however them took massive steps back. Wales on the other hand were resurgent. As soon as Wales scored early this game never really seemed to be in doubt, even when they went down to 13 men Scotland failed to take any real advantage. Shane Williams is another of those
players that has a real talent for being in the right place. Finally, Sunday gave us the game of the weekend with Ireland playing France in a very tight game. I think it would be fair to say that
everything that happened in this game was down to Ireland in one way or another. When they were good they scored tries, when they were bad they gave away endless penalties. France were consistent throughout and kept themselves right in the game with some
excellent kicking, eventually running out 25-22 winners. An absolute cracking game to watch and one that Ireland could have easily of won with better discipline.
Six Nations Week 3 Roundup
The third week of this years Six Nations could really have been the decisive set of games in terms of deciding an eventual winner. The weekend started of with Italy versus Wales and what a brilliant game it was. I sound like an old record
but Italy are so much better at home and there were none of the signs of weakness that the displayed against England in their last game. Wales struggled to build on their convincing win over the Scots but just about held out for a very hard fought victory (worth noting that
if Italy could find a kicker they would have won this game!). Shortly afterwards it was the big decider, England vs France. Can I be honest here without appearing biased? England stuffed them! Other than some sloppy penalties England were far and away the more creative and direct team
and it was every bit a deserved victory. Even more so considering some French students had gathered in the same pub as us - thank you fate, it's not often I get to watch England win in the pub and I thank my lucky stars it was a day when the French were in town! The final game of the
weekend saw Ireland travel the short distance to Scotland. Could Scotland get any worse than the previous game? Of course not, it was a much improved display that saw them lose by just 3 points to an Irish team that alough wasteful at times still look a force. After 3 games
the Six Nations is still poised with England ahead (3 victories out of 3) with Ireland, Wales and France all on 2 wins. With England still having to play Ireland it's certainly not all over yet.
Six Nations Week 4 Roundup
How many times have I written about Italy being a tough team at home tens, hundreds, thousands? It should come as no surprise then that
when Bergamasco finally puts his kicking boots on they finally turn over one of the big teams. It should come as no surprise that this team would be the French this year either. I can't tell you just how
delighted I was for the Italians, that 22-21 result (A well deserved hard fought one) has made their year already. The French on the other hand were dire. Not one of them could hold their head up after that display and say they gave 100%. Wales gave themselves
a slim chance of still lifting the Six Nations trophy with a dubious 19-13 win over Ireland. It was a very even game until a Scottish official made an almighty ballsup by allowing Wales to take a quick line-out with what was obviously the wrong ball. Not only that but he then confirmed without doubt that it was "the right ball". Surely this sort of nonsense only happens in football? What
it did show up though was just how irate team officials can get in rugby. Imagine how irate team/club officials would get if there was ??20-??30 million riding on it. Those figures are not far from the mark in big promotion/cup/title football games. Respect is all well and good until somebody mistake causes a club to go under and lots of people
to lose their jobs. Just a thought. Anyhoo back to the Rugby. England were nervous as hell against the Scots. Personally I think the Italy result had put doubts in their minds as well as giving the Scottish a boost. A gutsy performance from the Scots which saw them hold England until half time was perhaps worthy of a draw? England's fitness seemed to tell in the second half and they just about managed a
22 - 16 victory. Scotland have been so up and down in this years Six Nations, it wouldn't be too much of a surprise if they got a good win in their last game. But the big question on everybody's lips going in to the last week is...will England do the Grand Slam or will Ireland open it up for another team to lift the Six Nations trophy?
Six Nations Week 5 Roundup
The final week of the 2011 Six Nations gave us a chance to see just what a massive impact home advantage is in the Six Nations. There were comfortable wins for Scotland, France and Ireland. Obviously most significant in these
was the Irish demolition of England. Within 10 minutes it was fairly clear to all but the most die hard English fans that the game was up and there would be no Grand Slam. It was a result that left the English needing some help from the French in order to take the Six Nations title. If Wales could have won
by a big margin they could take the honours on the final day but it wasn't to be. The French still smarting from the defeat by Italy the previous week were far from their best but still too strong for Wales. This only left the wooden spoon and completely true to form the Italians which had achieved the unthinkable only a week before were
back to their away form worst. Scotland even managed to break their try scoring voodoo at home and ran in a couple. After this final weekend of the 2011 Six Nations that leaves England is the winners with Italy taking the Wooden Spoon. Bring on the World Cup I say!
2011 Six Nations Results
Fri 4th Feb 19:45 Wales 19 - 26 England
Sat 5th Feb 14:30 Italy 11 - 13 Ireland
Sat 5th Feb 17:00 France 34 - 21 Scotland
Sat 12th Feb 14:30 England 59 - 13 Italy
Sat 12th Feb 17:00 Scotland 6 - 24 Wales
Sun 13th Feb 15:00 Ireland 22 - 25 France
Sat 26th Feb 14:30 Italy 16 - 24 Wales
Sat 26th Feb 17:00 England 17 - 9 France
Sun 27th Feb 15:00 Scotland 18 - 21 Ireland
Sat 12th Mar 14:30 Italy 22 - 21 France
Sat 12th Mar 17:00 Wales 19 - 13 Ireland
Sun 13th Mar 15:00 England 22 - 16 Scotland
Sat 19th Mar 14:30 Scotland 21 - 8 Italy
Sat 19th Mar 17:00 Ireland 24 - 8 England
Sat 19th Mar 19:45 France 28 - 9 Wales
What a brilliant weekend of Rugby, I've got to admit that there was far more ball in hand rugby than what I was expecting. Of course just like
every first weekend of the Six Nations there were plenty of errors in each game but it all looks good for some free flowing rugby later on in the tournament. In the games
Ireland were a little stodgy against Italy who themselves battled hard. England were impressive against Wales although even the most die hard English fan would have to admit
the game was won when Wales were rightly down to 14 men. The importance of discipline in the international game shone through once again. The final game of the weekend
saw France looking dangerous against a solid Scottish team. It was nice to see France on their game from the very beginning of the Six Nations. Player of the weekend had to be
Mathieu Bastareaud, the 18 stone French center. He looked unstoppable and his second try against Scotland was awesome.
Six Nations Week 2 Roundup
Another weekend of superb Rugby action. I'll get what was by far the worst game of the weekend out of the way first, England vs Italy. After the excitement of Saturday and Englands improved form
against Wales the previous week this one was a shocker. Italy were much improved but even so nothing could hide the total lack of ambition from an England team that were happy to kick the ball in a completely aimless fashion
time after time. France vs Ireland on the other hand was full of fast paced ball in hand Rugby. Well I say ball in hand but in Ireland's case it was much more ball falling out of hand, I don't think I can recall so many knock-ons
from one team in a game. France were in top form and have surely got to be favourites for a grand slam with England being the only other possible Grand Slam nation. Bastareaud was in ominous form once again, showing a little more to his game including setting up a try
and some hard hitting tackling. Ireland were below par for them but I doubt that even a top Ireland performance would have been good enough to beat a top French performance at the moment. That only leaves the game of the weekend and perhaps the best game the Six Nations has
ever seen, Wales vs Scotland? It didn't stop from the first minute, both teams full of ambition and Scotland playing out of their skins to build a sizable lead. Right up until the last 10 minutes. What followed can not be portrayed properly through words, the only thing I can
do is recommend in the strongest possible way that you find the highlights of this game and watch it! (BBC iPlayer will have it). One of the best 10 minutes of rugby I can ever remember watching and a prefect
advert for the 6 Nations. Not so much a player of the week this week, more a team of the week and I'm going to give that to Wales and Scotland jointly, if you didn't see it then you really need to watch that game :)
Six Nations Week 3 Roundup
The third week of Six Nations produced a mixed bag of rugby. The highlight had to be the Wales vs France game on the Friday, France put themselves
into a great position with a commanding lead in the first half but then seemed to completely relax in the second half. This gave Wales the chance to play
themselves into the game, a chance they weren't shy in taking. It couldn't possibly happen again could it? When Shane Williams went over for only minutes to go I bet there were
plenty of Welsh fans that believed it could happen! Alas France held on for a deserved win by kicking the ball straight out from the restart (a lesson their for Scotland maybe?). The second
game saw Scotland play Italy. In a game that both teams see as their best chance for winning a game in the Six Nations this was always going to be a tight affair. Penalties were the order
of the day with both side exchanging blows. It all game time to a frantic last few minutes in which Italy held on to secure a rare win in the Six Nations, the home crowd went nuts. To be fair to Italy their home form has been building and
I don't think many people would have been too shocked to see them win. Scotland always have a chance at home against England to avoid the wooden spoon. Talking of England, another sack of old shite. By far the most boring game
of the weekend as they played out a dull as dishwater, take no chances game, against Ireland. Ireland won the game 3 tries to one and even though they had limited chances they looked to run the ball and take each one. A complete contrast to the English "pass sideways" or punt it play. It'll be a good
day when England finally wake up to the actually standard of rugby they are inflicting on their fans! When it comes to player of the week I'm going to give it to
the Welsh wing Shane Williams, the little man was an inspiration again against the French.
Six Nations Week 4 Roundup
I'm going to keep this really short, I'm still gutted by the total lack of progress being made by England, not to mention the post match England camp spin machine spewing nonsense. England play the most unwatchable Rugby of any international team I've watched in the last 20 years. This wouldn't be so bad if they were playing
effective Rugby, but as was proven against Scotland they are not. A 15-15 (no trys) score says more about that game than anything I ever could. Luckily fur us rugby fans we had the other 4 teams to provide some top class ENTERTAINING rugby. The Ireland Wales game was compelling to watch, for the second weekend in a row
Ireland seemed to be happy to sit back and pick apart their opposition at just the right time. The speed at which they were able to score was impressive and they ran out well deserved winners over the Welsh. Wales did have a bit of an off day but even at their best I don't think they would
have had the right answers to stop the Irish who if they would have had their kicking boots on would have won be even more. In the final game of the weekend on Sunday France destroyed Italy. Well that's how it started, but by mid way through the second half Italy woke up and and even managed to score a couple of well worked trys. Perhaps that had something to do with France experimenting with their subs but even
so all credit must be given to Italy for never letting their heads go down. It was a 1000% more enjoyable watch than the Calcutta Cup game. Man of the weekend is big Lawrence Dallaglio for having the balls to speak his mind and express how disapointed he was, good on him.
Six Nations Week 5 Roundup
What a great end to the Six Nations Super Saturday was. I'll be honest here, I spent a large part of the day in the pub so some of the details are a little hazy, especially about the England game but I'll do my best to sum up what happened.
The first game of the day saw Wales take on Italy. Italy true to form were rubbish away from home, they always are! It was kept fairly close for the first half but as soon as the second half started Wales just blew them
away with some decisive finishing. Next up was the game of the day for me, Ireland vs Scotland. From the first minute I got the impression that the Irish were only there for a party, turn up, beat Scotland, celebrate last game at Croke Park? Somebody obviously forgot to tell Scotland the script and the team
which has been really unlucky this Six Nations actually got the luck in the last few minutes and a much deserved victory. I have never seen so many upset Irish lads in one pub. Johnny Sextant in particular came in for a lot of stick from his own fans. Last and for once not least it was England vs France at the
Stade de France. Hands up if you were fearing the worst? My hands up. I was expecting a kicking England game and not only a hammering but also a really dull game. It was a massive surprise but a very pleasant one. The changes Martin Johnson had made to the team worked wonders
and England fans were treated to a great display of running rugby. It wasn't quite enough on the night to beat the French who fair play to them have been far and away the team of the tournament. A well deserved Grand Slam for France, no Triple Crown for the Irish and at last an English performance worthy of the name. A great day of rugby all around and a very sore head on the Sunday.
2010 Six Nations Results
Sat 6th Feb 14:30 Ireland 29 - 11 Italy
Sat 6th Feb 17:00 England 30 - 17 Wales
Sun 7th Feb 15:00 Scotland 9 - 18 France
Sat 13th Feb 14:00 Wales 31 - 24 Scotland
Sat 13th Feb 17:30 France 33 - 10 Ireland
Sun 14th Feb 15:30 Italy 17 - 12 England
Fri 26th Feb 20:00 Wales 20 - 26 France
Sat 27th Feb 14:30 Italy 16 - 12 Scotland
Sat 27th Feb 16:00 England 16 -20 Ireland
Sat 13th Mar 14:30 Ireland 27 - 12 Wales
Sat 13th Mar 17:00 Scotland 15 - 15 England
Sun 14th Mar 15:30 France 46 - 20 Italy
Sat 20th Mar 14:30 Wales 33 - 10 Italy
Sat 20th Mar 17:00 Ireland 20 - 23 Scotland
Sat 20th Mar 19:45 France 12 - 10 England