I thought all three games yesterday were pretty disappointing as spectacles, even if two of them had plenty of drama.
The finish of the France v Wales match must be the most extraordinary I've ever seen! Multiple reset scrums when a penalty try might have been awarded on another day; a claim of biting; allegations of cheating over the replacement of the French prop. Whatever the ins and outs of it all (which may or may not become clear in time), I don't think the game of rugby was covered in glory. In particular, the officiating yet again can be accused of inconsistency: a clear deliberate knock on by Wales early in proceedings was ignored whereas a much less clear one by France was penalised by a yellow card. Anyway the result leaves Wales fifth in the table and they won't be happy about that. Poor old Rob Howley looks to be the scapegoat and, indeed, looks like someone not having a good time.
Ireland were simply too pumped up for the game against England. They out competed us right across the park. It was like watching the England of old as we seemed to be at a loss to work out what to do. We must have known what to expect as the Irish have form for this sort of thing and yet, despite some stalwart performances from individual players, we appeared under prepared for the onslaught. Silly mistakes might be OK against some teams, but not against the likes of Ireland. Certainly any claims of parity with NZ must be put on hold for a while.
Oh yes, and Scotland played Italy and, inevitably, won. It must be time to review whether Italy really should be part of the 6N or whether the main tournament should become the 5N again and a second tournament involving Italy and other lower ranked teams might be introduced. I see the RFU has announced changes to the 'global season' and was disappointed that they have simply suggested reducing the 6N by one week by scrapping a rest weekend rather than taking a more fundamental look at it.
Oldwing, there is already a 2nd tier European National tournament, the European Championship, yesterday Romania defeated Georgia, rather than return to the old 5N, we need to be looking expand the sport, so promotion / relegation between every level of competition.
It's been a good 6N with teams winning unexpected matches, it's good that there isn't a monopoly otherwise spectators/media would switch off.
I'm sure Wales can cope with losing every once every ten years to the Scots, as well as they played on the day.
The Scots managed to beat the Irish too don't forget.
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