mr. zilla goes to town

Monday, February 14, 2005

rugby roundup

Shock and dismay aplenty here over England's 18-17 loss to France in yesterday's Six Nations test match. No team has scored a first half try against the French in the past two years, but England completely dominated and ran in two by applying some sound backline basics and angled running onto the pass. Unfortunately the wheels came off in the kicking department and the poms missed six of their seven penalty attempts. By the second half the English had lost their momentum as the French seemed to inexorably claw their way back into the game courtesy of the boot of scrum half Dimitri Yachvili, who put away six of eight attempts from all over the park.

Still I don't think you can place all the blame with the two English goal kickers. A case in point: with under a minute left to play and a point behind, watching the English fullback, flanked on either side by his wingers, take a catch in wide-open broken play and immediately roost the ball far downfield and into touch - not just failing to maintain possession, but kicking beyond any possibility of retreival and putting the full-time scoreline in no doubt. Poor composure, and the epitomy of England's second half. Former England players on the BBC commentary team Austin Healey and Martin Johnson were apoplectic at the outcome, it was truly music to Australian ears.

The French on the other hand have now won 2 from 2 despite being extremely average in both games. I think the ability to graft hard or lucky wins when out of form is a sign of a solid team but their chance at the championchip certainly isn't an open road.

Wales continued last week's good start with a six try, 38-8 demolition of the hapless Italy; the kind of scoreline against the Italians necessary to prove your continuing credentials. The leeky lads showed both flair and structure in the back line, the amount of dummy running going on put me in mind of Rod McQueen era Brumbies teams; they may be five years behind the times but they're running fast. I think their defence is vulnerable though and we could see it carved open in the coming weeks.

Ireland too are on song with a confident 40-13 win over Scotland, and while Wales are playing their hearts out I would say Ireland are looking the more complete side and front runners at this stage.

1 Comments:

  • Poms...Sassenachs...Rosbifs...Auld Enemy...A wooden spoon would go fittingly with their World Cup trophy!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:34 pm  

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