Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Six Nations - round 1

The first weekend of Six Nations is over. We saw some interesting, high level and exciting performances.

In Cardiff, Irleland won with Wales 22:30. Visitors began vigorously. In the tenth minute Brian O’Driscoll broke through the defensive lines creating a great opportunity, which was then  grasped by Simon Zebo who scored a try. Jonathan Sexton added points from conversion and later penalty kick. Another fantastic try was scored by Cian Healy. Rory Beat charged down the kick and began the counterattack. The true hero was however Simon Zebo who displayed his exceptional skill. The winger received a difficult pass. As he couldn’t catch the ball, he kicked it with his heel and it landed right in his hands. All this happened at high speed and under great pressure from the rivals! You don’t get to see such situations often! More points were scored from the kicking tee by Sexton. After half time, Brian O’Driscoll, who was chosen man of the match, added another five points to the scoreboard. At this point Ireland was winning 3:30. The remaining minutes of the game belonged to the hosts. They managed to make up the point deficit to 8 points.

In the second Saturday's game England beat Scotland 38:18. The visitors could only stand for 20 minutes - the rest of the game was clearly dominated by the hosts. In the absence of Manu Tuilagi, Billy Twelvetrees - Gloucester’s center - got the chance to play. His debut was very successful - the young player scored a try. Apart from him, the points were added by Chris Ashton, Geoff Parling and Danny Cave. Stuart Hogg from the Scottish team deserves a special mention as well. Stuart Lancaster has reasons to cheer not only because of winning the Calcutta Cup. The game with Scotland showed that the English team has great potential and what’s more important a number of young ambitious and talented players within their ranks. It means that such stars like Manu Tuilagi or Chris Ashton can be replaced by other equaly good team members.

A surprise in Rome as Italy beat France! Not many expected this. The French team looked much better on paper than its rivals but as one of my coaches says "the game doesn't win on its own”. The hosts were determined and played an ambitious and consistent game. The French lacked a game plan and the leader who could motivate the team successfully. As I mentioned in my previous post, the French team is unpredictable. Within a week they can give two completely different performances. Therefore, I wouldn’t write them off too early. Congratulations to the Italian team who can now enjoy another victory with the elite rugby team. Rome is becoming a fortress where even the best struggle to win. Italian win is definitely going to add a spice to the rivalry.